SDLP leader pleas ‘poverty' as we face their cuts


SDLP leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell has claimed that Stormont assembly members should be entitled to a ‘small increment’ on their 43,000 basic salary a year and better pension payments to keep them from ‘poverty’ in retirement. Yet again one rule for them and another for the rest of us as these gangsters on the hill expect us to bear the brunt of their vicious cuts in jobs and services being imposed by all our local political parties at the behest of their masters from Westminster.

All this from the same politicians who have double jobs, milk the expenses system dry and then jump on the bandwagon with the recent public sector strike. Providing little comfort to those of us at the coalface who are being made to pay for the crimes and greed of the 1%.

Meanwhile planned cuts in housing benefits are coming into force which could effect up to 6,000 people making many homeless. Government changes mean young people aged between 24 and 35, who live alone and receive housing benefit face cuts of up to £40 a week. Concerns have been raised by housing support groups that many will struggle to find the extra cash to stay in their current accommodation and will have to find shared housing.

Ursula Toner, from the Housing Rights Service, said she has a number of concerns about the change and the potential impacts.

"To be single and in need of accommodation, it is only in limited circumstances that you may be able to avail of social housing and even if you are on the list for social housing, you are likely to be on a waiting list," she said.

William, 27, lives in north Belfast told BBC Newsline that he has been unemployed since work in the construction sector dried up. He is also worried about how he will find the extra money. "My rent is £100 a week," he said. "At the minute I currently make up £23 of that. "I got a letter in November to say they were going to cut it by £27, so basically they have cut my rent to £50 that they are going to pay and I am going to have to make up the shortfall on that. "What I am looking at is being made homeless."

In the last few years the divide between the politicians, the richest in our society and rest of us couldn’t be more stark and the battle lines exposed more than ever. The ruling class will continue to attack us at every level and strip of us of hard won workplace rights and right to a social wage until we begin to organise a fight back and let them know who is boss.

The WSM will be hosting a public meeting on Fighting the Cuts & Anarchist Alternative in the workers cafe, 48 King street in Belfast city centre on the 28th January at 2pm. All welcome!