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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 June 2012

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Scrap Welfare 'Counter-Reform'!

Ken Richie , Disabled activist and Southampton Socialist Party member

I feel like I've lost everything - day services, home help and back to work support. I have severe sight impairment. For 12 years I was a regular user of the Sembal House Resource Centre, where I had a wide range of activities and advice. It was a day out of the house, meeting friends. Sometimes I would go five days a week. My home help for shopping was really useful, I also had help with my post and filling in forms.

Last year I was deemed fit for work, but that's not true. In the past I did office work, which I was good at. Now if I don't find work I could face losing disability benefit and even my home. They want to put me onto Personal Independent Payment, which could mean a cut in the benefit I receive.

They shouldn't have made these changes without consultation. I'm not able to go out now and can't meet friends.

In the past our own GPs did the assessment, which we prefer as you get more time and are treated better. Now I have been assessed by private company Atos. I was not allowed to see my report. Atos is making a profit from slashing people's living standards, which isn't right. The contract should be withdrawn and the powers returned to GPs.

David Cameron has said if you can't work through no fault of your own, it's a civilized society's responsibility to look after to you. So why are they making these changes?

The Welfare 'Counter-Reform' Act should be scrapped! If you can work you should expect a reasonable job with flexible hours, decent pay and support. These cuts must be reversed with services restored. The trade unions should keep fighting with us.

I joined the Socialist Party because the mainstream parties are all the same. In the Socialist Party I've met other people who are fighting against the cuts and for a better way of organising society.

We hear more and more anger against the cuts on our campaign stalls. Many of these people will join us too.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 6 June 2012:


Fight the cuts!

NHS cuts... Pension cuts... RESIST CUTS!

National Shops Stewards Network

Liverpool TUSC: Standing against Labour's cuts

Tory leader chauffeur driven while slashing services

Children still getting raw deal


Socialist Party news and analysis

Energy bill puts profits before the planet

Andy Coulson charged with lying

Youth unemployment sky-rocketing

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Syria: Is there a way to avoid a bloody civil war?

Ireland: Austerity Treaty


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fighting cuts and sexism at Newcastle's Slutwalk

Heathrow protest against warmonger Rajapaksa

We won't be a lost generation - Fight for jobs and education!

Campaigning for EMA and youth services

Disabled people's organisations condemn views of Tory minister IDS

A royal debate in Lincoln


Socialist Party workplace news

DVLA workers strike to defend services

Solid strikes show that Veolia privatisation is rubbish

Support Churchill cleaners on Tyne & Wear Metro

Leeds university Unison - Save our pensions!

Privateers not welcome at Sussex University

Workplace news in brief


Reviews and comments

Britain's hidden homeless

Why I joined the Socialist Party


 

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Related links:

Socialist Party:

triangleKen Douglas

triangle3rd June anti-racist demonstrations across Britain

triangleBradford Socialist Party: Black lives matter - How we build a fightback

triangleNewcastle Socialist Party: Smash racism! Black lives matter

trianglePandemic doesn't stop Socialist Party educating organisers: northern meeting

Welfare:

triangleEven social-care bosses say cuts have gone too far

triangleEnd Tory cold cruelty: life under austerity in Merthyr

triangleTories out. Scrap Universal Credit. Fight for living wages and welfare!

triangleRobbing the working class

Cuts:

triangleCouncil finance disaster: set emergency no-cuts budgets and fight for funds!

triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

triangleSafe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

Disability:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Disability rights and socialism

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