Catholic trade union leader calls for support on march against cuts

Tony Kearns

Tony Kearns

The Catholic senior deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union,  Tony Kearns,  has called on all working people to join the TUC organised “March for the Alternative” to government spending cuts on 26 March.

Mr Kearns described the cuts being imposed as “a systematic attack on the working people of this country.”

The union leader emphasised that the cuts agenda is so far reaching that everyone should turn out for the march. “If you have children and grandchildren and you expect them to get a decent state education, then you need to be on the march,” said Mr Kearns. “People who are going to use the NHS over the next 25 years need to be on the march. Anyone who is going to use council services needs to be on the march.”

Mr Kearns warned that if there was not real resistance shown then the government would continue coming back for more and more, until all the structures developed over the past 60 years are destroyed.

The deputy general secretary did not excuse the past Labour Government for past mistakes but said  that the deficit was caused by the international banking crisis. “The last time this country had a deficit like this was in the post World War II period. Then the government spent money to create jobs and create the NHS and welfare state,” said Mr Kearns.

The march is also being backed by the National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN), which hopes that as many people of faith as possible will turn out. “We are certainly backing the march and hope that clergy and laity will make their presence felt on the day,” said Ann Peace, chair of NJPN.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber described the march as having two aims, bringing together the people opposed to the cuts but also showing that there is an alternative way to proceed.

"A different timetable for reducing the deficit will allow recovery to make a much bigger contribution to closing the deficit. A fairer tax system that clamps down on tax dodging by big corporations and wealthy individuals spreads the burden more fairly. Making the banks pay a Robin Hood tax asks those who caused the crash to undo the damage they did. And above all we need economic policies which create jobs and boost sustainable economic growth. This is the only long term way to close the deficit and reduce the nation’s debt," said Mr Barber.

The march starts at 11 am on 26 March from Victorian Embankment (between Temple Place and Blackfriars) to march to a rally in Hyde Park.

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