At the meeting people will be able to hear teachers, youth workers, library assistants, social workers and other public sector workers talk about how the cuts will affect the services they provide in North Somerset. We also want the people of North Somerset to tell us how the cuts are affecting them. Weston and North Somerset Trades Union Council believes that the Coalition government’s savage spending cuts will hit the poorest hardest, will slow down the economic recovery, and increase unemployment. We believe that the cuts are not an economic necessity, but are politically motivated. The Coalition government do not have a mandate for such savage cuts delivered at such speed.
We believe that there is an alternative to the cuts, and that rather than slash funding for public services, the Coalition government could reduce the deficit by bringing in legislation to close tax loop holes and tax havens. There is potentially £100 billion per year out there in uncollected taxes, and a Robin Hood tax, which is a tax on financial transactions could bring in £20 billion a year. Quite simply we believe that the government ought to tax the banks and other financial institutions that caused the recession, instead of cutting public spending, which hits the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest. The Coalition government’s mantra is that ‘we are all in this together for the national interest.’ But for us it is the Anti-Cuts organisations springing up all over the country, which are acting together in the national interest by defending our public services which provide support and protection to our most vulnerable citizens, and look after every single one of us from cradle to grave. This was the idea behind our grandparents founding of the welfare state, and as their descendants we must do all we can to protect it. We are asking the people of North Somerset to attend the public meeting on 17th February and then join us in our lobby of North Somerset Council’s budget setting meeting on at 5.30 pm on 22nd February outside the old Town Hall.