Bloxwich Labour Councillors and supporters will be around and about in Bloxwich tomorrow, Saturday 30th March, to collect signatures from local residents on a petition in protest against the Tory/LibDem Coalition Government’s increasingly unpopular “Bedroom Tax” which was proposed by Chancellor George Osborne in his recent Budget and is expected to hit the most vulnerable hardest.
According to a press release from the Walsall Labour Group, the number of unemployed in Walsall is now higher than when the coalition government took power and they say that evidence shows that the number is likely to climb as manufacturing industry reports a fall in output.
Walsall Labour Group spokesman George Makin said:
“On the same day the chancellor, George Osborne, announced his budget, the Office for National Statistics revealed that the number of people claiming job seeker’s allowance in February rose to 10,565, compared to 9,533 in July 2010 when the government introduced its austerity measures.
“They follow the publication earlier this month of figures showing manufacturing industry nationally reported only 0.1% growth in the last quarter – sparking fears of a triple dip recession since the government took power.”
Describing the latest figures as ‘deeply worrying’ Labour group leader on Walsall council, Cllr Tim Oliver, said:
“We are facing a bleak future with no sign of a light at the end of the tunnel. For every job centre vacancy there are five people claiming job seeker allowance.
“Manufacturing industry in Walsall accounts for approximately 13 per cent of jobs in the borough so the fall in output hits us badly, while over 30 per cent are in the public sector which is being savaged by the government’s austerity programme. In retail we have the second highest rate of void shops in the country – the only growth is in the number of payday loan firms and pawnbrokers who are opening premises in the borough. Nothing that the chancellor has announced will tackle these problems.
“Both in national government and in Walsall Council we have Tory/Lib Dem coalitions that refuse to accept their polices are not working or even to accept that their cuts are making matters worse not better.”
“We believe that instead the government should invest in growth, and that support should be given to those who are being hardest hit by the economic downturn. Scrapping the bedroom tax and looking again at the costs to families of all the benefits changes should be a priority before giving tax cuts to the richest people in the country.”
Bloxwich Labour Councillors are expected to set up in Bloxwich Market Place and will also likely be seen up and down the High Street tomorrow.