Category Archives: Socialist Party activities and events

Bradford Benefits Under Attack

Bradford Socialist Party members campaigning against attacks on benefits outside the jobcentre

Bradford Socialist Party members campaigning against attacks on benefits outside the jobcentre

“Look for work nine to five, or face losing your benefits.” That was the government’s right-wing mantra for cities like Bradford, which has about 14,500 claimants for Jobseeker’s Allowance, and is part of a pilot scheme to pile on more misery.

Peter Robson, Bradford Socialist Party

For the month of October Bradford’s jobless people must go to a signing on session, then spend the whole day (35 hours a week) looking for jobs that either don’t exist or have low wages.

The intention, of giving applicants the ability to write a CV, may seem benign. But read the small print.

Applicants will be sanctioned with a three month suspension if any transgression is registered, pushing vulnerable people and their children, further into poverty. A first breach will trigger a four week suspension. But any further transgressions will lead to an immediate three month suspension.

However there are few decent jobs in this city, we know this from the response we got at the Socialist Party’s sales stall outside the job centre. We plan more activity and hope to build a momentum with resistance from the people of Bradford to these horrendous attacks.

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Bradford Socialists campaign for £10 an hour

One of a number of recent campaign stall arguing for a £10 an hour minimum wage

One of a number of recent campaign stall arguing for a £10 an hour minimum wage

On 24 May a handful of Socialist Party members set up a stall in Bradford city centre to campaign for a £10 an hour minimum wage. None of us could have expected the response we got. Before the table was set up people were standing around offering support. At one point people were three deep attempting to sign the petition.

In the end we sold 30 copies of the Socialist paper and 13 people expressed an interest in joining the Socialist Party. Several shop workers came and chatted to us in their lunch break.

The history of Bradford includes the late Pat Wall, the socialist MP. Just one of the many reasons why this city needs a socialist alternative to the newly elected Labour group.

Pete Robson, Bradford Socialist Party