Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012: The Year Austerity Economics Started To Unravel

In 2012, austerity economics produced a double dip recession with zero growth across the whole year. Mass unemployment continued, real wages shrank and benefits were cut. Crucially, our budget deficit started to rise. Across Europe, economies continued to struggle, with Greece and Spain now looking to be trapped in a depressionary cycle that has produced 50% youth unemployment. Continued austerity measures across Southern Europe will only make these problems worse.

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Filed under Alternatives to Cuts

Sign the War On Welfare (WOW) Petition

Disabled activists have started a petition calling for cumulative impact assessment on welfare reform, and a New Deal for sick & disabled people based on their needs, abilities and ambitions. You can read here about why a cumulative impact assessment is so important.

We call for:

A Cumulative Impact Assessment of all cuts and changes affecting sick & disabled people, their families and carers, and a free vote on repeal of the Welfare Reform Act.

An immediate end to the Work Capability Assessment, as voted for by the British Medical Association.

Consultation between the Depts of Health & Education to improve support into work for sick & disabled people, and an end to forced work under threat of sanctions for people on disability benefits.

An Independent, Committee-Based Inquiry into Welfare Reform, covering but not limited to: (1) Care home admission rises, daycare centres, access to education for people with learning difficulties, universal mental health treatments, Remploy closures; (2) DWP media links, the ATOS contract, IT implementation of Universal Credit; (3) Human rights abuses against disabled people, excess claimant deaths & the disregard of medical evidence in decision making by ATOS, DWP & the Tribunal Service.

Please sign this petition – 100,000 signatures means they have to have a debate in the commons, or refuse one which in itself will make the news.
We support the end of all forced work under threat of sanctions, this petition is focused on disability benefit claimants who have joined those on jobseekers allowance as being under threat of being forced to work for free for companies and charities.

You can find the WOW petition team on their website, Twitter and Facebook.

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2012 Photo Review of the Year

austerity isnt working poster as imageIn the third year of this Condem coalition, austerity began to fail, with the budget deficit rising as we entered a double dip recession. The triple dip recession may already have started. The council here announced huge budget cuts spelling the “end of local government as we know it“, the attacks on our welfare system accelerated and the fightback continued with 200,000 marching in London on October 20th, thousands in Birmingham for the Tory conference, companies and charities withdrawing from workfare, Charles House saved from closure, Redundancies stopped at Connexions (at least for now) and more words (though still little action) on tax avoidance.

Click on the photo to read about the event or campaign.

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Emergency Organising Meeting – Save Birmingham

save our city imageLocal community activists have called a meeting to discuss action over the cuts

7pm
Wednesday, 16 January 2013

New Lecture Theater Birmingham City University Conservatoire – Birmingham Conservatoire
Birmingham City University, Paradise Place, B3 3HG
Facebook Event

This is an emergency organising meeting. We are calling on everyone who is ready to work organising an opposition, to get together to plan for a fight back. This will be an open grassroots run meeting for all comers. We are not asking you to come and listen to leaders and their speeches; we want everyone to contribute at an open planning meeting.

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Anger and Passion At Final Council Cuts Consultation Meeting

The final consultation on Birmingham City Council’s budget cuts took place last night as over 300 people packed out what is presumably the largest public meeting room in the building. The meeting heard repeated calls for the council to set a deficit budget, to stand up for the people of Birmingham and fight these cuts rather than meekly implementing them on behalf of the ConDem coalition.

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Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts

Cuts debate is stifled (Letter in Birmingham Mail)

An edited version of this letter was printed in the Birmingham Mail yesterday:

Dear Editor

Can I encourage your readers to go to the final City Council budget consultation meeting on Tuesday 18th. They should ask Albert Bore if his May 2012 election pledges are being implemented. One of Albert’s pledges was

“Ten of thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships” (emphasis in the orginal) but in October he announced and repeated yesterday at the Yardley consultation meeting is that he is making redundant a thousand people in the Bham City Council.

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Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts

Blighted futures – A report back on the budget consultation meetings

IMG_0194The final budget consultation meeting is tomorrow, Tuesday 18th, from 6pm to 8pm, Committee Rooms 3 and 4, The Council House. Victoria Square, B1 1BB. Albert Bore will also be doing a webchat on Wednesday evening. This is a report from an activist of West Midlands Social Work Action Network:

As Sir Albert Bore tours the city consulting on a package of £110m worth of cuts to the Council’s 2013-14 budget, his plan for Austerity-lite In Birmingham consist of simple proposition that ‘where reasonably possible we will protect the most vulnerable’. His further qualification is that he will offer that ‘protection only for as long as possible’.

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