protesting the youth-smashing austerity budget
Hundreds of protesters stage a “die-in” outside parliament to protest against the Government’s savage programme of cuts. Photographer Holly Falconer went down to document the activists saying no to austerity and the budget's impact on young people.
Last week, the Conservative Government announced an "emergency budget" for the country that introduces a savage programme of austerity amounting to £12 billion in cuts. On the chopping block are a range of public services, benefits and tax credits, with young people facing the harshest attacks.
If you're under 21, you will no longer be able to claim job seekers allowance or housing benefit, even if you have been paying tax for years and have therefore paid into the welfare state that was designed to be a safety net in these circumstances. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is also removing tax credits for young people who are working -- money that made sure you could afford to live if you aren't getting paid enough through work; and replacing university maintenance grants for students from disadvantaged backgrounds with repayable loans.
Amplifying the anti-austerity message sent to the Government by 250,000 protesters who marched through London in June, hundreds of people gathered outside parliament last week to stage a "die-in", lying on the ground to send the message that austerity kills. Speakers at the event included anti-austerity Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn and Marina Prentoulis, an academic who is part of the anti-austerity party Syriza in Greece, where a majority voted against austerity by saying "Oxi" (No) in a recent referendum about the savage cuts proposed by European leaders. Protesters in London were inspired by the historic Greek vote, carrying placards that read "Oxi to Osborne" and messages of social justice.
Text Charlotte Gush
Photography Holly Falconer