Campaigners warn “tens of thousands” may die during the winter unless Prime Minister Liz Truss gets to grips with the cost-of-living crisis, as pressure mounts on the new PM to act following the Queen’s funeral.
A Morning Star report said on September 19, 2022:
The PM was told today that now the funeral for the Queen was over she needed to get back to helping families who are struggling to cope with the out-of-control cost-of-living crisis.
Business in both Houses of Parliament has been halted since the Queen died, meaning vital measures to support families through the economic crisis have not yet been put in place.
This comes as household bills skyrocket, inflation hit a generation high 9.9 per cent, and the pound slumped to a 37-year low against the dollar.
But despite the crises at home, Ms Truss is expected to fly to New York for the UN General Assembly hours after attending the Queen’s funeral, instead of staying home to focus on easing the worries facing millions of people across the country.
During her visit Ms Truss will meet U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday at the UN.
She had been set to talk to the U.S. President in Britain over the weekend as he visited for the Queen’s funeral, but the meeting was reportedly postponed because of Ms Truss’s handling of the Northern Ireland Protocol crisis.
The Morning Star report said:
Campaigners have demanded that Ms Truss now concentrates on dealing with the domestic energy crisis.
A spokesperson for Fuel Poverty Action said: “We are heading for a winter where tens of thousands will be at risk of death as a direct result of the resources being sucked out of our homes and out of the NHS and other services, to fund instead huge profits in the energy industry.
“The most urgent thing on the government’s agenda should be to end this massive heist before it causes more unnecessary funerals.
”We need Energy For All — free energy to cover the basic needs of every household, paid for in part by a windfall tax and ending fossil fuel subsidies.”
The struggling NHS will also feature high on the agenda for the Prime Minister and her new team — many of whom served in the previous Johnson administration.
New UK Health Secretary and UK Deputy Prime Minister Therese Coffey is expected to say on Thursday how the NHS will cope through the difficult winter months ahead.
The NHS already has over 6.7 million people on waiting lists at a time when there is a prospect of industrial action by health workers as they respond to real-terms pay cuts in the face of soaring inflation.
Health campaigner Liz Peretz, of Oxfordshire Keep Our NHS Public, told the Star: “Truss is hell bent on stealing from the poor to give to the rich.
“This crisis — fuel costs, energy costs, vast NHS waiting lists, stolen treatments — has been cruelly arranged by the Tories to fit in with their misguided way of looking at the world; it is entirely unnecessary.
“Other European countries have found ways to shield the poor — we could too. The only NHS policy her cabinet has come out with is ‘fixing’ the crisis by giving taxpayers’ money to private care homes. Greasing the palms of the rich yet again.”
Ms Peretz added: “What we desperately need now are more trained health staff on decent salaries, a massive refunding of the NHS, with social care brought back into public service.”
UK Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng is expected to deliver a mini-budget to the Commons on Friday which is likely to prioritise tax cuts.
Members of the Unite union man a picket line at one of the entrances to the Port of Felixstowe in Suffolk, Britain’s biggest and busiest container port, after backing industrial action by 9-1 in a dispute over pay
Strike Action To Sweep Across Britain Following 10 Days Of Restraint
Another Morning Star report said:
Waves of strike action are to sweep across Britain as tens of thousands of workers unleash their strength following 10 days of restraint in the period before the Queen’s funeral today.
More than 500 Liverpool dockers will be the first in action on Monday night as they strike for two weeks over pay.
In Felixstowe 1,900 dockers who were already involved in strike action will strike for eight days on September 27.
But on Friday this week they will be in Liverpool to show solidarity with their comrades there.
On October 1 more than 170,000 workers will be out as communications union CWU and rail unions RMT, Aslef and TSSA take action together, paralyzing the rail network and postal services.
Barristers, bin workers, airport workers, college lecturers and cleaners have also dates set for strike action.
Liverpool’s dockers, who are members of Unite, have rejected a 7 per cent pay increase as inflation continues to hover around 10 per cent, describing the dock owners’ proposal as “a pay cut dressed up as a rise.”
Mersey Docks and Harbour Company is owned by Peel Ports, one of five companies which own Britain’s ports.
Unite said that the Liverpool operators made £30 million profits last year.
The company shut down Liverpool docks for Monday’s funeral, but plans to reopen at 7pm in the evening.
Pickets are planned, with a big turnout Tuesday morning.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) are also to take 10 days of strike action at 26 further education colleges this month and in October.
Strike dates are to be announced by general union GMB after refuse workers voted overwhelmingly for action at Waltham Forest in London.
NHS nurses with the Royal College of Nursing will begin voting on strike action on October 6, and more than 30,000 firefighters will vote next month on strike action over pay.
Secretary of Sheffield Trade Union Council Martin Mayer said: “Trades councils around the country are gearing up to support workers taking strike action — and working hard to support more workers to join a union and fight back.
“Politics did not stand still for the government during this period: bankers’ bonuses are to be allowed to let rip once more, a smack in the face to millions of workers who face extreme hardship this winter as record inflation is not matched by pay rises.
“We have no illusions either that the fightback will be easy. The new PM, big business and the mainstream media will be determined to crush this renewed self-confidence across the unionized working class.
“That is why we need to show solidarity with those fighting back and encourage thousands more to join them.
“The old maxim is as true today as it ever was: ‘The workers united will never be defeated!’”
Labour will stage its annual conference in Liverpool from September 25 to 28, while the Tory conference in Birmingham will be hit by rail strikes on its first and final days, October 1 and 5.
A statement from national campaign group Momentum said: “Whether it is posties, rail staff or nurses, working people should not pay the price for this Tory cost-of-living crisis.
“At Labour conference, members and trade unions can come together to stand with striking workers and an inflation-proof pay rise.”