Budget Day anti-austerity protest planned

Stuart Richardson from Birmingham Against the Cuts explains.

A protest against government spending cuts is to take place from 5-6pm on Wednesday 8th March outside Waterstone’s on Birmingham High Street.

Called by Birmingham Against the Cuts and Birmingham Peoples Assembly, and upported by Birminghham Keep NHS Public, Friends of the Library of Birmingham and the National Union of Teachers, the protest is timed to coincide with Budget Day.

Media coverage by the BBC, ITV and Sky News of the crisis in the NHS and Social Care has put enormous pressure on the government to make concessions on the funding of social care. But the government has stepped up its attack on the welfare state by its new attack on disabled people by tightening the regulations on the disability benefit PIP which will particularly effect people with mental health issues. It is important to note that the original legislation restricting benefits for disabled people were agreed by the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives.

£20 million is to be cut from Birmingham school budgets which for example would mean a secondary school in Handsworth will have to make redundant 11 out of 80 teachers at the school drastically reducing the quality of education supplied by the school. There will be speakers from Bham NUT at the protest to explain these cuts.

Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly insisted that mental health has parity of esteem with physical health but as Jeremy Corbyn has informed Parliament, there are 6,600 less mental health nurses compared with 2010. Massive cuts in local authority budgets have led to cut in mental health services to school children among others. Birmingham City Council is cutting £250,000 from the budget to pay for school psychologists. There will be a speaker from Birmingham Keep NHS Public to explain these cuts.

The Council has confirmed the closure of Aston Library, situated in one of the most socially deprived areas of the city, and the temporary suspension of the closure of the Sutton Coldfield Library looks very likely it will turn into a permanent closure. These are acts of cultural vandalism by the council but are ultimately determined by the massive cuts to local authority funding by the previous coalition and the present Tory governments. A speaker from the Library campaign will urge opposition to these cuts to local libraries.

If organisations want to speak at the rally or want to sponsor the event contact Stuart from Birmingham Against the Cuts at 0777 156 7496 or [email protected]