You may have seen the name TUSC pop up as the party for some candidates in local elections. Here’s a bit of who they are and what they are standing for
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) was set-up in 2010, co-founded by the late Bob Crow, with the primary goal of enabling trade unionists, socialists, and working class social movement and community campaigners to stand candidates against pro-austerity establishment politicians. TUSC is supported by the Socialist Party, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) and Resist.
They say, Covid has revealed the drastic situation our local public services are in, with councils massively underfunded by central government. This underfunding of councils has been ongoing for the last 11 years through austerity, cuts and privatisation. [We’d add that the underfunding has been a political choice, not an economic necessity.]
The results of this have been laid bare by the dire situation millions of us find ourselves in as the social, economic and health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic hit our workplaces, schools, services and communities.
TUSC has a policy platform which could make a real difference:
- Oppose all cuts and closures to council services, jobs, pay and conditions.
- Reject the claim that ‘some cuts’ are necessary to our services or that the Covid crisis is a reason for austerity.
- Support all workers’ struggles against government policies making ordinary people pay for the crisis.
- Oppose racism, fascism and discrimination. Defend our liberties and make police and security democratically accountable.
- Reject above inflation rises to council tax, rent and other charges. Support a redistributive revenue raising system to finance local council services, and demand central government restore the cuts in funding it has imposed.
- Use councils’ powers to begin a mass building programme of eco-friendly affordable council homes to tackle the housing crisis.
- Vote against the privatisation of council jobs and services, or the transfer of council services to ‘social enterprises’ or ‘arms-length’ management organisations, which are first steps to privatisation.
- Bring privatised public services, industries and utilities back into public ownership under democratic control, with compensation only on the basis of proven need.
- Use all the legal powers available to councils to oppose both the cuts and government policies which impose privatisation. This includes using councils’ powers to refer local NHS decisions, initiate referenda and organise public commissions and consultations in campaigns to defend public services.
- Vote for councils to refuse to implement austerity. We will support councils which in the first instance use their reserves and prudential borrowing powers to avoid making cuts. Setting budgets which meet the needs of the local community.
Here’s a list of TUSC candidates in Devon
Devon County Council
Ryan Hall – Newton Abbot North
Jane Haden – Newton Abbot South (and Newton Abbot Town Council by election)
James Osben – Kingsteignton and Teign Estuary
Sean Brogan – Teignmouth (and Teignmouth Town by election)
Bruce Mattock – Dawlish
Lynne Gunnigle – Dartmouth
South Hams District Council
Tony Rea – Ivybridge West
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