A new “Coalition of Resistance” has been formed to resist government cuts, and to put forward an alternative agenda. A national conference will be held at the Camden Centre in London on 27 November.
The Coalition of Resistance statement says:
“It is time to organise a broad movement of active resistance to the Con-Dem government’s budget intentions. They plan the most savage spending cuts since the 1930s, which will wreck the lives of millions by devastating our jobs, pay, pensions, NHS, education, transport, postal and other services. The government claims the cuts are unavoidable because the welfare state has been too generous. This is nonsense. Ordinary people are being forced to pay for the bankers’ profligacy. “The £11bn welfare cuts, rise in VAT to 20%, and 25% reductions across government departments target the most vulnerable – disabled people, single parents, those on housing benefit, black and other ethnic minority communities, students, migrant workers, LGBT people and pensioners.
“Women are expected to bear 75% of the burden. The poorest will be hit six times harder than the richest. Internal Treasury documents estimate 1.3 million job losses in public and private sectors. “We reject this malicious vandalism and resolve to campaign for a radical alternative, with the level of determination shown by trade unionists and social movements in Greece and other European countries.
“This government of millionaires says ‘we’re all in it together’ and ‘there is no alternative’. But, for the wealthy, corporation tax is being cut, the bank levy is a pittance, and top salaries and bonuses have already been restored to pre-crash levels.
“An alternative budget would place the banks under democratic control, and raise revenue by increasing tax for the rich, plugging tax loopholes, withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, abolishing the nuclear ‘deterrent’ by cancelling the Trident replacement.
“An alternative strategy could use these resources to: support welfare; develop homes, schools, and hospitals; and foster a green approach to public spending – investing in renewable energy and public transport, thereby creating a million jobs.”
Signatories to the statement include: Tony Benn; Caroline Lucas MP; John McDonnell MP; Mark Serwotka, general secretary PCS; Bob Crow, general secretary RMT; Jeremy Dear, general secretary NUJ; Frank Cooper, president of the National Pensioners Convention; Ken Loach; John Pilger; Mark Steel; Cllr Salma Yaqoob (Respect Party); Lindsey German (Stop The War Coalition, personal capacity); Lee Jasper, Black Activists Rise Against Cuts (Barac); and many others.