Saturday 21 November / 12 midday / Market Square, Cambridge CB2
In July the chancellor George Osborne announced a 'new settlement' for permanent austerity, resting on an increase in the minimum wage alongside massive cuts to tax credits. Four months later that settlement is crumbling, in widening alarm that (according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies) three million low-paid families will lose an average of £1,000 a year: the alarm extends to Conservatives like Heidi Allen, the new MP for South Cambridgeshire, who used her maiden speech to criticize the cuts to tax credits, and to the House of Lords, which last month defied the Conservative majority in the Commons with a remarkable vote to delay and review the cuts.
The coalition and Conservative governments have lauded and even fetishized work, the better to demonize the unemployed and the disabled, though in reality low and medium-paid workers lost from the start under austerity (for example with the long decay of their real wages until late 2014, unchecked attacks by employers on their working terms and conditions, and the deterioration of the public services on which they rely). This isn't the first direct cut to in-work benefits, but it's produced the 'moment of the boomerang'.
With other People's Assembly groups across the country, we're holding a rally in advance of the chancellor's autumn statement under the title 'Tories – Out of Credit, Out of Office', to add to the pressure on the issue of tax credits and extend it to austerity in general!
Saturday's rally and meeting
We'll meet in Market Square in front of the Guildhall, where the speakers will include those below (in name order) and others to be confirmed.
- Jon Duveen (Cambridgeshire NUT)
- Carol Gerrard (PCS Revenue and Customs)
- Ozzy Osborne (South Cambridgeshire GEMS Unite)
- Steve Sweeney (Cambridge People's Assembly)
- Stuart Tuckwood (Cambridge Green Party)
- Rob Turner (UNISON Cambridgeshire County)
- James Youd (Cambridge Unite Community)
- Daniel Zeichner MP (Cambridge Labour Party)
- A speaker from the Cambridge and District Trades Council
After the rally we'll hold a meeting nearby to discuss organizing action against the £120m cuts outlined last month by Cambridgeshire County Council.
[Corrected on 17 November: we first gave a neat figure of £1,300 as the most families stood to lose. Updated with speakers' names on 20 November.]