The East Riding Green Party banner departed Hull Station today for Thursday’s major London demonstration.
In Hull, a meeting of the teachers, public sector workers and trade unionists concerned, will be held at the Quality Royal Hotel on Thursday. The meeting will decide on a demonstration.
Teachers and other public sector workers strike, Thursday, firstly to secure pension arrangements promised to them for years.
Major and unnecessary government changes being proposed will make workers poorer now – and in the future.
Government tells us pensions are unaffordable and unsustainable; we’re living longer; there are more pensioners, etc, etc. But that’s not what the National Audit Office said as of last December (1). It said pension arrangements already in place would stabilise costs in the long-term relative to Britain’s wealth or GDP.
The truth is pensions have already been reformed and made sustainable. This pre-dates the ConDem government proposals and comes before the Hutton Pensions Report. (2)
Under the new proposals, lifelong teachers, for example – would pay much more to government each month in contributions – and then future governments can give them about £200,000 less, each, over the course of their retirement!
The government here – like the government in Greece – is using the notion of a large deficit to beat the people into submission and accept austerity.
So, how DO we lower the deficit??
The first thing the government should do is to begin a low level micro tax on banking – the single biggest industry whose failure is responsible for the current pressure on state finances. It should also close the major tax loopholes that let big corporations off billions in taxes.
Not only are these Green Party policies – they are the policies all the national unions called for at the biggest demonstration on March 26th this year .
We must assume Government is taking this path for ideological reasons. It should not be attacking hard-working public sector professionals.
Chair, Hull and East Riding Green Party
1. The National Audit Office concluded: “In addition to saving significant sums of money, the changes are projected to stabilise costs in the long-term around their current level as a proportion of GDP.”
3. The ConDems have already replaced the pensions-RPI link with the lower CPI link so taking 15% off the value of pensions.