Protest in King’s Lynn against pension cuts and NHS reform
A protest has taken place in the heart of King's Lynn against the government's plans for the NHS and changes to public sector pensions.
The protest saw members of the King's Lynn and District Trades Council, Unison and the Coalition of Resistance come together this afternoon to talk to shoppers about the proposals.
Jo Rust, the Trades Council secretary, said: 'What the government wants to do is create a smaller public sector in the hope the private sector will take over and make a profit.
'This is all about the government wanting to reduce the big deficit this country has by cutting services and changing the terms and conditions for the public sector.
'This protest has therefore been held to show solidarity for those on strike and to show we are opposed to cuts of any kind and the reaction from people we have spoken to has been pretty positive.
'I think people have been pretty sympathetic that everyone needs a pension and they need to use the NHS.
'There have been other people who have said they aren't interested but after engaging them and putting forward our arguments, they have said it was a perspective they wasn't aware of.
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'People think there are no alternatives but there are. These changes are only being brought in to plug the deficit.'
Mrs Rust said the protesters also spoke with youngsters who were enjoying a day off from school because of the Royal Norfolk Show.
She continued: 'We explained to them why we are protesting and many told us they didn't really understand the situation and some didn't even know what a trade union is.
'I think the schoolchildren liked being given the leaflets and being told what is currently going on because at the end of the day it's their education and their future being discussed here.'
The members protesting along the High Street told the EDP that the changes to the NHS are likely to cause a huge amount of damage to patient care and waste vast sums of public money.
They also claimed that the plans will turn the NHS into a business where taxes will increasingly pay for profits as more private companies move in to provide our healthcare.
According to Jacqueline Mulhallen, from the Coalition of Resistance, the effects are already being felt in West Norfolk.
She said: 'They are planning to move important services from Queen Elizabeth Hospital to Norwich. They also want to break up the NHS and open up the whole of the health service to private companies.'
She added the trades council, Unison and the Coalition of Resistance are holding a community meeting at 7.30pm on July 12 at St Nicholas Chapel to protest at these changes.