Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Unite Community
Contact name: Colin Hampton
Contact tel: 07870387999
Unite Community Calls for help for the most vulnerable
At its monthly meeting Unite Community in Chesterfield has called for immediate assistance from the government for the most vulnerable in the present coronavirus crisis.
Unite Community, part of Unite the Union, brings together people, students, claimants, pensioners, those not currently in work, and allows them to organise giving them a voice.
‘As the coronavirus crisis deepens we need clear and decisive action to prepare health services and protect the most vulnerable in society’ said Colin Hampton secretary of the local branch. ’This crisis will impact most on those with the least and the Government has had very little to say about this.’
The branch members had outlined at their meeting how years of underfunding had weakened essential public services and the social security systems that many need to survive.
Unite Community in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire is calling for the Government to respond positively to the demands for
· Full sick pay for all workers making sure that the many workers in precarious employment are given financial security preventing destitution. Thousands of workers now fall into this category including the many bogus self-employed in the gig economy as well as those on zero hours or minimum hours contracts.
· There should be no benefit sanctions and the five week wait for Universal Credit should be stopped. Those currently on benefits and the thousands who will lose their jobs as businesses close down need social security.
· There should be immediate end to evictions for rent arrears across both social housing and the private rented sector with provision for a moratorium on rent and mortgage payments.
· Emergency provision should be provided for the homeless who will be particularly at risk during the crisis.
· There must be support for families and children where school closures take place. Many of our most vulnerable families rely on free school meals to feed their children.
‘Our community came together to support the miners and their families during the great strike 35 years ago. Today we face an even bigger task, and the cry of ‘They will not starve’ must be heard again with community coming together to make sure all of us get through this crisis’. Colin went on to say, ‘People have to rally round but Government at all levels must play a key role with immediate emergency funding and support.’
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The scale of the challenge right now is difficult to overstate. The collective responsibility and action required of us to keep each other safe is tremendous.
Some will find it easier to rise to the occasion - to self-isolate, to work from home. Others will be weighing impossible decisions - deciding between their health, their livelihoods and the wellbeing of the communities and employees they support.
As we face unprecedented insecurity, we need to meet people's real needs with workable solutions. Not only to address the crisis of today, but to look to the future and how we can build a resilient, healthy and good society that will withstand the crises of tomorrow too.
As the coronavirus crisis unfolds, the case for a guaranteed basic income is clear and more urgent than ever.
This level of economic insecurity is new but for millions of people insecurity has been a day-to-day experience for years. Our economy has been changing since before the virus hit. Automation, climate change and a broken welfare system have already pushed people to breaking point and beyond.
Two weeks ago, Compass launched the Basic Income Conversation to kickstart a broad and popular movement for basic income in the UK.
We set out to have a serious public conversation about what basic income could mean for this country. To find out what people really think of the idea and grapple with the difficult questions and tensions it throws up. That conversation is now more important than ever.
But in this turning point, we have to respond. Help move the needle on basic income by signing and sharing this petition now.
A basic income alone is not going to get us out of this. But it's one piece of the puzzle that will give people what they need right now - and can bring us closer to remaking the public realm and creating a new political and economic settlement for the future.