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Harrogate Socialists were campaigning in the town centre yesterday against the Tory austerity budget.

20150725_120217We organised a petition containing the following demands:

  • No cuts to Working Tax Credits
  • Protect the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Stop welfare cuts – cap rents not benefits!
  • Fight poverty pay! – raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour now; scrap zero-hour contracts

This budget has cut almost £13 billion a year from welfare, adding to the pressure on claimants and job-seekers. In-work benefits have been slashed, with an estimated 45% of families’ worse off as a result of cuts to Working Tax Credit. Employment and Support Allowance to severely disabled people and the long term sick has been cut by £30 a week, while housing benefit has been abolished for 18 to 21 year-olds.

However, it’s a different story for Osborne’s big business friends with corporation tax being reduced to 19% in 2017 and 18% in 2020. Raising the annual income threshold at which tax starts to £11,000 is welcome. However, this measure does not give more to lowest paid workers but puts the same tax-free earnings sum into the pockets of all earners, including the richest.

20150725_120223

For further budget analysis see the following article from The Socialist, the weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party:

http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/864/21059/15-07-2015/fightback-essential-following-osbornes-hatchet-budget

Save our fire service: the fight against the Fire Cover Review

The threat to our local fire service from the Fire Cover Review was highlighted in this week’s Harrogate Advertiser.

The cuts proposed by the Review will see a reduction in the number of full-time fire-fighters and some engines replaced with smaller response vehicles. The full article is available here:

http://www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/union-fears-over-the-future-of-fire-stations-1-7338455

The proposed cuts are now subject to a public consultation. The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) are leading the campaign across North Yorkshire to prevent the downgrading of our fire service and defend jobs. If you would like to get involved in the campaign and support the FBU in the region, then contact: harrogatesocialists[at]gmail.com

Harrogate Socialist Party – Branch meeting, Tuesday 4th August

Our next branch meeting will be on Tuesday 4th August. The meeting starts at 7.45 pm. All welcome! 

Note that we now have a new venue for meetings: St. Robert’s Club, Robert Street (opposite Waitrose), Harrogate, HG1 1HP

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