Osborne budget sparks lunchtime protest

Barry Conway delivers a speech as Wigan People's Assembly hold an anti-austerity demo at Market Place, Wigan town centre, to coincide with Chancellor George Osborne's budget annoucement
Barry Conway delivers a speech as Wigan People's Assembly hold an anti-austerity demo at Market Place, Wigan town centre, to coincide with Chancellor George Osborne's budget annoucement
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DOZENS of protestors gathered in Wigan town centre yesterday to mark their opposition to Chancellor George Osborne’s austerity plans.

Organisers, the Wigan People’s Assembly, hailed the event a success, with around 30 people turning out for the lunchtime demonstration.

It was timed to coincide with Mr Osborne’s budget, during which he unveiled a number of cuts to disability services and tax credits.

In London, anti-cuts groups pelted Downing Street with balls in protest against austerity, as Osborne delivered his first all-Tory Budget.

The protesters then marched to Westminster Bridge, where they completely blocked traffic.

Police persuaded the protesters to move to Parliament Square, where they again kept traffic stationary with a huge banner bearing their slogan “#ballstothebudget”.

David Peel, 55, from protest group Class War, said Mr Osborne’s Budget was “probably one of the worst budgets in living memory for poor people, for working class people and especially for the disabled”.

He added: “This is about raising the profile of the opposition to the austerity and the opposition to the cuts which are hurting disabled people most.

“We will keep doing this until we win”.

Police, including officers on horses, pushed the growing number of protesters onto the green of Parliament Square, allowing traffic to pass through.

John Burgess, representing Barnet Unison, said he was protesting against cuts to local government and “showing solidarity” with others.

Wearing a mask bearing the Chancellor’s face he said: “Osborne is about to unleash spending cuts in local government which will in effect end local government if nothing changes.”