Stop the Cuts Campaign
PRESS RELEASE – 12th April 2013
The Assembly Executive’s decision to fund two £40 million health centres in Newry and Lisburn will “put millions of pounds of public money in the pockets of big businesses at the expense of essential health services” an anti-cuts group has claimed.
According to Pat Lawlor of the Stop the Cuts Campaign “Even Health Minister Edwin Poots has acknowledged that he has no idea how much public money he will pay to private developers – money that should be kept within the NHS and more efficiently used to provide essential healthcare, create jobs and services.”
“Financed through a mechanism known as third party development (3PD), private sector companies will be allowed to build facilities, leasing the buildings back to the health service at extortionate rates.”
“Privatisation has been roundly discredited as a means to provide essential health services. The only people who benefit are shareholders, big business and profiteers.
Picket of Health and Social Care Board
“Health workers, trade unions and local communities are completely opposed to the privatisation of our health service. In response to the Assembly’s health cuts and creeping privatisation, the Stop the Cuts Campaign with supported from NIPSA have organised a protest on the 24th April outside the Health and Social Care Board in Linen Hall St at 1pm.
All people opposed to the Assembly’s health cuts should come along and make their voices heard.”
From Monday 1st April 2013
Bedroom tax introduced.
Working age housing benefit and unemployment claimants who have one spare bedroom will lose 14% of their housing benefit and those with two or more spare bedrooms will lose 25%. 2/3 of the people hit by the bedroom tax are disabled.
As many as 660,000 people in social housing will lose an average of £728 a year.
Households earning between £14,000 and £32,000 will have to take a means test. Family law cases including divorce, child custody, immigration and employment cases will be badly affected.
Council tax benefit passes into local control.
Across the UK, council tax benefit currently a single system administered by the Department for Work and Pensions, is being transferred to local councils with a reduction in funding of 10%. Council tax benefit is claimed by 5.9 million low-income families in the UK. The new onus on councils has come at a time when local government funding, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has fallen by 26.8% in two years in real terms. Eighty one councils last week found many claiming they face difficult cuts, with almost half saying they were reducing spending on care services for adults. This also comes at a time when 2.4 million households will see a council tax rise. It is currently unclear how the Assembly Executive will introduce this into N.Ireland, but given that they have imposed all other cuts by Westminster. There is no reason to believe that the Assembly will not introduce this.
More privatisation introduced into the NHS.
An NHS commissioning board and a total of 240 local commissioning groups will take control of budgets to buy services for patients. They will be allowed to buy from any service providers, this will see a massive increase of big businesses tendering for services as a means to make big profits at the expense of healthcare.
So far £1.4 billion has been cut from the health budget, to be followed by cuts as high as £5 billion in 2015 due to job cuts alone.
While working people get cuts the rich get richer as 50p tax rate scrapped for high earners.
13,000 millionaires will get a £100,000 tax cut.
Disability living allowance scrapped.
The personal independence payment (PIP) replaces the disability living allowance cutting millions of pounds of much needed benefits from disabled people.
Benefit uprating begins.
For the first time in history benefits and tax credits will not rise in line with inflation, effectively a cut in benefits as families are forced to decide whether to buy food or heat their homes as household bills soar.
Nearly 9.5 million families will be affected, including 7 million in work, by £165 a year.
Welfare benefit cap.
No benefit claimants will receive in total more than the average annual household income after tax and national insurance – estimated at £26,000. Up to 80,000 families will be made homeless.
Universal Credit Introduced.
This will enforce rigid and severe new sanctions regime if claimants force to undertake a new fortnightly job search trial to ensure all jobseeker’s allowance and unemployment claimants are automatically signed onto Job Match, an internet-based job-search mechanism. This will see claimants lose benefits unless they can prove they are actively seeking employment or not take up any offered employment irrespective of pay and conditions, forcing unemployed people into slave labour with no protection.
The SCC believes an organised campaign must now be build linking up trade unions, and communities in opposition to these attacks.