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Why we are marching against cuts

publicity for end austerity now demo

Hundreds of thousands of people will be marching together at the June 20th People’s Assembly national demo against austerity – and CAAT will be there. Here’s three reasons why:

1. Austerity hits the most vulnerable and benefits the richest

picture showing the rich getting richer

The cuts of the last five years have devastated people’s lives and they’re about to get much worse. The government’s plans for an extra £12 billion in welfare cuts will increase the hardship faced by people on low incomes. At the same time, the richest look set to get richer. Indeed, since 2010 the 1,000 wealthiest people in Britain have doubled their wealth, while more working families than ever before are reliant upon housing benefits as a result of poverty wages. As research by NEF shows, not only does inequality damage our social structure, it is also bad for long term economic growth.

2. Austerity economics don’t add up

Continued and severe austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity. Moreover, if we judge austerity by what the Conservatives’ economic objective was in 2010 – to cut the deficit- then it’s been a clear failure.

man holding placard saying 'austerity that's enough'

The Coalition realised this and eased off austerity as its time in office was coming to an end. However, the new government’s commitment to further and deeper cuts will likely lead to a repeat of the stagnation we saw in 2010-2012, a larger deficit and rising household debt.

3. We need to shift investment away from the arms industry to the low-carbon sector

The austerity mantra is that there is no alternative but we know very well that there’s plenty of money out there- just think of the £100bn that the government plans to spend on Trident and the massive subsidies the arms trade receives every year from taxpayers while vital public services are being cut. Although military spending has declined recently, Britain is still spending far more on war (£35 billion per year) than most of Europe, let alone the rest of the world.image showing that the government spends 25 times more researching weapons than green energy

Supporters of military spending usually frame their argument by referring to national security, conveniently forgetting about the security in the UK of the 3.5 million children growing up in poverty and the thousands of people who die every year because of fuel poverty. Most importantly, despite what some sensationalist headlines might suggest, the UK doesn’t face conventional military threats. Real security involves tackling the causes of problems, not creating more, and climate change is one of the biggest that we face.

If we really want a safer world, we must cut carbon emissions fast. A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) this week called for more policy support for the renewables sector because the current rate of progress is not fast enough to meet the 2°C climate target.

The UK is in a powerful position to play its part. It is crucial, as highlighted by Oxford Research Group, that we  transform high-tech industries from military to civilian production that is environmentally beneficial. Shifting investment from arms to renewables would increase our energy security and create jobs for thousands of workers.


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3 comments to Why we are marching against cuts

  • Steve Vaughan

    Hi guys. Excellent work …I was just wondering if there was a march in Cardiff this Saturday,(20/06/15), or is it all happening in London? If London, is there any room left on the coaches being organised from Cardiff, if so, need two seats for me and my 15 year old daughter,(her first demo). Thanks very much. If this not the place for these queries, my apologies in advance, sorry. Fabulous that someone is doing this, will help in any way I can. Great news about Jeremy this afternoon 🙂 This whole austerity lie is like a time machine turning the clock back to the 17th century. The Reformists and Chartists, the Unions that were fought so hard for, human rights, social equality, access to higher education, it will be as if none of this ever happened if we don’t stop this right now. TTIP, de-funding of the statutory services, austerity, it has all got to stop immediately. Thanks again, and hope to see some of you guys Saturday….

  • Euan

    While I happen to be against the policies of the current government, is there not a risk that taking such a strong political stance could limit the support base of CAAT?

    In my mind, being against selling arms to dictators and fuelling conflict is not a left/right issue, but those who believe that austerity is the right strategy (again, wrongly in my view) may be put off involvement with CAAT if it is seen as “left”. Is this a not concern?

    Feel free to tell me I’m entirely wrong but it seems like it could be. Especially as any policy change regarding ending subsidies for arms deals would presumably need conservative support now they’re in power

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