UPDATE: Birmingham City Council have cancelled the booking for this meeting – add your name to the letter of protest
Called by Communities Against the Cuts & Birmingham Against the Cuts + friends and supporters.
On the 26th February the City Council will meet to vote on the cuts, amounting to £102m this year and £625m by 2016-17. This is on top of £275m worth of cuts already implemented in 2010-12 and will put another 1,000 council workers on the dole. This meeting hopes to help educate everyone on what the cuts will be and how they will affect you, and as a forum to plan our response.
Monday 25th February
Birmingham City Council House Banqueting Suite.
Council House, B1 1BB
Speakers to be confirmed
This meeting is preceded by two other meetings, also in the Banqueting Suite:
5pm-6pm: Lobby of councillors – last chance to speak to councillors about the effect their vote will have on you.
6pm-7:30pm: Birmingham’s Women’s Emergency Meeting – public meeting about how cuts effect women, all welcome
The cuts to Birmingham
Children, young people and families are going to bear the brunt of the cuts to Birmingham. The Children, Young People and Families Department is going to suffer a £24m budget cut. Services including children’s homes, children’s centres, the youth service, school transport and vulnerable children services will be reduced dramatically, if not destroyed entirely.
The blows to many Birmingham households will be monumental. As well as the £35/year charge for green waste, thousands are faced with the incoming bedroom tax costing on average £15/week, the cut in council tax benefit taking a further £5/week, some households being affected by the universal credit reforms that will strip £34/week (the worse hit up £70/week). All of this is on top of an unemployment rate still rising in Birmingham, Job Seekers Allowance being cut in real terms and the charities providing advice and support services closing across the city.
At the same time the rich are getting:
Falling taxes – top rate of tax cut from 50% to 45% for those earning over £150,000 a year. This is 1% of the population who earn 13% of the income.
No mansion tax and caps on council tax mean that the highest value properties are taxed proportionately less than average sized houses
Benefited most from Quantitative Easing (QE) – the Bank of England say that as 50% of households have little or no financial assets, almost all the financial benefit of QE was for the wealthiest 50% of households, with the wealthiest 10% taking the lion’s share Tax-free living – extremely wealthy individuals can access tax avoidance schemes which contribute to the £25bn of tax which is avoided every year, as profits are shifted offshore to join the estimated £13 trillion of assets siphoned off from our economy.
Full details of events
5pm-6pm Lobby of Councillors – Banqueting suite of the City Council. A lobby of councillors intending to vote for the cuts. With targeted lobbying & protests, £8m of planned cuts have already been dropped from the council’s plans. Your support is required so that we can defend more (see details here). If there is a cut to a service you or a family member is dependent on, we are very happy to assist you in making your case for your service to be protected.
6pm-7:30pm Birmingham’s Women’s Emergency Meeting – Banqueting suite of the City Council. Discussing how the cuts are going to hit women hardest – calling all women to come to this planning meeting to organise around cuts to fundamentally important women’s services.
Tuesday Feb 26th 12:30-1:30 Picket of the council house called by Birmingham against the cuts http://www.facebook.com/events/117092498469912/?fref=ts
5pm Mass demonstration and march in the evening – assemble at the council house from 5pm. March around the city centre to a rally at Victoria Square, speakers tbc.