KING’S LYNN: Anger at welfare reforms ‘is growing’
Campaigners and union leaders turned out in force at the weekend amid growing rebellion against the Government’s welfare reforms.
Groups waving placards and banners gathered in Lynn High Street on Saturday in a protest against sweeping benefits cuts set to take effect from April.
Organisers from Facebook group People Against Welfare Reforms described the protest as a “spectacular” success and said their message about how the shake-up will affect Britain’s most vulnerable people was starting to get through.
Linda Cox, who organised the Lynn protest as part of a national event, said 97 signatures were collected in just two hours – compared with one at the first protest in the town last month.
She said: “At our first event people were just avoiding us. I couldn’t understand it, but as there are so many changes due to happen all at once I think people just couldn’t get their heads around how much income they were going to lose.
“Saturday was completely different. Word has finally got out in the mainstream, and people are getting angry.”
The protest was supported by the Lynn branch of the Coalition of Resistance, the Lynn and District Trades Council, the GMB union and Labour county councillor Alexandra Kemp.
NHS campaigner and Trades Council secretary Jo Rust had hoped to be there, but is still recovering from a life-saving stomach operation carried out last month.
People Against Welfare Reforms is now preparing for another protest next month, with the Lynn event being held in the High Street from 12pm to 2pm on Saturday, March 16.
It will be one of the last chances to sign the local petition before it is presented to North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham.
Neil Faulkner, of the Coalition of Resistance, is also giving a talk on the issue at Thoresby College, Lynn, on Thursday, March 14, at 7.30pm.
Opponents of the reforms, the biggest benefits shake-up since the 1940s, argue it will target everyone of working age who currently receive benefits.
Plans to cut housing benefits to people with more bedrooms than they need in their homes have also been condemned as a “bedroom tax.”
But supporters claim the plan to introduce a single universal benefit will simply the scheme and make many better off.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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