Vote Socialist Party Number 1

A Worker's Voice…

Tommy Black lives in the Newtownards Road area and works as a school caretaker in Ashfield Girls' High School.

Tommy is chair of the East Belfast "Water Charges - We Won't Pay" Campaign and is currently organising across the constituency to oppose this unjust tax.

As the former Chair of the Walkway Community Group he successfully campaigned for better facilities in East Belfast.

As a union rep in the public sector union, NIPSA, he has campaigned for the rights of education workers and against the privatisation of our schools. He played a leading role in the struggle of term time workers for a full wage.

…on a worker's wage

The thing MLAs were quickest to agree about was voting themselves pay increases - their 'basic wage' is £41,321 plus more than that again in "allowances". There is no way people on this money can understand the problems faced by ordinary working people, especially those on low wages, state benefits or pensions.

Tommy Black will accept only an average worker's wage and will donate the rest of his salary to community and trade union campaigns as well as to help with the campaigning work of the Socialist Party.

Water Charges - We Won't Pay!

Despite their denials the local parties were about to introduce water charges before the Assembly was suspended. The Socialist Party has helped launch the "Water Charges - We Won't Pay!" campaign.

If elected Tommy Black will:

Oppose water charges and the privatisation of water.
Help build a mass campaign of non payment if charges are introduced.
Press for proper investment in a publicly owned and democratically run water and sewage service

End Low Pay

While the major parties in the Assembly were administering low wages the Socialist Party was on the streets fighting poverty pay. Our "End Low Pay campaign" exposed hundreds of low paying employers and won significant wage rises for many.

If elected Tommy Black will fight for:

an immediate increase in the minimum wage to £6 per hour
the abolition of the youth exemptions

Provide jobs and houses

The Executive presided over the run down of Shorts, the effective closure of the shipyard and sold much of the Harbour estate to Fred Oslen for a paltry £47million.

Tommy Black will campaign for:

The harbour land and the shipyard to be brought back into public ownership to provide jobs, social housing and amenities for all the people of East Belfast.
A halt to the run down of Shorts. If Bombardier try to switch production to Canada the company should be taken into public ownership to retain jobs and skills.

No privatisation - Defend services

Our public services are being sold off to profiteers. Every Minister in the former Executive carried out privatisation.

Tommy Black will fight to:

Stop the sell off of schools, hospitals and other services
Halt PFI and PPP
Bring back into public ownership industry, land and services that have been sold
Provide adequate funding for Health, Education and Housing
Provide massive investment in public transport, so that all areas have cheap, regular and reliable services
Run public services democratically through governing bodies that are elected, not appointed.

Nursery and childcare

37% of children here grow up in poverty. 67% of lone parents live in poverty.

Tommy Black will campaign for:

Free crèche and nursery facilities for all working parents.
Equal pay and genuine equality of opportunity for women.

The money is there!

The excuse for cuts in services, low wages and privatisation is that the money is not there.

The money is there!

When it came to waging an unjustified war against Iraq Tony Blair had money to burn!

Tommy Black will propose that the Assembly spends what is necessary to provide decent services and that we fight for an increase in the Westminster block grant to cover the cost.

Socialist Policies

When they were in power, the UUP, SDLP, DUP and Sinn Fein presided over redundancies, cut backs and closures, all carried out in the name of profit.

Tommy Black will campaign for the public ownership of the major sectors of the economy so that the wealth they create can be used for all our benefit.

Build a real peace process

The sectarian parties have had their chance and have delivered only stalemate and division. They were happy to squabble over the colour of lilies while agreeing to close hospitals and privatise services.

It is time to build an alternative to sectarian politics. We need a new party that can represent the interests of working class people and can provide a real solution to the problems of sectarianism and poverty.

A vote for the Socialist Party is a vote for a real peace process based on uniting people in the working class communities around common interests.

It is a vote for:

community action to eliminate all forms of sectarian intimidation and end all sectarian attacks.
a complete end to all activity by all paramilitaries, loyalist and republican.
full equality and an end to all discrimination on grounds of race, religion, or sex.
genuine community police service under the control of democratically elected policing committees.
local dialogue between elected resident's groups and the marching orders to resolve disputes over parades.
We need to stand together in a common struggle for a socialist solution that ends poverty and exploitation, upholds the rights of both communities and guarantees no coercion of either.

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