Cost of living crisis protest in Manchester city centre this weekend - here’s where and when it will be
Here’s your guide to where demonstrators will be gathering in the city centre this weekend and why they are protesting.
and live on Freeview channel 276
Demonstrators will make their way through the city centre on Saturday afternoon (12 February) to demand Government action to lessen the burden on ordinary people.
Organisers and supporters, which include political campaigning groups and trade unions, say workers should not be having to put up with spiralling bills and ministers need to look at policies to tackle the crisis.
Here’s what you need to know about where the protest will be taking place and why.
Where is the cost of living crisis protest in Manchester taking place?
Demonstrators are being asked to gather at the Wellington statue in the eastern corner of Piccadilly Gardens at 1pm on Saturday (12 February).
The march will depart at 1.30pm and complete a 2.2-mile circuit around the city centre.
Along the way it will pass the office of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) at Trinity Bridge House before returning to Piccadilly Gardens at around 3pm.
The march is sure to be a loud and colourful spectacle as it is expected that a samba band will be leading it.
Once back at Piccadilly Gardens there will be a few speeches made.
Protestors are being encouraged to bring friends and work colleagues along as well as banners and placards for the march.
Why is the event being held?
They say residents are being hit by a perfect financial storm, with inflation reaching 7.5%, wages struggling to keep up, cuts to Universal Credit and the breaking of the pensions triple lock.
Furthermore, in April there will be a National Insurance rise as well as large increases to fuel bills.
Organisers of the protest are calling for a range of measures to tackle the problems, including capping energy bills, insulating homes, investing in renewable energy sources, bringing in a windfall tax on oil and gas company profits, nationalising big energy firms, restoring more generous pensions and benefits and increasing the minimum wage.
Similar protests are being held in cities across the UK this weekend.
What has been said about the protest?
Prominent supporters of this weekend’s demonstrations include leading trade union Unite.
Its general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Why should workers pay for the energy crisis and why should they pay for shambolic Government policies?
“Demonstrations are springing up because people are fed up of rich men telling them that they have to pay for boardroom greed and colossal market failure.
“There are workers up and down the UK fighting for fair pay so they can afford to put food on the table and heat their homes. They have Unite’s unwavering support.”
Last week Unite blasted Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey for calling for pay restraint, saying his comments amounted to appealing for “a national pay cut”.
What has the Government said?
The Government has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks to take action on the cost of living.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an energy bills rebate, consisting of £200 which will then be recovered in £40 installments once gas prices have gone down, and a further £150 assistance for households in council tax bands A to D.
Discretionary funding of £144 million will also be provided to vulnerable people or individuals on low incomes who do not pay council tax, or live in properties in bands E to H.
However, the plans have been widely criticised as not ambitious enough, with the Labour Party suggesting a windfall tax on oil and gas company profits.
Regulator Ofgem has admitted that on average household energy bills will rise by some £700 in April.