“The Hammond budget has been billed as easing up on austerity but it has totally failed to do so,” says Left Unity Principal Speaker, Joseph Healy. “It is just another Tory budget with a different face delivering it. Despite the crisis in social care with thousands of older people stuck in hospital beds as the local social care system is unable to cope with them, and despite the NHS facing its worst ever winter crisis, next to nothing was given to the NHS, and social care was not even mentioned in the budget – thus confining the needs of disabled people to the back burner as has so often happened with this government.
And for those hundreds of thousands suffering from the impact of Universal Credit there is no let up, as the system continues to be rolled out with resulting poverty and rise in the use of food banks. The measures to support house building are like sticking a plaster on a major wound and the need for a major social housing building programme has not been addressed. The sop of a railcard for young people is meagre compensation for young people who see their wages frozen and their rents rising.
Finally, despite the scandals revealed by the Paradise Papers no real effort has been made to deal with tax evasion while public sector workers see no significant increase in their salaries. Once again this is a budget for landlords, speculators and tax avoiders with no attempt to address the real problems in the UK economy. And it continues to deliver austerity to a country which has already suffered 7 years of it and with no end in sight under the Tories.”
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March against Racism – national demonstration
UN anti-racism day protests will be held in Glasgow, Cardiff and London.
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For transport to the demo in London see here
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