Malcolm Burns

Monday 6 october 2014

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THE People’s Assembly Scotland has called for activists in the Yes and No referendum campaigns to unite and channel their energy into fighting austerity.

Community campaigners and trade union activists from all sides of the independence debate came together at the People’s Assembly Scotland AGM in Glasgow on Saturday. 

They agreed to present an agenda to the Smith commission on devolution demanding real powers which will challenge austerity. 

dave moxham peoples assembly scotlandSTUC deputy general secretary Dave Moxham said the huge referendum vote was “a fantastic democratic outpouring” which had been driven to large extent by anti-austerity feelings.

“The People’s Assembly will now be a vital organ in the post-referendum period to win ‘powers for a purpose’ for the Scottish Parliament,” he said.

But he warned that the “nettle of fair taxation” must be grasped. 

“The ability to shape the issues of fair pay, decent jobs and public services should underpin what powers we seek,” he said.

“We are not just talking about tax powers but tax reform — about progressive but also redistributive taxation.”

Bill Greenshields of the People’s Assembly thanked Scotland for the referendum campaign which had “given the lie to the notion created by the ruling class that ordinary people are not interested in politics.”

But he said it was vital that the anti-austerity campaign should now become a movement.

People’s Assembly Scotland chairman Phil McGarry said: “We have a formidable task to unite both referendum groups, but it is vitally important if we want the powers to combat austerity and make a real difference for people on issues like fair taxation, employment, trade union rights, public services and health and safety.”