Britain: Thousands demand 'people's budget', protest fresh austerity

Monday, March 24, 2014
Student assembly at Queen Mary University of London calls for a 'people's budget', March 19. Photo via www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk.

Thousands of people protested against British Conservative Chancellor George Osborne's budget on March 19, the Morning Star said the next day. The protests were part of a national day of action called by the People's Assembly.

Across Britain, there were marches, rallies and festivals demanding a people's budget for Britain.

Before the protests, People's Assembly national secretary Sam Fairbairn said Osboure, “will be announcing another round of cuts and privatisation, demonstrating that despite the so-called recovery, the government remains committed to dismantling the welfare state and all gains working people have fought for”.

Among other measures, the People's Assembly has called for the guarantee of a living wage, rent controls, the creation of green jobs, more affordable housing and taxes on empty properties and bankers' bonuses.

It has also called for the government to consider cuts to the 100 billion pound Trident nuclear missile replacement program.

Fairbairn said the success of a petition for a people's budget, with 2000 signatures on its first day, showed the strength of opposition to the austerity of the Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition government.

Poverty levels have soared since the coalition came to power, with ballooning food, rent and energy costs and frozen salaries crushing households.

“This is the year that we have the opportunity to give the knockout blow to this weak government,” Fairbairn said. “After today we all need to make sure the People's Assembly national demonstration on June 21 is massive.”

[Visit The Peoples Assembly for videos and pictures of the protests.]

From GLW issue 1002