Outrage and unity against austerity measures

March 3, 2013 12:02 am 0 comments

This is the position adopted by the residents of Camden in the face of cuts to social benefits and new taxes posed by David Cameron’s government.

 

Indignación y unidad 06Camden United for Benefit Justice has scheduled a summit for the 9th of March bringing together tenants, people with disabilities, trade unions and families affected by the austerity measures as one national voice. Their goal is “to end the war on the poor.”

“We are asking the Council to rethink their opinions, to stop these laws and fight these cuts,” said Kim Sparrow, spokeswoman for Single Mothers’ Self-Defence.

In her opinion, the cuts will lead to an impoverished society: “These measures will drive people into debt and hunger, but there’ll also be an increased suicide rate amongst those with disabilities.”

Indignación y unidad 09Following the launch on April 1st, cuts are predicted for pensioners and emancipated youths, as well as new council rates or taxes for those who receive housing benefits.

Spare Room

Amongst the measures alarming citizens are cuts for people with disabilities. Some savings reports predict that 428,000 will lose benefits.

Tenants of working age who have a spare room and receive housing benefits will also be affected by this so-called “Bedroom Tax”.

Indignación y unidad 01If someone has one or two spare bedrooms and receives a £500 benefit, it will be reduced by 15% or 25% because of this tax. “Some families will lose around £100 a month,” Kim notes.

The activist specifies that “most of them are families with children”, and claims that these measures “are leading to poverty because many people will choose between eating and paying for heating.”

Single women are affected the most

“Single women with children experience more difficulties because they are the ones with the lowest incomes,” she explains, mentioning that many of them don’t earn minimum wage (£6.19 per hour).

In fact, some families now live in one room because they don’t have enough money to pay for heating as a result of the changes. These families only use a wood-burning stove to “save money”. They usually set themselves up in the kitchen, because “the oven warms the room”, she says, alarmed.

Indignación y unidad 07Due to this “injustice” and because “the people on benefits didn’t cause the economic and banking crisis”, social organisations in Camden are organising a rally on March 20th in London.

They want to show that society is opposed to the austerity measures.

For more information, please visit the website: http://carerwatch.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/camden-united-for-benefit-justice/

 

 

(Translated by Marie-Thérèse Slorach – Email: marietherese.slorach@gmail.com)

 

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