Wednesday 20th March
In the morning: pickets at government and DWP offices, including job centres.
12:30pm Conservatoire (off Chamberlain Square). Directions
Wednesday 20th March is budget day 2013. It is the day that George Osborne will announce to no-ones surprise that he is continuing with the austerity agenda that is failing so badly. It is also going to be a day of 1%s. 1% rise in benefits and public sector pay. 1.4% average pay rise. One you won’t hear is that benefit fraud is just under 1%. 1% is the proportion of the population that will benefit from the cut in the highest rate of tax.
Of course not everything is around 1%. Growth, for instance, that’s way below, and looking like the economy has shrunk again in the last quarter. Or inflation, that’s way above 1%, as Britain’s average wages fall in real terms to 2003 levels. Or unemployment rate, over 9% in Birmingham, and falling only because people are moving to lower paid jobs, part time work, self-employment and of course forced unpaid workfare.
So PCS are taking action against one part of this – the attack on their pay, terms and conditions, and pensions. This should not be seen as an isolated action but as part of a collective response to austerity with different groups taking action in the way they see fit and in full solidarity with others fighting austerity.
We offer our solidarity to PCS members and encourage anyone who can to attend the rally to support the fight against austerity. PCS have been outspoken against welfare reforms, against pay freezes and pension cuts and have taken action they can and offered solidarity where no action has been possible. We say that an injury to one is an injury to all and that the 20th should be a day of mass resistance against austerity.