This is in the evening news postbag in the MEN.
I would like to add our union’s support to the young people and students who protested loudly but peacefully in Manchester on Wednesday about the government’s attack on education.As they rightly pointed out, it wasn’t spending on education or public services that caused the financial crisis.Yet the government’s plans effectively punish the users of public services, like students, rather than attacking the real cause of the crisis – deregulation,an unbalanced economy over-reliant on financial services and a reckless and arrogant banking sector.This government appears happy to allow bankers to continue claiming their massive, undeserved bonuses whilst it axes Educational Maintenance Allowance for young people from low and middle income families.The coalition’s bleat that ‘we’re all in this together’ is already sounding pretty hollow, coming from a Cabinet where 23 out of its 29 members are millionaires. Add to this the shameless Lib Dem u-turn on their pre-election pledge to students, and yet who now cynically support these socially destructive policies for a few ministerial perks.No wonder young people are so angry at this injustice. They are not alone.
Pat McDonagh, Branch Secretary, UNISON Manchester