SUAA meeting Our meeting this month, to discuss and plan our work, will be on TUESDAY, 8th January 2019, in the small meeting room at the Quaker Meeting House, 2 Cooper Street, Stockport, SK1 3DW from 7 pm to 9 pm. The Quaker Meeting House is only a short distance from the bus stops on the A6. Turn down Longshut Lane at the crossroads south of the college and the Co-op store, heading towards Hillgate. You will pass the newly rebuilt meeting house at the junction with Hillgate. Entrance is from the car park at the rear of the building, on Cooper Street. There is disabled access and toilets and we have use of the kitchen facilities.
SUAA Leaflet: A Catalogue Of Cuts Please read/download our latest leaflet that outlines some of the worst cuts associated with austerity.
Stop and Scrap Universal Credit Get rid of the Work Capability Assessment Get rid of Workfare End the sanctions regime Increase social security payments based on people’s needs Outlaw zero hours contracts Create permanent jobs on trade union rates of pay, through investment in renewable energy projects, house building, public transport and caring services
We are now in 'winter mode' for our demonstrations so we will not have a stall but will be leafletting, petitioning, with banners, placards, flags, megaphone speeches.
And above all else solidarity with the working class victims of a vicious government representing the interests of the 1% super rich population. We receive many expressions of appreciation for the support demonstrated from the people we talk to at the jobcentre.
Please join us! Get well wrapped up at this exposed location in our town! And if you travel to support the demonstration but it is raining on arrival, we shelter on such occasions in the Cafe on the Square in St. Peters Square while we wait to see if it fairs up. If you are new to our jobcentre campaign we'll get you a coffee and would love to chat.
Our provisional schedule for following weeks' demonstrations is as follows. Please let us know if you can attend any or all of these. We'll confirm dates in future email updates : Thursday 10 January (10 a.m. to 11 a.m.); Wednesday 16 January and Wednesday 23 January (both 11 a.m. to 12 noon)
Finally, please follow Kate Belgrave's blog for anonymised reports on some of the issues we come across at the jobcentre : http://www.katebelgrave.com/
TRADES UNION CONGRESS SUPPORTS 'STOP AND SCRAP UNIVERSAL CREDIT' DEMAND
A big boost for the campaign which we support, for Universal Credit to be stopped and scrapped, has been gained when the Annual Congress of the TUC, earlier this month, adopted that demand.
A statement of SUAA's case for 'Stop and Scrap', together with our two petitions and other jobcentre campaign material is available in our document repository at : https://tinyurl.com/yb456xqn
STOCKPORT LOCAL ASSISTANCE SCHEME We are very pleased indeed to report that the campaign to get Stockport Council to withdraw its proposal to scrap the Stockport Local assistance Scheme (SLAS) has been successful. The Council has published a statement on its website which contains the news that : "Having carefully listened to the views of our residents, alongside our understanding of how the scheme currently offers support, it is now planned to retain the current SLAS throughout 2019/20 while a wider fundamental review is undertaken of how the needs of individuals and families who encounter crisis are best supported".
Thank you very much indeed to everyone who individually took action in support of this campaign, whether by responding to the Council's official consultation, signing SUAA's petition, lobbying councillors, joining our demonstration at the Town Hall, asking questions at Council meetings, or publicising the issue to colleagues and friends.
Thank you too to all organisations who took up the issue. We have no doubt that it is these individual and group actions, together with the action of Brinnington & Central Ward Councillor, Becky Crawford, who spoke out against the SLAS being scrapped, in the Stockport Express, that has led to this victorious outcome.
We will of course be keeping a careful watch on the fundamental review that the Council is going to carry out.
The signature gathering sessions for the petition, tomorrow and the following Saturday and the petition presentation arrangements which were detailed in our 31 December email update are now clearly superfluous and are therefore CANCELLED.
We have just one more comment to make. The Council's website statement speaks of £147 million of cuts in our public and social services, in our Borough alone, in terms of "financial challenge". We prefer the alternative description suggested by one of our active members. These cuts are not a 'challenge' but are barbarism. Our task for 2019 is to get the maximum number possible of people to see in that way, this and to destruction of services that took decades to build, and to insist, 'End Austerity - Stop the Cuts - Restore and Enhance our public and social services.
I, DANIEL BLAKE A fuller events and information update will follow shortly. For now we will just mention the television premiere tomorrow, of Ken Loach's brilliant and moving film, 'I, Daniel Blake'. If you haven't watched it yet, please do. If you have watched it already, please recommend others to do so.
DIARY DATE - HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY, SUNDAY 27 JANUARY 2019 SUAA will be supporting our friends at Stockport Stand Up to Racism at the annual Holocaust Memorial Day event which, this year, will be on Sunday 27 January in the town centre precinct. Further details will be sent nearer the date, together with details of a leafleting session to advertise the event, which we expect to be held on Saturday 19 January.
TWO NEW REPORTS SHOW HOW AUSTERITY KILLS PEOPLE AND HARMS THE HEALTH OF OUR CHILDREN A study commissioned by Disability News Service has revealed staggering figures showing that the proportion of people claiming Employment & Support Allowance who have attempted suicide doubled between 2007 and 2014 : https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/staggering-esa-suicide-figures-prompt-calls-for-inquiry-and-prosecution-of-ministers/ Meanwhile, a study by the Nuffield Trust illustrates the massive gap that exists between the poorest and richest sections of the population of England, in terms of the health of our children : https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/dec/23/health-gap-between-uk-rich-and-poor?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+main+NEW+H+categories&utm_term=257898&subid=23078629&CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2 HIGH COURT VICTORY SETS ASIDE GOVERNMENT CHANGES TO PIP REGULATIONS A brilliant victory in the High Court has overtuned as unlawful, discriminatory and detrimental changes made by the Government earlier this year to Personal Independence Payment regulations. After losing a case in the Upper Tribunal which decided that the DWP had failed to apply the previous regulations properly, in respect of the assessment test of impairment of ability to make journeys, the government changed the PIP Regulations to suit the manner in which it had previously been misapplying them. As a consequence, claimants of PIP who should have been entitled to the mobility component because their ability to make journeys is impaired by psychological distress, were being refused the mobility payments. This affected not only new claimants of PIP, but thousands of people who were already receiving the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance and had been forced to apply for PIP due to its rolling replacement of DLA. SUAA has congratulated the organisations and the brave individual who brought this case to court. http://www.publiclawproject.org.uk/news/95/high-court-finds-2017-personal-independence-payment-pip-regulations-unlawful COULD YOU MAKE A REGULAR CONTRIBUTION TO HELP FUND OUR ACTIVITIES? Please consider taking out a small regular standing order payment to help us fund our meeting room hire costs and print leaflets, organise public meetings, etc. A standing order mandate form which you can print off and send to your own bank is below. We will be extremely grateful for any financial support you can give.