Nov 12th, 2015
Organise a tax credits petition hand-in!
By Becca McCarthy
UPDATE 12th November: there are over 60 petition hand-ins organised! Click here to see if there’s one already organised near you!
Together, 38 Degrees members helped force George Osborne to pause his plans to cut tax credits. But on the 25th November he’s coming back with a new plan, and there’s a risk this could be just as bad. We’ve got just two weeks to make sure the cuts are stopped for good. Otherwise, 200,000 children could be pushed into poverty.
Pressure from 38 Degrees members on Conservative MPs helped force Osborne to pause his plans. But if we’re going to get the cuts stopped for good, we need even more pressure on Conservative MPs to block cuts in support for low-paid families.
So here’s the plan. It’s ambitious but together, we can make it happen. There are 330 Conservative MPs, and for each MP, there is a petition calling on them to oppose tax credit cuts. Let’s make sure every MP has their petition delivered direct to them in their local office – by a delegation of local voters demanding to know what they’ll be doing to oppose the cuts.
Petition deliveries like this really raise the pressure on MPs. A petition delivery to your MP will prove that this campaign will just keep growing until the cuts are stopped. It will force them to justify their position. And it will give your local papers another reason to write reports about the tax credit cuts, further piling on the pressure.
So, please could you help hand in the petition to your MP? 38 Degrees members all over the country are taking part, so you’re part of a bigger team. It’s easy to get started. You’ll be the person who organises the date and time with your MP’s office, then other 38 Degrees members can join you on the day. You’ll get a pack in the post with everything you’ll need to take along on the day, and support from the 38 Degrees staff team too.
|Here are the simple steps to take to set up a meeting:
Give their office a quick call, and ask their staff for a meeting with your MP in the next couple of weeks (before 25th November if possible). Tell them you want to hand in a petition against the cuts to tax credits which has been signed by people in their constituency.
Make sure you agree on a location for the hand-in with your MP when you speak to them.
It doesn’t need to be a long meeting if your MP’s diary is busy – you can just ask for a few minutes of their time. Any time in front of your MP will have impact. You might have to be flexible with finding a time that works.
Your MP’s constituency office number can be found by searching your postcode here.
2) Once you’ve got a time and date, please enter the details online, here.
This means that the 38 Degrees staff team can offer you support before the petition hand-in. We’ll also invite other local 38 Degrees members along, if you’d like! Let us know in the event details of there’s a limited number of spaces to join.
You’ll need to register or log into the site with your name, email and address, and then type in the time and location of your event. It’s important that you type in your address because you’ll get a pack for the petition hand-in in the post – a petition box, some top tips and a certificate to give to your MP.
The sooner you register your event the better – other 38 Degrees members in your area can’t be invited along until the event’s up there, and the staff team won’t know who to send a pack to!
If you’d like somebody from the 38 Degrees staff team to give you a ring before you call your MP, click here to pick a time and we’ll do our best to get back to you.
Each petition pack costs around £15 – that’s the price of the petition box, printing the certificate and help sheets, and postage to the 38 Degrees member who is organising it. If you can’t set up a meeting, but want to chip in a few pounds to help make it happen, click here.
Even if your MP hasn’t said anything in public yet, whispers of secret crisis meetings show that any MP could oppose the cuts. We’re already seeing the impact we’re having – that’s why we need to keep fighting. Together, we can make sure that no low-paid family loses out.
So please can you call your MP’s office now and set a date, time and place to hand-in the petition against tax credit cuts?
If you have any other questions before you get started, you can check out the help page here.