“One thing the Government needs to do is put more money in the pockets of those who most need it. The National Minimum Wage must be raised to £15 an hour and the government should give the pay rise public sector workers are asking for.”
Gemma Bolton, Labour NEC & CLPD Vice-Chair, urged activists take to the streets on June 18th and demand action on the soaring cost of living. You can read an adapted version of her speech or watch it in full below:
We are in the middle of a deepening cost-of-living crisis, yet the Tories are more interested in doing the bidding of their rich backers than saving lives, jobs and livelihoods.
Their spineless MPs couldn’t even get rid of Boris Johnson – and whatever their views on the law-breaking PM, they are all united in their support for a failed economic system.
We are here today to say that enough is enough, and in particular to mobilise for the TUC’s “Demand Better” demonstration on June 18, which must not be a peak of our campaigning efforts, but the start of a permanent campaign of resistance to get the Tories out, including civil disobedience, industrial action, community organising, more rallies and marches, and much more besides.
I’m going to use my speech to lay out some of the urgent action we need as part of an economic alternative, including some of the key points from the ‘Workers Can’t Wait’ petition.
One thing the Government needs to do is put more money in the pockets of those who most need it. The National Minimum Wage must be raised to £15 an hour and the government should give the pay rise public sector workers are asking for.
They must urgently reverse the disgraceful Universal Credit cut and extend the uplift to legacy benefits. And it is a disgrace that people have to choose between heating and eating. We need to guarantee both.
The right to food must be enshrined in law, with universal free school meals all year – and a National Food Service. And the corporate rip-off of energy bills must end – public ownership now. And not just in energy, but water, transport, the royal mail and more as part of a Green New Deal.
All of this is possible with the political will – Labour needs to force the Tories out and put forward this kind of radical agenda to both win and transform people’s lives. As Tony Benn Said, “ We are not just here to manage capitalism but to change society and to define its finer values.”
I’ll see you on the streets on June 18!
- The TUC’s national cost-of-living crisis demonstration takes place on Saturday 18th June in London. Coaches are being organised from around the country – find out more here.
- Gemma Bolton is standing for re-election as a members’ representative on Labour’s National Executive Committee – support her campaign on Facebook and twitter.
- Gemma was speaking at the “Enough is Enough: Time to Demand Better” mobilising rally, held by Arise Festival on June 8th. Watch it in full here.