`No To Public Sector Cuts – Make The Bosses Pay!' – this was one of the placards waved by members of TUSC (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition) outside Salford Civic Centre last night, as the Tory/LibDem coalition announced huge cuts in public spending in its first budget announcement.
"There'll be no further investment in our communities and services that we need and there needs to be a response" said TUSC's Steven North "There's people protesting all over Greater Manchester and we wanted to make sure that there was a voice of resistance in Salford on the day it was all announced."
Salford, despite years of investment from the previous Government, is still one of the most so-called `deprived' areas in the country, and these cuts, Steve explained, will hit our community particularly hard.
"There's a rise in VAT to 20% which will affect the poorest the most; there's 25% cuts across govt departments; heavier cuts than Thatcher in capital spending which is roads and transport; a review on public sector pensions; privatisation of Royal Mail; benefits, pensions and tax credits will be brought in line with the consumer price index rather than retail price index which is lower – and represents something like a 3% cut in benefits; child benefit have been frozen…but corporation tax has been cut by 1% . It's an us and them budget.
"We've heard nothing about Salford's need from Hazel Blears or John Merry" he added "And if they are not prepared to stand up for Salford it's up to us to do it basically."
The next step is the big UNISON demo outside Salford Civic Centre at noon on Monday to which everyone is invited.
Photos by Albert Spiby.