Poverty on the rise as Birmingham’s Labour council freezes burial fees!

Poverty on the rise as Birmingham’s Labour council freezes burial fees!

An article carried in the Independent newspaper says the “Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF)[i] found that Britain’s record on tackling poverty had reached a turning point and was at risk of unravelling, with nearly 400,000 more children and 300,000 more pensioners living in poverty than five years ago. Their report showed a total of 14 million people in the UK currently live in poverty – more than one in five of the population.

Now the latest figures, collated by the End Child Poverty coalition through analysis of tax credit data and national trends in worklessness, estimate that child poverty in Manchester and Birmingham stands at 44 per cent and 43 per cent respectively. In the London borough of Tower Hamlets this reaches 53 per cent.

When broken down into constituencies, the figures indicate that Bethnal Green and Bow in London has the highest child poverty rate at 54 per cent, while in Ladywood in Birmingham 53 per cent are living in poverty. Among the 20 parliamentary constituencies with the highest levels of childhood poverty, seven are located in London, three in Birmingham and three in Manchester.[ii]

Our Labour councillors last year wasted more than £6million of tax payer’s money attempting to attack the wages of local bin men, £6m that could have been spent on child services, looking after our elderly and preventing the worst effects of poverty in Birmingham. Now they announce plans to cut a further £53m off the budget despite hiking up the Council tax this year.

The Birmingham Post reported Council Leader Ian Ward saying “We have listened and, even at a time of continuing government cuts, we are investing in the services that matter most to the people of Birmingham.”

According to the Post “Labour bosses said they had listened on several key issues, including reducing the tax hike, freezing burial and cremation fees and not introducing charges for library book reservations.”[iii]

It will be little comfort for our poor and needy to know that what wasn’t spent keeping them alive has been kept back for their everlasting interment.

What you can do

If you want to fight for a better Birmingham, and a better world, join the campaign to elect Birmingham Worker candidates to the city council:

[i] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/poverty-britain-joseph-rowntree-foundation-report-theresa-may-social-mobility-commission-million-a8089491.html

[ii] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/child-poverty-uk-cities-london-birmingham-manchester-welfare-cuts-benefits-food-parents-households-a8174436.html

[iii] https://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/regional-affairs/birmingham-council-storing-up-tax-14280869

Promoted on behalf of SammI Ibrahem, Reuben Lawrence & Katherine Cremer by Birmingham Worker 274 B12 0BS

Support for RMT members out on strike in Birmingham

The Birmingham Worker calls on our supporters and friends to defend and lend their support to RMT rail workers who are out on strike. 

RMT strike December 2017_BIRM_pg 1

Race for profits = more train delays

Attacks on working conditions and cuts to services have forced rail workers to take industrial action to protect their jobs and public safety.

When railways were nationalised and there was an integrated national service, terms and conditions across the industry could be uniform. Now that privatisation has carved up the train network between dozens of different companies, working conditions and disputes between workers and managers can arise at any one of several companies at any time and standards and safety are constantly under threat from a race to the bottom, driven by the need to maximise profits.

The government’s solution to the fragmentation, unaccountability and petty rivalries that privatisation has inevitably bred in the previously integrated national rail service is … more privatisation!

Strike action is a DIRECT result of train management attacks on workers. If your train has been delayed, it is not the fault of workers, but management.

Show your support for the workers.

You can claim back the cost of your ticket under the Delay Repay scheme. Collect a form from the station or apply online at:  https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/delayrepay   or https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/customer-service/contact-us/delay-repay

Cross Country services recruit scab managers

Cross Country operate trains in and out of Birmingham from Tamworth, Nottingham, East Midlands, Bristol, Cardiff, Sheffield, Leeds, Cambridge, Bournemouth, Reading, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

The RMT union have warned passengers “that the company are trying to recruit a scab army of managers, ill-equipped and without the skills and training needed to fulfil the safety-critical role of the guard, and paid a bounty of £250 with luxury hotel accommodation thrown in. Drivers are now being strong-armed by the company with the imposition of compulsory overtime.”

The “RMT has warned that these bogus train managers are acting outside of their substantive role and are poorly trained, incapable of carrying out the full role and responsibility of a fully competent and safety critical guard”.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“It is disgraceful that the management at Arriva effectively sabotaged talks… that were making progress towards a settlement to this dispute and were instead focused on dishing out cash bungs to a dangerous scab army of under-cooked management recruits to try and break the action.”

Strike action is a result of train management sabotaging talks.

Show your support for the workers.