Protesters hold rally outside Sheffield Town Hall over 'cost of living crisis'

Protesters gathered outside Sheffield Town Hall today to protest over a ‘cost of living crisis’

Saturday, 12th February 2022, 2:57 pm

Members of a number of left wing groups gathered to call for action over concerns of rising prices on the back of rising fuel prices.

Campaigners attached banners to the front of the Town Hall, including Sheffield Trade Union Council, Sheffield People’s Assembly and Sheffield Climate Campaign Umbrella Coalition, while a banner from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign was displayed, along with communist flags.

Read More

Read More
Sheffield bus strike: Stagecoach drivers on picket line say ‘we’ve had enough of...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The People's Assembly's cost of living rally outside Sheffield Town Hall

First to speak in front of scores of protests, was Martin Mayer, the secretary of the Sheffield Trade Union Council.

He said prices were going up, fuel prices were going up 50 per cent, and working class people could not afford it.

"We’re not going to pay for this cost of living crisis,” he said.

Carrie Hedderwick, of Sheffield People's Assembly, said the rally had been called at short notice and it was one of 26 demonstrations happening across the country today, Saturday February 12.

The People's Assembly's cost of living rally outside Sheffield Town Hall

She called for trade unions and community groups across the city to get involved and protest over the pressures on people’s cost of living.

She said: “We want to force this Government to change its mind – to tax the rich, to redistribute wealth, to have a windfall tax and to stop the national insurance tax rise among other things."

The assembly heard how bus drivers from Stagecoach, who had been paid below that of other companies, had fought successfully for an above inflation pay rise, after what had been their first dispute with the company.

Muna Taha, who works at the Hadfield Institute training centre in Attercliffe, also took to the microphone to speak as a non union voice.

The People's Assembly's cost of living rally outside Sheffield Town Hall

She said: “Poverty is increasing – there are many families out there who are very concerned and already struggling.

Her organisation runs a ‘food pharmancy’ and she said there had been a jump in demand with more people looking for that sort of support.

She said they knew families who had to make choices of keeping their children warm or food. She said: “There are young children who have gone to bed with no supper, there are lots of families and children in that situation.

"I say to the Government you were put there to make our lives better.

The People's Assembly's cost of living rally outside Sheffield Town Hall

“We need to stop thinking a country like Britain should be suffering poverty – we’re not in a third world country.”

Earlier this month the Government announced a package of support to help households with rising energy bills, worth £9.1 billion in 2022-23.

It includes a £200 discount on energy bills this Autumn for domestic electricity customers in Great Britain. This will be paid back automatically over the next five years.

It also announced a £150 non-repayable Council Tax rebate payment for all households that are liable for Council Tax in bands A to D in England; and £144 million of discretionary funding for local authorities to support households who need support but are not eligible for the Council Tax rebate.