Left plans united protest

Submitted by Anon on 10 December, 2005 - 1:25

The Socialist Green Unity Coalition - an alliance including the Alliance for Green Socialism, the Alliance for Workers' Liberty, the Socialist Alliance, and the Socialist Party — has decided on a joint campaign about pensions, with leafletting, street stalls, petitioning, and public meetings.

This is the text of the basic leaflet for the campaign.

The Turner report says that pensions are too costly, and in the future you’ll have to work longer and pay more to get less.

The real “pensions gap” is between rich and poor. The rich monopolise more and more of the wealthy of society. They get better pensions, and live longer to enjoy them.

Over the last 20 years, employer contributions to occupational pension schemes have fallen from about 15% of salary to only 5% today. And governments have let the basic state pension erode so as to ease the tax burden on the well-off and big business.

The Labour Government, Tories, and Liberal-Democrats all agree on making the majority pay more for pensions, work longer, and get less. They differ only on details here — just as they all support privatisation in education and health.

The Socialist Green Unity Coalition brings together organisations and individuals determined to develop independent working-class political representation. When Blair and Brown are more committed to the market than Turner, former leader of Britain’s bosses’ federation, the Labour Party can no longer be seen as providing that representation.

We say:

• Increase the basic state pension so that it provides a decent level of income for all, free of means-testing, and rises annually in line with average earnings.

• Make the bosses pay, through increased tax on the highest incomes and a collective tax on business, restoring the employers’ contribution to pensions.

• Bring high finance and the pension funds under public ownership and democratic control, so that their huge assets can be used to provide a decent life for all instead of privileges for the few.

The Socialist Green Unity Coalition includes the Alliance for Green Socialism, the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, the Socialist Alliance, the Socialist Party, and the Socialist Unity Network. It stood thirty candidates in the May 2005 general election and will contest council seats in many areas in 2006.

SGUC c/o LLA, FREEPOST NEA5794, Leeds, LS7 3YY. www.socialistgreen.org.uk

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