By Sadie Robinson
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Manchester march is our chance to step up the fightback

This article is over 8 years, 8 months old
Issue 2472
trade unionists march on 250,000-strong People’s Assembly demo in June
Trade unionists march on 250,000-strong People’s Assembly demo in June (Pic: Guy Smallman)

New Tory attacks will make life harder for the poorest people in Britain.

They plan to announce an end to free hot meals for infant school children in November.  And they forced through swingeing cuts to tax credits on Tuesday of last week.

Currently a household earning up to £6,420 a year receives the full amount of tax credits they are allowed to claim. 

Households earning more than this receive less in credits as their income rises. But the income threshold will be nearly halved to just £3,850 a year from next April—hitting the lowest paid workers.

Katrina Lawrie, a care assistant in Wigan, is one of those affected. She told Socialist Worker, “I don’t know how much I’m going to lose. But losing anything will take us below the breadline.

“We’re barely surviving as it is.”

Katrina is a low-paid worker on a 24-hour a week contract. Her eldest son’s college course isn’t funded because he is 19 years old—so Katrina pays £100 a month for it.

“I’m a single parent with four children in school and two in college,” she said. “I can’t afford school dinners anymore—it’s £10 a week each—so they take packed lunches. 

“That’s OK at the moment, but in winter you need a hot meal.

“I’m dreading school trips coming up because I don’t know how I’ll pay for them. And there will be no family holiday next year.”

The Tories’ spiteful attacks came as at least 50 crates of champagne arrived in Manchester ahead of their annual conference in October. But their class war is generating resistance.

Coaches are booked from across Britain to take people to a TUC demonstration against the Tories in Manchester on 4 October. 


And the People’s Assembly has organised a week of events throughout the conference.

Jasmine Fischer has been helping to publicise the protests in Manchester. 

She told Socialist Worker, “We had lots of people out leafleting on Saturday. 

“There was a really good atmosphere.”

Jasmine said many people weren’t aware the Tories were about to descend on the city. Getting the word out in the last few weeks will be key. 

But she added, “People were interested to find out what was going on. Everyone I spoke to said they would try to come on the 4 October demonstration.”

Katrina will be marching too. She said it was important to unite and blame the government, not refugees or migrants, for poverty. 

“There is plenty of money for working class people—whether they are refugees or people born here,” she said. 

“But it’s spent on illegal wars, Trident nuclear missiles and to bail out the banks.

“Capitalism isn’t working for the working class.”


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