The alternative to the cuts =
How to raise £100+ billion and save our public services
London – 25 March 2011
Peter Tatchell writes:
Social welfare and public services are human rights issues. When these are cut, people suffer.
I am supporting Saturday’s TUC anti-cuts demo. But I fear that without a credible alternative plan to cut the deficit, these protests will not succeed. The deficit is real and the public have a right to know how it will be remedied. The anti-cuts campaign will only gain real traction if we can show people that the deficit can be overcome without harming public and social services.
It is not true, as David Cameron and Nick Clegg keep claiming, that there is no alternative to their savage cuts.
UKuncut is right to point out that closing tax avoidance loopholes exploited by the super rich would raise at least an extra £20 billion a year. Axing the Trident nuclear programme and other unnecessary military equipment procurement would save nearly £100 billion. A tax of 0.05% (one-twentieth of 1%) on financial & commodity transactions would be hardly noticed but it would raise £100+ billion a year. This tax alone would clear the deficit in 18 months without any need to slash services and jobs.
I am all in favour of opposing the cuts. But to win this battle we need more than oppositionism. We need to offer practical, credible - and just - solutions to the deficit. The Greens, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish Nationalist Party are doing this. Let’s also hear it from Labour and the TUC too.
For me, the way the economy is run is a democratic and human rights issue. See my article setting out the case for economic democracy, empowerment, transparency, decentralisation and accountability: