Austerity plea heading for PM
5:30am Tuesday 8th July 2014 in By Marion Sauvebois
CAMPAIGNERS are poised to deliver a petition to Number 10 tomorrow demanding the Prime Minister wake up to what they describe as the disastrous impact of austerity measures on ordinary people.
In December last year, Swindon People’s Assembly was out in force in the town centre asking passers-by to write on a large Christmas card addressed to David Cameron, detailing how successive cuts had affected their lives.
After months of planning the group has been invited to the capital to hand the card to an official at Number 10.
“Initially we thought we would get people’s stories and find out how the cuts were affecting people locally,” said Kate Linnegar, of Swindon People’s Assembly. “But people asked us to take it to David Cameron. It has taken us from January until now to arrange an appointment.
“We have only had 20 per cent of the cuts proposed by the coalition Government. If you consider how hard it is now for people, what is it going to be like if the other 80 per cent are brought in?”
The 52-year-old from Rodbourne added: “One in six adults in Swindon lives close to the edge of their finances. People don’t feel they are going to be looked after. The safety net has been taken away. A lot of people think we can’t make a change. But we need to raise awareness, stand up and say it’s not acceptable.”
Assembly member James Yeowel, 33, of Rodbourne added: “It’s not just people who are unemployed who are affected. People working are on lower wages and they are really having to cut back due to these austerity measures.”
The large card contains 57 points each written by different residents. While some said they feared for the future, others candidly described their life post-recession and their daily struggle to make ends meet.
Fellow campaigner Angel Grace, 42, of West Swindon, who designed the card said: “Most people wrote about how the bedroom tax was unfair and disabled people about how affected they were by losing their benefits.
“The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Everybody wants to be able to afford things and to live a good life on a normal wage. The cuts have affected how families live. It’s time to help the poor.”
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