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Anne Barr’s speech to today’s Anti Austerity rally


annebarrspeech031214.croppedHello everyone. I’m Anne Barr from the Green Party.

Can I pass on apologies from our 4 Green councillors for not being here – they’re all inside the Town Hall at today’s Council meeting.

What have today’s Autumn Budget Statement debates told us?

For me, they’ve confirmed that all 3 of the main political parties imply yet more austerity.

But we’ve pledged to tackle poverty and inequality. We’d reverse the widening gap between the rich and the less well-off.

We need to invest in the services that matter. Better public transport and better safety for cyclists and pedestrians – not more road-building.

More affordable housing, plus energy efficiency (like good insulation) and renewable energy. Creating worthwhile jobs, reducing fuel poverty and moving towards a low-carbon future.

We must raise the minimum wage immediately to “living wage” levels – with a £10 an hour minimum wage by 2020. End zero hours contracts. Halt the attack on people receiving welfare benefits.

And the NHS needs more funding. To provide more front-line staff, with decent pay and conditions – that’s why Greens have been supporting the current pay campaign.

We must reverse the real damage caused by NHS privatisation and constant changes.

Those are just a few examples. And where would the money come from?

We’ve pressed for years for tackling tax avoidance and closing tax loopholes. And a wealth tax so the richest pay their fair share.

If we all stand together, we can get the changes everyone needs. More equality, not austerity. Not a squandering of people’s lives, but a better future for everyone.

Thanks very much


Topics: Anne Barr, Central, City Wide, General, Health, Housing, Transport