Liz Truss and her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng are inflicting ‘radical libertarian anarchism’ on Britain with their economic plan, says railway union boss Mick Lynch.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary has urged the nation to ‘wake up’ to the impact of the government’s borrowing-fueled tax cuts as protests over the cost of living drag on rage across the UK.
“Everyone in this country needs to wake up the Conservative Party, not just because of this railroad dispute, but because of the rampant, radical, libertarian anarchism that’s coming out of numbers 10 and 11 right now,” Lynch told LBC Radio.
The union leader accused the chancellor of ‘destroying markets and the prospects of many people in the country’ – arguing that the Truss government had ‘no mandate’ for the £45billion in tax breaks that made fear of major austerity cuts to come.
Mr Lynch added: ‘Hardly anyone in this country had heard of Liz Truss in the last election, and Kwasi Kwarteng was more or less an obscure academic – he should have come back to it.’
On Saturday, members of RMT, Aslef, Unite and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) staged the latest 24-hour walkout in a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
Mr Lynch – who said it was a ‘scandal’ that some rail bosses were ‘making up’ around £2million a year as workers saw their pay cut – wrote to the new Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, urging him to take “urgent measures to allow a negotiated settlement”.
The union leader also claimed ministers planned to close all ticket offices in Britain and remove guards from trains. The Department for Transport insisted that no final decision had been made on ticketing.
“No counter will exist on the national rail network if [ex-transport secretary] Grant Shapps’ plan is moving forward,’ Mr Lynch said The Independent.
Saturday also saw thousands of people take to the streets in dozens of rallies organized by cost of living campaign groups Enough Is Enough and Don’t Pay UK – which saw some burn their energy bills to protest against exorbitant costs.
Don’t Pay UK – claiming to have 200,000 pledges from people willing to stop paying their gas and electricity bills – staged rallies as the cap on energy prices was lifted, raising average annual energy costs households to a record £2,500.
Protesters, some of whom carried banners saying ‘I can’t afford to live’, were seen throwing bills into controlled fires inside bins during the ‘national action’ day.
Climate protesters also briefly brought Westminster Bridge to a standstill, with activists sitting in the road and playing instruments. Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion (XR) marched through central London.
One protester, who went by the name George, criticized the Conservative government’s lack of “fiscal fiscal responsibility” as well as its record on fossil fuels.
“I think no government can run if it spends more, like a lot more, than it brings in. It can’t go on forever.” He added: “I sound like David Cameron when I say that.”
Meanwhile, thousands joined a march in Cardiff in support of Welsh independence, organized by All Under One Banner Cymru (AUOB) and Yes Cymru.
“We are quite big. We are strong enough. And we will fight for that,” actor Julian Lewis Jones, who plays Boremund Baratheon in the Game of Thrones prequel House of The Dragon, told the crowd.