‘Cuts make poor suffer for crisis'

19 October 2010 - 9:44am
Press release

NEWS PEGS

  • Tuesday, 19 October 2010 TUC rally and lobby of parliament to defend public services
  • Wednesday, 20 October 2010 Unions hold day of action as the UK government announces public spending review

Charity calls for banks levy, blitz on tax dodgers

Campaigners set to protest today against huge cuts in jobs and public services in the British government spending review tomorrow warn that poor people will be hit hardest by a financial crisis sparked by the rich.

The alert comes from War on Want as the anti-poverty charity prepares to join a TUC rally and lobby of parliament this afternoon to press MPs for action against the cuts programme.

War on Want executive director John Hilary said: "It is scandalous that the coalition government plans to make the poor suffer for a crisis they did not cause. There is a positive alternative to the government's cuts programme — an alternative that is within our grasp. Taxing the banks and launching a crackdown on tax dodgers can not only avoid the cuts, but raise billions to help the poor."

It says the most vulnerable people face worse living standards while banks rescued with a £500 billion bailout from trouble prompted by greed are now piling up profits and paying huge bonuses to executives.

War on Want warns that cutting 500,000 public sector jobs over five years risks triggering a double-dip recession in Britain, as in many other European countries.

The charity points to the £120 billion a year lost to the UK exchequer through tax evasion, tax avoidance and uncollected tax.

It also cites the £250 billion a year developing countries lose through tax dodges.

War on Want demands that banks pay their fair share to help tackle the crisis via a Robin Hood tax on financial transactions which could raise £20 billion in the UK alone.

Reversing a programme of cuts in tax inspectors' jobs and the closure of their offices would fight tax dodges.

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • Lloyds-TSB in August reported £1.6 billion profits, with RBS recording £2.1 billion profits in the same month.
  • Cash bonuses in the City will reach almost £7 billion, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
  • The TUC pre-lobby rally will take place at Westminster's Central Hall at 12.30 pm today.

CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media office (+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

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