‘WE HAVE to take strike action where and when we can and as much as we can,’ Sharon Hutchinson, northwest regional organiser and equalities officer for Unite, told News Line yesterday.
She was responding to Tory Chancellor Osborne’s announcement of 30% cuts to government departments. Four government departments have confirmed that they plan to cut their spending by an average of 30% over the next four years, Osborne has announced.
The transport, local government and environment departments, plus the Treasury, have all agreed deals ahead of the spending review on 25 November. However this is just the beginning, as the plan is to cut a massive £20bn from government expenditure, which threatens 100,000 civil servants’ jobs.
‘We don’t see how the civil service and local government could function with such deep cuts,’ the PCS union said yesterday. Cuts to this extent will mean the end of council services like bin collection, mass library closures, provision for the elderly.
Sharon Hutchinson, equalities officer for Unite, added: ‘The cuts that are coming in are having a devastating effect on our members and our community members. Their whole lives are being effected. The bin collections have already been cut to every other week, if they try to cut the services any more then they will not have bin collection and we will have to dispose of our own rubbish ourselves.
‘Our elderly people, who do not drive, and cannot afford to drive, rely on public transport. Every time you go through another town, you see another library closed. There has been a lot of protests about library closures around the Merseyside area. Some people cannot afford newspapers, they go to the libraries to read the papers and find out about what is going on.
‘These cuts are already having a devastating effect on the North West. Our general secretary has said we will attempt to coordinate strike action. And yes, I am for getting rid of this government.’
• Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has threatened to resign if his plan to roll-out Universal Credit across the country is hampered by the cuts to the Treasury.
Universal Credit is a hated new type of benefit that rolls six existing benefits into one, paid directly into the claimant’s bank account, it is then up to them to decide whether to pay the rent, heat their home, or eat, because they will not be able to do all three.