UNISON West Sussex Labour Link officer Sarah Cawston outlines some of her reasons for advising fellow members to vote for Jeremy Corbyn as leader and Angela Eagle as deputy leader of the Labour Party.
“I believe that Jeremy and Angela present a genuine, people-focused alternative to the other election candidates. They’re not afraid to speak-up, challenge and talk straight about issues they feel strongly about. Many of those issues impact on me in my professional role as a Senior Careers Adviser, and the roles of many UNISON West Sussex members in education or social care services.
“They campaign for the vulnerable and underprivileged. Tory government cuts have seen many such people lose out on vital services and support mechanisms. The young people I work with have been particularly targeted: automatic entitlement to housing benefits for 18-21 year olds will be scrapped, the new so-called ‘living wage’ isn’t available until you’re over 25, further education is facing massive cuts leading to some courses aimed at the most vulnerable young people being withdrawn and maintenance grants for those from low income families are being replaced by loans . Child tax credits for many families will be drastically reduced next year and some – including some single-parents – could lose up to £1,900 per year. All of this risks putting more children and young people into poverty and increasing inequality of opportunity in life. No wonder that thousands of young people have started to engage in politics and support Jeremy Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn is a passionate believer in public services and wants to invest in them and infrastructure to create a prosperous economy. We have seen scant pay rises over the past few years. With George Osborne set to fix and public sector pay rises to 1% over this parliament, austerity for local government workers is set to continue with further real-term drops in salaries.
“As your Labour Link officer, I strongly recommend voting for UNISON’s nominated candidates. If we are to challenge austerity and win back the trust of people at the next general election, we need Labour leaders of conviction who are credible, respected and on the side of hard-working public sector staff. I believe Jeremy Corbyn and Angela Eagle are those people.”
Deadline for voting is 12 noon, Thursday 10 September.