“The Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) yesterday wrote to local Tory MP Mark Pawsey about austerity, specifically questioning his opposition to a Labour amendment criticising the Queen’s Speech for not having the cap on public sector pay lifted,” Rugby TUSC secretary and spokesperson Pete McLaren has told us.
“We noted that Mark has justified this in the local media on the following grounds:
Labour was playing politics knowing full well that their amendment, if successful, would not have led to any changes in respect of the public sector pay cap as this was not a vote on primary legislation
We should wait until independent public sector pay bodies make recommendations on public sector pay to the Government later in the year.
There have been sacrifices that hard-working people have made to help deal with debts caused by a Labour government and this includes the pay of public sector workers.
We simply cannot repeat the last Labour Government’s reckless spending that plunged our country into such massive debt in the first place
“The Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) put the following questions to him:
How can you say the financial crash was caused by a Labour government when it was world wide, a global event, caused by wealthy banks and bankers particularly in Britain and America?
Is it not true that your Tory government is still borrowing and has regularly missed your own targets, which have been revised by successive Tory Chancellors?
The UK national debt has actually risen since your Tory government came to power in 2010 by over £555 billion! Given your policies, how do you explain that?
How can you accuse a political party of playing politics in Parliament? The Queen’s speech contains a series of measures that outline a Government’s policies for the coming period, and any amendment to that speech could indeed become law
How can you call Labour’s economic strategy, as set out in their recent Manifesto, “reckless”? It is fully costed, largely from a wealth tax and increased corporation tax, neither of which will hit the poor or the vulnerable unlike the austerity policies your Government has been aggressively pursuing.
Is it fair to want to wait to consider public sector pay until later this year, whilst nurses, police, fire fighters, and other public sector workers cannot wait to pay their bills?
And – most importantly – how can you, as an MP, justify keeping public sector pay increases to 1% pa when MPs have awarded themselves pay rises of over 12% in the last two years?
“We pointed out that austerity has, at long last, been rejected and will soon be confined to the dustbin of history. Not only was opposition to austerity the major reason for Jeremy Corbyn’s success on June 8th, particularly amongst young voters, but even Tory Government ministers are falling over backwards to put pressure on the Prime Minister to end austerity NOW, and are specifically calling for an end to that public sector pay freeze.
“What the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition has been saying for over six years is about to be recognised and accepted: there is no need for austerity, it is a political choice. There are other, well recognised, ways to deal with the country’s economic problems as the Labour Manifesto outlines.
“Only yesterday we heard that Warwickshire County Council is about to close a number of children’s centres, five of them in Rugby including my own in Long Lawford, because of a shortfall in Government spending of 1.8 million. End austerity, give Councils what they need, and such centres, along with other vital local public services, can remain open, Pete McLaren concluded.
Rugby TUSC can be contacted at: www.rugbytusc.com; on 07881 520626; RugbyTUSC@gmail.com; or PO Box 4123, Rugby CV21 9BJ
Pete McLaren has been re-elected to the TUSC National Steering Committee, and is its Local Group Development Officer. He was the Rugby TUSC Candidate in the 2015 General Election
Pete McLaren has recently been re-elected to the Left Unity National Council, and is therefore in a relatively unique position to comment on developments within the left generally.