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Posted on 24 March 2020 at 11:30 GMT

Newham campaign set up against council cuts and tax hikes

Back in the mists of time, on 6 March, in the days before Coronavirus was dominating everything, local residents in Newham came together to organise opposition to the budget that had just been agreed by the Labour council.

The budget, proposed by Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz - allegedly a 'Corbynista' - includes 45 million worth of cuts, an annual increase of 3.99% a year in council tax, and a proposal to start charging residents for parking permits.

Newham has one of the poorest populations in Britain, but its council, which is 100% Labour, has more than 500 million in useable reserves.

The meeting - which included many Labour Party members along with Socialist Party members and others - agreed to set up a campaign 'No to First Car Permit' opposing all the planned cuts and tax hikes.

Now, in the age of Corona, the campaign is more important than ever. Countless Newham residents are facing huge losses in income; this is not the time for a Labour council to increase taxation.

What is more, far from making cuts, the council needs to be urgently spending more in order to take emergency measures to care for the vulnerable in the borough.

The campaign's plan to lobby the council in person has had to be put on hold, but Tahir Mirza, chair of East Ham Constituency Labour Party, has written an open letter to the mayor calling on her to withdraw the council tax increase and parking review, and the campaign has launched a petition calling for this alongside reversal of cuts and emergency spending on coronavirus: http://chng.it/NDHLt22ztj

Hannah Sell, East London Socialist Party

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Related links:

Newham:

triangleProtest against immigration enforcement centre in Newham

triangleNewham: Closed and evicted

triangleSchools... no going back until it's safe

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Why are coronavirus deaths higher in working-class areas?

triangleCommunities condemn Tory handling of crisis - with safe protests

Tax:

triangleBosses earn workers' annual wage in three days

triangleSuper-rich tax evasion costs 34 million nurses worldwide

triangleUnder the microscope

triangleUnder the microscope

Cuts:

triangleSocialist Party national women's meeting

triangleLondoners suffer and Khan piles on pressure

triangleNottingham City Council: Major battles against cuts ahead

Council:

triangleRyan Aldred: Why I'm standing for Usdaw's EC

Labour:

triangleMay elections: Tories and Labour's Khan both vying to slash public services

Budget:

triangleUnions must resist return to austerity

Coronavirus:

triangleThe Tory blame game: scapegoating the working class - 100% pay for all now

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