UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The long fight against austerity & cuts – local, national & global

‘Uniting those inside the workplaces with those outside them but who use the services provided from the workplaces can be a powerful alliance’ writes Gregor Gall in an assessment of how local struggles against Con Dem cuts can be generalised into a campaign of resistance: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/107069

Sam Webb refers to a struggle against austerity which is ‘sweeping the U.S. and Europe. Not for decades have we seen such a surge of struggle in this part of the world. Moreover, the protest actions are massive and likely to increase in intensity and scope as time passes’: http://peoplesworld.org/europe-and-u-s-have-same-problem-capitalism/

The Con Dem Government’s plan is to reduce public spending from its peak of 47.4% of national income in 2009–10 to 39.3% by 2015–16 - an eventual reduction of £126 billion. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has stated that the period from April 2011 is ‘set to be the tightest five-year period for public spending since at least the Second World War. Out of 29 leading industrial countries, the IMF forecasts that only Iceland and Ireland will deliver sharper falls in spending as a share of national income than the UK between 2010 and 2015.’

Although it is early days in this austerity onslaught, anti cuts coalitions such as the trade union led Northern Public Services Alliance in the North East of England have shown that it is possible to galvanise support at both community and workplace levels to resist cuts in local services: http://falseeconomy.org.uk/campaigns/item/northern-public-services-alliance

The urgent challenge is to build campaigns of similar effectiveness across all nations and regions of the UK.