Feb 102013

Benefit Cuts opposition grows as MPs and union leaders back

Union leaders and MPs are publicly backing tenants and campaigners against Benefit cuts which they say ‘must stop’.

The leaders of Britains largest trade unions are lining up in a joint call to action, with Defend Council Housing, Disabled People Against Cuts and others. They say debt, hunger and homelessness will get worse if ‘vicious’ cuts to Council tax, Disability and housing benefits including the Bedroom Tax go ahead. ‘People receiving benefits did not cause the banking and economic crisis and we do not accept them being scapegoated to pay for it.’ A joint letter published today, is signed by Len McCluskey leader of Britain’s biggest trade union Unite, and by Mark Serwotka of the PCS trade union representing Benefits workers and other civil servants.

Four MPs also back the call for a Benefits Summit on 9 March, bringing together campaigns and organisations to step up opposition. Today’s letter says:

Cuts in benefit are an unjust attack on the poor and they must stop.

People are already being driven into debt, hunger and homelessness. From April millions more will be hit by the Bedroom tax, cuts in council tax benefit, ending Disability Living Allowance and further vicious cuts.

In one of the richest countries in the world, the rise of food banks, destitution and poverty is not acceptable. People receiving benefits did not cause the banking and economic crisis and we do not accept them being scapegoated to pay for it.

The Campaign for Benefit Justice has called a summit event on 9 March in central London, bringing together tenants, disabled people, trade unions, the unpaid and the low paid as one national voice to end the war on the poor. All who support us should contact Benefit Justice via info@defendouncilhousing.org.uk or mail@dpac.uk.net

Collecting unpaid corporate tax, capping private rents, insulating, repairing and greening homes and building 100,000 first-class council homes would be a sane and just way to raise funds, build for growth and cut bills and rents.

It is signed by:

Eileen Short Defend Council Housing

Linda Burnip Disabled People Against Cuts

Michael Bradley Right to Work Campaign

Len McCluskey General Secretary Unite the Union

Mark Serwotka General Secretary PCS union

Dave Anderson MP

John McDonnell MP

Austin Mitchell MP

Caroline Lucas MP

Jane Aitchison (PCS) Unite the Resistance joint Secretary

Richard Buckwell Chair Ashfield UNISON Branch & East Midlands member of UNISON’s national Housing Forum

Glyn Robbins (UNITE member)

Dot Gibson National Pensioners Convention general secretary

Claire Glasman WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities)

Kim Sparrow Single Mothers Self-Defence

John Davies Leeds Hands off our Homes

Dr Stuart Hodkinson Lecturer School of Geography University of Leeds

Shirley Frost Sheffield Defend Council Housing, Campaign for Benefits Justice, and UNITE Community Members branch Sheffield

Imelda Messenger Hackney tenant, Street Properties

Further information from DCH chair, Eileen Short (07432 098440)

To stop getting DCH press releases reply with UNSUBSCRIBE in subject.

For background information on the demand for investment in council housing and who supports the campaign see www.defendcouncilhousing.org.uk


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  One Response to “Stop privatisation; improve existing and build a new generation of first class council housing”

  1. Nothing in this country will return to a more equitable social system until the extortionate cost of housing and business premises is reduced.
    The only way to do this sensibly is to build affordable property.
    In London (and I guess) other urban environments people are regularly paying over half their income in keeping a roof over their heads.

    If the government thinks state owned property is so terrible (when it patently isn’t, and never was) then they should create methods by which people can afford to buy them later. Rent to buy/Sweat Equity, whatever.

    Successive governments have engineered this and now they need to change it. Quickly.

    It is a no-brainer. Just do it.

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