Union leaders and MPs are publicly backing tenants and campaigners against benefit cuts which they say ‘must stop’. The leaders of Unite and PCS are supporting a Benefit Justice joint call to action, initiated by Defend Council Housing, Disabled People Against Cuts and others.
A joint letter signed by Len McCluskey for Unite, and Mark Serwotka of PCS, which includes many benefits workers, says debt, hunger and homelessness will get worse if ‘vicious’ cuts to Council Tax, Disability and Housing Benefits, including the Bedroom Tax, go ahead. “People receiving benefits did not cause the banking and economic crisis and we do not accept them being scapegoated to pay for it,” they declare.
The Benefit Justice Campaign is bringing together all those opposed to devastating benefit cuts. “By linking up we can challenge the government’s divide and rule tactics and unite the 99% of people hit by these cuts,” said Ellen Clifford of Disabled People Against Cuts.
A first organising meeting drew 40 people from 31 organisations, including the massive ‘Bedroom Tax — fightback starts here’ Facebook group. Slogans agreed included ‘Cut Rents Not Benefits’, ‘Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay’ and ‘Can’t Move, Won’t Move’. Community, trade unions, tenant organisations and individuals can support the campaign by signing the statement. Local Benefit Justice groups are already springing up.
- Cuts in benefits are an unjust attack on the poor. Cuts concentrated on Housing Benefit are already breaking up families, communities and support networks. They will mean poverty, debt and evictions.
- We oppose all cuts in benefits and tax credits. We did not cause the banking and economic crisis and will not be scapegoated to pay for it.
- We reject false divisions and stigmatisation of people who are lowpaid or unpaid.
- We will join with local and national campaigns including disabled people, tenants, unemployed workers, trade unions, students, pensioners, single mothers and others to oppose benefit cuts.
- We will support and link up local campaigns.
- We oppose all evictions and legal action against those hit by benefit cuts and support all actions taken in defence.
What you can do
- Come to the Benefit Justice Summit on at 11am on 9th March at the University of London Union, Malet Street, London, WCIE 7HY.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or info@ defendouncilhousing.org.uk
- Get trade unions, tenant and community organisation to come to the Summit, and support the Statement
- Ask local organisations to invite a Benefit Justice speaker
- Create a local Benefit Justice network
- Support Benefit Justice protests in London and locally on 20th March
For more information , contact the Benefit Justice Campaign c/o PO Box 33519 London E2 9WW or email: email@example.com