Eastbourne street protest against tax credit cuts

A lookalike of Chancellor George Osborne cuts the �8m cheque
A lookalike of Chancellor George Osborne cuts the �8m cheque

The Eastbourne People’s Assembly Against Austerity staged a street protest at Bankers Corner in central Eastbourne on Saturday against the Government’s proposed tax credit cuts.

The group said the cuts, if they went ahead, would mean that 8,600 working households would lose an average of £1,300 per year from their household incomes.

The cuts would also mean that the Eastbourne economy would lose more than £8 million a year, the campaigners said, as most of the low income families that rely on tax credits would have spent their tax credits locally buying goods and services from local businesses.

To highlight the loss of so much money to Eastbourne families and the Eastbourne economy, a super-sized cheque for £8 million was symbolically cut up by a lookalike of Chancellor George Osborne.

The street protest comes hard on the heels of a large petition against the tax credit cuts handed in last week to Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell at her constituency office by local members of 38 Degrees.

Members of Eastbourne Green Party and Eastbourne Labour Party joined the protest, which gathered many signatures for a petition against the tax credit cuts.

A spokesperson for the Eastbourne People’ Assembly, Jake Lambert, said, “The proposed cut in tax credits is one of the worst examples of why austerity simply does not work. Tax credits help to keep hardworking families out of poverty. Cutting them not only drives them back into poverty but also hurts local businesses by reducing the consumer spending of those families.

“And if poverty in Eastbourne increases, then deprivation increases, imposing higher costs in the long term upon our already hard-pressed local health and social services, many of whom face significant cutbacks if the proposed cut of £40 million in East Sussex County Council adult social care services goes ahead next year.

“How much longer will we have have to endure the economic illiteracy of austerity policies that are undermining the health, prosperity, and well being of everybody in Eastbourne?”

Participants said the street protest was warmly welcomed by many members of the public passing by. Delegates from the Eastbourne People’s Assembly will be attending the National Conference of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity in London on December 5.

For more information about the Eastbourne People’s Assembly, contact eastbourne.peoplesassembly@yahoo.co.uk

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