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Women in Protest ahead of UK Budget

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TEHRAN, March 24 (ICANA) – A group of women chained themselves together with arm tubes outside Downing Street in central London on Wednesday in a symbolic protest against Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne from delivering the government's annual budget.
Thursday, March 24, 2011 2:23:51 PM
Women in Protest ahead of UK Budget

Groups of three women lay in front of each of the four vehicle exits to block Downing Street, while placards were waved to stop what they called the Bankers' Budget.

“This Budget has been written for the benefit of big business and the banking sector, not for ordinary people. The banks destroyed the economy and in return received the bail-out and bonuses,” said one of the protesters, Sara Ayech.

“But the Government is choosing to make everyone else pay the price through unemployment, the decimation of the welfare state and the NHS (National Health Service),” Ayech warned.

She said Britain's welfare state was fought for and won by ordinary people only 64 years ago, after World War Two and is “now under attack by the coalition government and we are here to defend it and show that people will resist the injustice of these cuts.”

The protest comes ahead of up to 250,000 demonstrators are exptected to join this weekend's mass March for the Alternative, organised by the Trades' Union Congress and supported by students, anti-capitalists and other groups against the government's cuts in public spending.


The National Campaign against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), which coordinated last year's protests against the tripling of university tuition, said there will be a rolling program of 24-hour sit-ins and rallies to occupy Trafalgar Square in central London and turn it into Cairo's “Tahrir Square” on Saturday.

In parliament, Osborne proceeded to warn that Britain's economy will grow at a slower rate than previously expected this year, that inflation will remain at double the government's target until 2012/13 and that government debt will rise from 60% to 71% next year.

To help business, he also controversially announced that corporation tax by 2% this year, not 1% as planned, but that he would increase the levy on banks to compensate for the cut.

Last year's budget, which announced public service cuts across all government departments, was about rescuing the country's economy and today's is about reforming it, he argued.

The protest by women come amid fears that women could make up to 80 per cent of the expected job losses caused by the government's cuts as well as having a devastating effect on the family.

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