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Thousands to protest across Britain as People's Assembly rallies against soaring cost of living

THOUSANDS of people are taking to the streets across Britain tomorrow to protest against the rising cost of living and the lack of government action on the crisis.

Organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, demonstrations will take place from 12pm onwards in towns and cities from Aberdeen to Stoke-on-Trent.

Organiser Ramona McCartney said that the cost-of-living crisis was “suffocating the working class … and the government doesn’t seem to care.”

She told the Morning Star: “Other countries have taken steps to insulate the public from energy cost increases, but ours says: ‘Let’s let companies like Shell and BP get away with murder.’

“And I’m sorry, but if you’re working poor and your energy bills double, it really could be murder.”

Ms McCartney said the large number of protests shows that people are “starting to fight back” and “beginning to connect the dots.”

Dozens of campaign groups are supporting the action.

Friends of the Earth tweeted: “Polluters like Shell are making billions in profit. Meanwhile, people across the UK are facing eye-watering energy bills and impossible choices.”

Keep Our NHS Public co-chairman Dr Tony O’Sullivan wrote: “So many in dire poverty [are being] forced to choose between eating are heating.

“But [the government] hits lower paid with National Insurance taxes, as energy and food prices soar and true inflation [stands] at 7.8 per cent.”

Linda Burnip of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) warned that people with disabilities have been facing a cost-of-living crisis “for many years due to Tory austerity policies.”

She told the Star: “Those who need social care … have been particularly hard-hit, often being forced to choose between heating, eating or simply existing, rather than living.”

Ms Burnip warned that winter death rates among older and disabled people have also increased as they have been unable to afford to heat their homes, while insufficient social security payments have sent cases of malnutrition skyrocketing.

“It is time for us all to unite and rid ourselves of a government which only supports the rich,” she said.

Usdaw Scotland secretary Tracy Gilbert called for “lasting and fundamental changes” as the retail union heads to the Scottish Labour spring conference this weekend.

“We need a new deal for workers: a minimum wage of at least £10 per hour immediately, an end to insecure employment and action to ensure that retail jobs are no longer underpaid and undervalued,” Ms Gilbert said.

To find your nearest protest, visit thepeoplesassembly.org.uk.

Further protests are planned for April 2.

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