Anti-Cuts Campaigners to Present Alternative Budgets to Portsmouth & Southampton Councils

Anti-cuts campaigners in Portsmouth and Southampton will present alternative ‘needs budgets’ to their respective city councils on Tuesday as councillors vote on the latest wave of cuts to public services.

The campaign groups, Portsmouth Against Cuts Together (PACT) and the Southampton Anti-Cuts Union, present an alternative to austerity, allowing councils to refuse to pass down cuts to the community. The budgets also present a strategy of economic recovery including the reinstatement of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and sustainable job creation projects.

In Portsmouth public sector workers, unions and anti-cuts campaigners will lobby the council at 1:00pm on February 14th 2012, before making a deputation to the council meeting to present their budget. In Southampton campaigners will lobby the city council at 1pm on the 15th February.

Titled Austerity Is Not Working the alternative strategy follows on from the budget presented by PACT to the council in 2011, when campaigners warned of the inevitable results of austerity.

“In the past year unemployment has risen, and young people have been forced out of education. It is clear that austerity is not working,” said Jon Woods, convenor of PACT. “If the council vote to carry out further cuts 250 council workers could lose their jobs while over £20 million will be cut from vital public services.”

PACT call on councillors to:

  • Oppose all cuts to jobs and public services
  • Reject the central government grant on council tax, which will result in even worse cuts in 2013
  • Launch a commission to investigate equality of council pay, in partnership with trade unions
  • Invest in sustainable job creation projects, as outlined in the TUC’s report on Climate Jobs
  • To oppose privatisation and bring services back under public management
  • To utilise reserves to delay carrying out cuts
  • To prepare a budget based on the needs of the city, not the ideology of central government
  • To work with unions, community groups and other councils to campaign against funding reductions from central government

“Budget day in Southampton makes for grim reading as all parties line up to support cuts while council tax bills remain sky high. Anti-cuts campaigns will continue to point to banker’s bonuses, multi-billion pound tax evasion and corporate profits as a source of finance to protect jobs and services. We stand in solidarity with council workers and campaigners fighting the cuts nationwide against the austerity agenda,” said Gavin Marsh from Southampton Anti-Cuts Union.

See footage from last years lobby:



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