Feb 162013
 

11am at ULU, Malet Street,
London WC1E 7HY

With workshops on • welfare reforms causing poverty, debt and
homelessness • how we can oppose them • building mass resistance
• Link up and build the campaign locally and nationally

The Campaign for Benefit Justice is uniting all those opposed to
devastating benefit cuts / By linking up we can challenge the
Government’s divide and rule tactics and unite the 99% of people
hit by these cuts / Bringing together disabled people, tenants,
unemployed , trade unions, students, pensioners, single parents
and others to oppose benefit cuts.

Download summit flyer and details for how to book your place here: benefit-justice-summit_A5_4pp (2)

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

Jan 262013
 

An organising meeting called on Saturday 19th January by Defend Council Housing (DCH), Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and Right to Work (RtW) attracted around 40 people representing 32 different campaign groups and union branches to build an umbrella campaign to oppose ConDem attacks on the poor and fight for benefit justice. The idea for the meeting came from a workshop on Welfare and Austerity hosted by DPAC and RtW at the Unite the Resistance conference in London in November.

Anger and desperation are mounting as benefit claimants brace themselves for changes due to come in this April at a time when many are already having to choose between heating and eating. The Bedroom Tax will mean tenants having to find around a £1000 a year to plug the cut in Housing Benefit, something that is simply unaffordable for people also facing a cut in Council Tax Support through what is fast becoming known as the new Poll Tax, and the benefit cap. Disability benefits are under attack on an unprecedented scale with cuts to DLA set to remove essential support from more than 600,000 claimants and the closure of the Independent Living Fund literally returning disabled people to the institutions. Unemployed workers are labelled as skivers and scroungers when the reality is there are no jobs and mandatory work placements are being used to drive down wages. Many low paid workers who will be expected to implement the changes will also be affected by them as research by union PCS has shown.

Campaign groups and actions are multiplying as people are left with no option but to fightback. In Liverpool last week 100 tenants attended a meeting called by Defend Your Homes Against the Bedroom Tax with plans for February to occupy a local housing association that is using housing benefit cuts to push tenants into unpaid work. Local Councils are being targeted with protests called at town halls such as those organised by Camden United for Benefit Justice. A facebook group called Anti Bedroom Tax has over 6000 members, many of whom have never been politically active before. Fuel Poverty Action is linking up with Greater London Pensioners Association and Disabled People Against Cuts on a weekend of action from 15th – 17th February and Boycott Workfare has a week of action planned from 18th – 23rd March.

The Campaign for Benefit Justice is about uniting the growing resistance, overcoming the divide and rule tactics the Government is using to get away with its assault on the 99% and bringing together disabled people, tenants, unemployed workers, trade unions, students, pensioner, single mothers and others to oppose benefit cuts.

We will be holding an event in London in early March with protests planned for budget day. More details to follow. For more information or to sign up to the statement below please contact info@defendcouncilhousing.org.uk.

Campaign for Benefit Justice – Statement

 Cuts in benefits are an unjust attack on the poor.  Cuts concentrated on Housing Benefit are already breaking up families, communities and support networks.  They will mean poverty, debt and evictions.
We oppose all cuts in benefits and tax credits. We did not cause the banking and economic crisis and will not be scapegoated to pay for it.

We reject false divisions and stigmatisation of people who are low-paid or unpaid.

We will join with local and national campaigns including disabled peoples, tenants, unemployed workers, trade unions, students, pensioner, single mothers and others to oppose benefit cuts

We will support and link up local campaigns.

We oppose all evictions and legal action against those hit by benefit cuts and support all actions taken in defence.

 

Signed:

Defend Council Housing

Disabled People Against Cuts

Right to Work

National Shop Stewards Network