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Austerity bus rolls into town

Tales of hardship? Unions say they are listening

Published on June 18th 2013.

Austerity bus rolls into town

IN an indifferent world, it's not every day you get asked for your tales of hardship.

But this week, union leaders are looking for exactly that – and they will doubtless find rich pickings, as it were, in various blighted districts of Merseyside.

Evidence that can be used against the Government's austerity programme will be collected from Bootle, Everton, Kirkby and Norris Green when the TUC’s Austerity Uncovered campaign bus arrives tomorrow (June 19).

Lynn1Lynn CollinsThe bus tour is part of a two-week national and regional programme of events launched by the TUC.

On board will be a documentary film crew, together with union leaders, campaigners and journalists who will be gathering evidence about the damage to people and local communities by the government’s failed austerity programme.

TUC North West Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: Merseyside has been hit harder than most by austerity and we want to hear people's own stories about the impact on their lives.

We want to hear from those who are suffering the most under the Government’s austerity programme – their personal stories, experiences, worries and concerns.

We hope the people of Merseyside will come along to meet us and give their evidence about austerity which is cutting their public services, living standards, and pay and conditions."

The Merseyside visit will get under way at 8am on Wednesday when the campaign bus will arrive at UNISON’s national conference at the Liverpool Echo Arena to meet local people and hear their stories of austerity.

Who knows what they will do with them, but if you don't telll....

At 9 am, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady will meet Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis on board the bus, where they will be available for a photo opportunity and media interviews.

The bus stops here

Wednesday 19 June

8:00  Liverpool Echo Arena, Riverside entrance, Kings Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool L3 4FP

10:15 - 11.30     Kirkby Unemployed Centre, Westhead Avenue, Northwood, Kirkby, L33 0XN

12:00 - 13:00     Ellergreen Community Centre, Ellergreen Road, Liverpool, L11 2RY

13:30 - 14.30     West Everton Community Centre, 46 Bute Street, Liverpool Merseyside, L5 3LA

15:00 - 15:30     Hugh Baird Community Centre, Hugh Baird College, Balliol Road, Bootle, Liverpool, L20 7EW

15:45 - 16:45  Bootle Strand Shopping Centre, Bootle New Strand, Stanley Road, Bootle

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14 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJune 18th 2013.

Austerity does damage communities but that is to be expected and does not make it a failure. It is necessary because of the dire economic circumstances we have found ourselves in.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 19th 2013.

"We". Please do not propagate the myth that "We" are all in it together.

Tony BrokeJune 19th 2013.

We were plunged into the current economic circumstances by bankers and right-wing politicians. Bizarrely they consider that making it needlessly worse for the blameless masses is the way to make things better!

AnonymousJune 19th 2013.

Erm you mean left wing politicians surely - it was a labour government afterall. needlessly worse? many people think there was a need for belt tightening, it is afterall the best way out of debt.

Tony BrokeJune 19th 2013.

1. We haven't had a government that was remotely left-wing since the 1970s, so stop deceiving yourself. 2. Why must those who are innocent, have least and now have even less be expected to tighten their belts in the face of obscenely conspicuous consumption by a guilty élite that is getting even richer when we are all supposed to be “in it together”?

AnonymousJune 18th 2013.

The UK has the fifth largest economy in the world. The deficit is manageable without the need for austerity and the destruction of the Public Sector. We need growth and investment in these services not cut. That will feed demand and increase long term revenue. The deficit is not the result of public spending it is long term market forces and a reduction in government income that will not be solved by slashing local services and jobs. The scare mongering around the deficit is a deceit and it is being used to convince the public for the need to dismantle the welfare state and destroy public services in favour of privatisation. It is ideologically based to divert people's attentions away from the main causes of the recession and economic collapse and shift the blame to the working people and those on benefits. In other words to con people into believing that attacking and dismantling the welfare state and removing the most basic social safety nets, privatising the NHS is the only solution. They use this deceit to convince people to accept this ideological attack when in fact the answer is more investment to boost the economy, create jobs and deal with the inequalities and abuses of the tax system.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
ObserverJune 18th 2013.

Very well said

AnonymousJune 19th 2013.

The Deficit is manageable but the DEBT is not. without austerity and a surer financial footing the cost of borrowing to finance the Debt would go up 4 or 5 fold (as it did for greece). That would make the deficit and the debt unmanagable and would cause stirling to loose much of its value. when you consider that we import much of our food and most of our consumer goods prices would go up and every single family in the country would find its financial position much much worse, preventing a demand led economy. incidentaly at the same time we would have high inflation driven by price increases, falling house prices eroding the value of most peoples bigest financial asset and of course inflation on top of a stagnant economy is the economic disaster that we had in the 70's. Austerity isnt such a bad thing if you know a little about economics rather than alot about left wing ideology and a misplaced belief that a keynesian based economic policy alone can fix this mess.

Tony BrokeJune 19th 2013.

If the Deficit is manageable, why is Osborne not managing it?

Arthur PercentJune 19th 2013.

What "economic disaster that we had in the 70's"? There were more jobs, shorter hours, private sector workers had occupational pensions, British Rail cost the taxpayers less than a sixth of what the privatised railways cost them now, rents were cheap, house prices affordable with on one breadwinner in the household. If you knew a lot more about economics and believed less Tory monetarist dogma you might stand a chance of understanding why people are angry.

AnonymousJune 19th 2013.

There are plenty of hard up people in south Liverpool, Hate the way these careerists pick the stereotypical areas

John ShawJune 19th 2013.

Austerity is nothing new. We have fought two World Wars and countless other wars, in fact we're currently fighting wars. the only war we're not fighting is the one on poverty in this country. Recently this chancellor reduced the £1.8M the richest could commit to a pension to £1.5M. The vast majority of people live in the real world and cannot muster anywhere near as much. We work most of our lives and accrue a fraction of this, we contribute NI and tax and if we're lucky enough to reach a fastly disappearing retirement age, they change the goalposts. They then have the audacity to refer to it as a "benefit". I know when I'm hard up, I only have to look at my ever increasing utility bills.

AnonymousJune 19th 2013.

These people will portray the public generally with a pint in their hand, or smoking a cigarette emerging from a chip shop.

Arthur PercentJune 20th 2013.

One thing that hasn't changed since the 1970s is the anti-union hysteria in the Tory-owned media and the BBC. As long as this continues I can't see the point in the exercise as all news coverage of it is going to be very negative.

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