TUC 2012: An emergency fund to support unemployed people in areas of special need led a list of union demands for strong action on welfare and social issues today.
More than 500 delegates on the last day of the TUC Congress unanimously launched a parting broadside touching on the welfare state, welfare reform and child poverty.
A composite motion, moved by PCS and seconded by the NUM, called for the TUC general council to set up a fund to support trade union and unemployed workers' centres in areas where they're needed.
It also called on the council to co-ordinate a campaign to defend and rebuild the welfare state and work with welfare campaigners and disability activists.
Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy lashed out at the government's record on social housing and called for a comprehensive plan to solve the housing crisis.
He said: "We have an absolute moral obligation to tackle this housing emergency. And it makes economic sense.
"Invest in construction and we will see growth. Invest in social housing and we will also see wider community and social benefits."
He said under the Con-Dems homelessness has risen by 14 per cent, families living in bed and breakfast have increased by 44 per cent, private rents have increased by 26 per cent and there are five million people on housing waiting lists.
In the six months up to September 2011 just 259 properties for social rent were completed. At least 240,000 new homes are needed each year to meet demand.
Mr Murphy said: "A large-scale programme of social house building will generate jobs, reinvigorate the economy and most of all will diminish social inequality."