This weekend, thousands will march against the Conservatives. Here’s why they’re right

Every step of the way, the Conservatives have prioritised giving bonuses to the wealthiest over support for the most in need. 

Today, Labour Party conference draws to a close, with Jeremy Corbyn declaring the Labour Party a ‘government in waiting’. It rings true.

Yet for all the early celebrating, the brutal fact is that we still have a Conservative government in power – and one that needs challenging every step of the way.

And as Labour pack up their things in Brighton, the Conservatives prepare for their conference in Manchester.

They will be met with a major protest on Sunday – with tens of thousands set to show how the scale of opposition to seven years of harsh austerity policies. 

The five days of ‘demonstrations, cultural events, rallies, comedy, music and public meetings’ across the city will highlight the damage done – and build the case for the alternative.

And it’s vital they do so. At every stage, the Conservatives have cut taxes on the wealthy while removing key social rights. In the past few years, the Tories have:

1) Slashed corporation tax from 28% in 2010 to 17% by 2020 – while cutting disability benefits by £30 a week, a decision that will affect half a million people.

2) Cut the higher rate of capital gains tax from 28 per cent to 20 per cent – while imposing a real-terms cut on all benefits for four years

3) Reduced the levy on big banks – while abolishing bursaries for nurses

4) Introduced a ‘£1m couple’s allowance’ by raising the inheritance tax threshold – while stopping young people from being able to get housing benefit

5) Overall, Tory priorities mean 80% of their tax changes benefit the wealthiest – while thousands face huge delays getting Universal Credit, putting many at risk of homelessness

Every step of the way, the Conservatives have prioritised giving bonuses to the wealthiest over support for the most in need.

Those who march this Sunday will do so in the knowledge that more of this is to come – and Brexit could make the situation much worse, as the government use the need for ‘investment’ to drive the UK into a laissez-faire, bargain basement economy.

If you can, join them. In the meantime, spread the word that the decisions the Tories have made are not essential – they are politically-driven decisions which benefit some and harm many more.

Labour conference has helped set out the alternative. Every opportunity to set out that alternative is one all progressives should grab.

Josiah Mortimer is Editor of Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter.

More information about Sunday’s demonstration is here.

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