Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/340/5691
The Socialist 27 March 2004 |
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Stop The Jobs Slaughter
Defend Public Services
GORDON BROWN dropped a budget bombshell. Over 40,000 civil
service jobs are to be axed. Thousands more could go through 'efficiency'
Mark Everden from a Brighton Department for Work and
Pensions (DWP) office told the socialist:
"Everyone in my office is stunned. It's indefensible. The
government keep introducing new things which are supposed to help unemployed
people and then they throw a quarter of the staff which are supposed to be
delivering these measures onto the dole.
"It's not a case of 'Yes Minister'-type civil servants
either. The majority who work in the DWP exist on low pay. Many work part-time
and many are single parents. In fact they're some of the very people the DWP
are supposed to be lifting out of poverty! Yet we're expected to join the dole
"Brown's proposals will be especially bad for us in the
south east, as they come on top of the Lyons and the Gershon reports. They want
to move jobs out of the south east. But that will be a disaster. Unemployment
is already starting to go up here and the cost of living is high, so losing
your job can be catastrophic.
"Most people are extremely angry and they feel that this
really is the last straw. But even though people are stunned at Brown's
announcement, they're looking forward to our next strike on 13 April, over pay.
And I've had more people join the union today so that they can take part.
"The PCS reps know that if the regional managers have the
job of picking who's going to be made redundant, the first thing they'll do is
get a list of union activists. So it's in all our interests to fight back
against these attacks."
The axe is mainly falling on the civil service. But the
whole of the public sector is under attack from New Labour.