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Lowestoft anti-austerity rally draws large crowds during march through high street

PUBLISHED: 17:07 28 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:07 28 September 2017

The Pay Gap March in Lowestoft.Pictures: Mick Howes

The Pay Gap March in Lowestoft.Pictures: Mick Howes

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About 80 people gathered in Lowestoft to take part in a rally and march in protest of the government’s austerity measures and the public sector pay cap.

The Pay Gap March in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesThe Pay Gap March in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

The Lowestoft Coalition Against the Cuts (LCAC) Rally took place on Saturday, September 23.

A spokesman for the LCAC said “Public sector workers want an end to the pay cap now and fully funded negotiated pay settlements.

“Austerity has bought misery to many and public services to the brink of collapse.

“Growth has stalled and productivity is stuck in bottom gear.”

The Pay Gap March in Lowestoft. Parade organiser. Pictures: Mick HowesThe Pay Gap March in Lowestoft. Parade organiser. Pictures: Mick Howes

The rally was organised by the LCAC, Lowestoft Pensioner Association and Waveney Trade Union Council.

Starting at the North Lowestoft United Reformed Church, in London Road North, the march travelled through the town centre, finishing outside the former BHS store.

Stephen Mynott, chairman of the LCAC, said: “This is a fitting venue.

“Thousands of workers were made redundant; losing both their jobs and their pensions and Sir Philip Green bought a new £115 yacht.”

One of the speakers at the Pay Gap March, Sala Millican Unison Branch Secretary at JPH. Pictures: Mick HowesOne of the speakers at the Pay Gap March, Sala Millican Unison Branch Secretary at JPH. Pictures: Mick Howes

A mood of anger and determination pervaded the rally as an array of speakers addressed the crowd.

Emma Bateman, of the Green Party, spoke of the knock-on effect the cuts are having on vulnerable young people.

She said: “When services are cut the pressure on parents is immense – it is self-defeating.

“Cuts produce more problems. Young people leaving care have nowhere to go and the young homelessness is growing visibly.”

The Pay Gap March in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesThe Pay Gap March in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

An LCAC spokesman added: “More and more you can see the consequences, from inadequate pensions to breadline benefits and both job and housing insecurity for the many compared to the staggering levels of wealth and excess for an elite few.”

Mr Mynott called the event a success and an example of the new determination to end austerity.

He highlighted the general election results achieved by Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party as part of the new found belief that the movement can succeed.

Mr Mynott said: “Join a train union. Join the pensioner association. Join an anti-austerity party. Add your name to the LCAC mailing list and help organise the next event.

The Pay Gap March in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesThe Pay Gap March in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

“Be active.”

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