COMMUNITY CAMPAIGNERS and trade unionists from across Hampshire will converge on Andover Guildhall on the evening of September 14 to expose the brutal reality behind the government’s massive attack on welfare and the most vulnerable in our communities.
The open meeting, in Andover’s Guildhall, will put forward an alternative that would protect the vulnerable while helping the economy to recover from the crisis inflicted by the banks and corporations, and is timed to coincide with the Trade Union Congress that will be taking place in London.
Keynote speaker will be Andrew Fisher, joint secretary of the Labour Representation Committee and co-ordinator of the Left Economic Advisory Panel, who will introduce Welfare – an alternative vision, a major campaign by the Public and Commercial Services Union to defend welfare and public services.
He will be joined by Andover TUC secretary Derek Kotz and a speaker from the NASUWT teachers’ union, who will outline the case against the government’s attack on pensions and the damage being inflicted on education by the coalition.
Meeting organiser Sarah Evans, Labour’s candidate for NW Hants in the last general election and secretary of Hampshire Labour Representation Committee, said:
“The government is hacking £18 billion from welfare at the same time as giving corporations £25 billion in tax breaks – a classic case of robbing the poor to pay the rich.
“The coalition is spinning horror stories about benefit cheats, but the fact remains that tax avoidance and evasion by the wealthy costs the economy 80 times more – some £120 billion each year.”
Andover TUC secretary Derek Kotz said:
“The government’s case for demolishing welfare is based on a pack of lies, when the reality is that they are attempting to force the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities to pay for an economic crisis they had no part in creating.
“Benefit fraud is tiny in comparison with the £16 billion in benefits that goes unclaimed each year – but the real looters, the bankers and corporations, have waltzed off with the biggest benefit payment in history – £1.3 trillion of taxpayers’ money, and they are still raking in obscene bonuses and dodging taxes.”
Welfare – the Alternative, will take place at 7:30pm in Andover Guildhall on Wednesday September 14. All are welcome.
For further information about Welfare – an alternative vision visit: http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/campaigns/welfare-reform/index.cfm