PCS have intervened in the Croydon North by-election by inviting candidates to sign up to five pledges:
1. To support PCS campaigns against public service job cuts and for an alternative to economically damaging austerity policies.
2. To support the PCS campaign for fair pay and a living wage.
3. To support the PCS campaign for fair pensions for all; including calling on the government to protect public sector pensions ensuring that they’re not linked with the state pension age, that the government addresses pensioner poverty and that companies are prevailed upon to ensure they fulfil their pension obligation to staff.
4. To support the campaign for publicly delivered welfare services and programmes based on dignity and support for those unable to work.
5. To oppose unpaid work experience placements which exploit young jobless people, and discourage employers from genuine job creation and paying fair wages.
Ben Stevenson, the Communist Party candidate has responded as follows:
I wholeheartedly pledge support for all five policies identified by PCS. Furthermore, I consider them to be the primary issues to be put before the electors of Croydon North. The current economic crisis was not caused by ordinary working people, but they, including members of PCS, are being made to pay for it with an austerity programme involving cuts in public sector jobs, worsening of terms of service, and reduction in, and privatisation of, public services. The attack on public sector pensions has more to do with fattening up public services for privatisation than in any conceivable cost saving. The callous treatment of young jobless people and the proposals for older workers to work until they drop or be forced to live on subsistence-level welfare when they cannot work must be exposed and opposed. The claim that “we are all in it together” is a blatant lie, as is Labour’s counterposed policy of “Yes to cuts, – but let’s take a little longer”. But there is an alternative: it’s called socialism.
At the time of posting this entry, neither the Greens nor the Labour Party have responded. The Tories and their Lib-Dem lackies are, of course, silent.