Sunday, August 7, 2011

British austerity continues to take toll

Source: Press TV

The number of British people who have gone bankrupt in the second quarter of 2011 has spiked to more than 30,000 as the country grapples with a deteriorating economic crisis.

The UK Insolvency Service released new figures, which show the government's austerity measures coupled with an unprecedented debt crisis across Europe and the United States are inflicting serious damage on each and every individual's properties, financial assets and income.

The figures showed the number of people formally declared insolvent has increased to 30,513 in the second quarter of the year so far, which is slightly more than the 30,145 insolvencies in the first quarter of 2011, British media reported.

The rising number of personal bankruptcies in the UK is yet another sign that the coalition government's economic policies are not working and the austerity measures adopted to reduce the country's record budget deficit are having a diverse impact on ordinary people's daily life.

For the same reason, the people are determined in their resolve to fight back and to challenge the government's policies.

In Southampton, hundreds of social care workers at the city council have staged a one-day strike action on Wednesday 3 August.

The workers also attended a mass rally on Saturday and voted unanimously to hold a new industrial action again next Wednesday.

It is now the tenth week of joint industrial action, when the Unison and Unite union members are holding strikes against the Tory council forcing through 5 percent pay cuts.

“We've shown the Conservatives we haven't gone away,” Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker told the rally. “We don't accept the cuts-we will continue to fight them”.

Next Wednesday, more than 450 Southampton council workers in social work are scheduled to stage strike action.

The Unison and Unite union members include social workers, occupational therapists, contact supervisors and others, working with children as well as adults.

“The extended strike action by social workers demonstrates the depth of the anger over the council's actions”, said Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker.

“The industrial action will spread unless the council negotiates a fair settlement with its workforce”, said Tucker.

Meanwhile, some 60 members of the Community union at BRC Manufacturing in Barnsley walked out their jobs on a four-day strike from Thursday 4 August.

“It's not just about the money. It's about the way people are treated. We're not valued”, said Stuart Haigh, one of the organizers of the event.

In Derby, thousands of jobs have been lost due to the government's refusal to give a vital contract to the Bombardier rail manufacturing firm.

The government's decision continues to spark anger in the city, where up to 10,000 people marched through Derby last month to condemn the decision not to give the £1.5 billion contract to build Thameslink rail carriages to the company. The contract was awarded to a German manufacturer.

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