LGBT – going for growth

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2012 National LGBT Conference
26 July 2012

Conference notes that, although trade unionists know that the global banking crisis was not caused by Labour’s investment in Sure Start, in extra teaching assistants or in reducing National Health Service waiting times, the Tory lie that excess public spending was the cause of the current economic crisis is believed by much of the public.

This has allowed the Tory-led government to implement a programme of cuts designed to lower living standards and decimate the welfare state, using the excuse that it will reduce the deficit. This includes cuts to dedicated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) services and to the mainstream services we all rely on.

However, austerity is not working. Growth has stalled, unemployment is unacceptably high and women, young people, and Black, disabled and LGBT people are suffering most.

The pay freezes and pay caps, along with welfare cuts to in-work benefits, are driving down living standards for already vulnerable families and contributing to a double dip recession. This threatens to embed inequality in the United Kingdom for a generation. It provides fertile conditions for the growth of the far right.

Conference believes there is an alternative. Instead of failed austerity measures we need a plan for growth. We need to invest in jobs and public services, tax the rich and big business, and campaign for a decent wage for our members.

Conference therefore calls on the National LGBT Committee to work with regional LGBT groups to:

1)Publicise UNISON’s alternatives to austerity among LGBT members and more widely;

2)Use the Million Voices campaign materials at Pride and other community events;

3)Build a highly visible LGBT presence in UNISON-backed anti-austerity and anti-far right actions;

4)Campaign against the public sector pay freeze, pay caps and regional and local pay.

5)Support local living wage campaigns backed by UNISON

6)Work with Labour Link and LGBT Labour to ensure investment in public services is on the agenda of existing local, regional and national Labour administrations and of future Labour governments.