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Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Action against the planned welfare changes

The government's planned welfare "reforms" are stimulating increasing opposition. A good account of what is wrong with these plans was recently a centre page spread in the newspaper of the Socialist Party (CWI) and is available online here.
Here are some actions that are to take place in the next few weeks -

* 3 March: a public meeting in Parliament and lobby of MPs -- called by PCS, the union which represents DWP staff, and others. See www.pcs.org.uk/welfare and the letter from Mark Serwotka of PCS below. Also see the “Welfare for All” letter http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/campaigns/welfare-reform/welfare-for-all.cfm

* 7-15 March: Week of action on “Welfare Abolition Bill”. “The London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP), Disabled People’s Direct Action Network (DAN) and Feminist Fightback are calling on all groups and individuals concerned with the eroding of our welfare rights to take part in the week of action against the “Welfare Abolition Bill". A toolkit will be available soon with more information on the Bill and suggestions for action. For more information see http://www.lcap.org.uk and join the emailing list for the planning group via http://groups.google.com/group/no-to-welfare-abolition

* 10.30am on Wed 11 March: direct action during the week of action. The press will be there and more details will be available nearer the time. For more information and contacts see the DAN site.

* Letter, “Workfare protests face New Labour” in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/feb/25/welfare-reform-bill-uk

* Parliament website with more info about the measures in the Bill and its timetable http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2008-09/welfarereform.html

EMAIL FROM Mark Serwotka, PCS:

Welfare Reform Bill – the next steps in the campaign

Lobby of parliament and public meeting

Tuesday 3 March – all welcome

We are inviting you to attend a public meeting and lobby of parliament about the welfare reform bill on Tuesday 3 March starting at 12.30 in committee room 14 at the House of Commons.

The lobby and public meeting are supported by a range of organisations including trade unions and the TUC, service user groups and campaigning organisations

PCS are campaigning against plans to introduce -

- the privatisation of the employment service and social fund

- ‘work for your benefit’ schemes

- the abolition of income support

- cutting the benefits of single parents and those with long-term illness

- requiring all parents of young children to seek work

PCS wants the government to introduce progressive measures to help people in these difficult times. This is why we are fully supporting the TUC’s demand for the government to urgently raise benefit levels.

We are asking people to attend the meeting and to lobby their MP. If you plan to meet with politicians on the day to discuss the welfare reform bill then you need to tell your MP beforehand. If you can not attend the lobby but support the campaign then please write to your MP about your concerns.

If you would like more information about this campaign, please visit www.pcs.org.uk/welfare

If you have any questions please email welfare@pcs.org.uk

Please feel free to pass this information on to others who may be interested to attend the event.
We hope you will join us on Tuesday 3 March.
Best wishes,

Mark Serwotka

PCS General Secretary


With the economic situation the effect of these so-called reforms will be even more severe - now is the time to apply pressure and force the government to abandon their attack.

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