The political aim from Sarah Teather will be to pass on as much of the blame as possible to local Councils. Governments get politically slaughtered for making cuts to Departments such as Health where local authorities have less control.
In Brent we have been asked to make £94 million cuts to our budget. Our total budget for the last financial year was in the region of £260 million which should give you an idea of the scale of cuts we’re being forced to make. With around 80% of our funds coming from central Government, any rhetoric that these are cuts that Councils are making is deceptive.
Coalition Minister Sarah Teather has already sent out a propaganda leaflet which targets the Labour Council for making these cuts. But if we don’t make cuts, then administrators come in and make these cuts for us. It’s worth noting that the cuts are more directives from the Government as many are because of Central Government money that was set out for certain schemes being slashed.
In the 1980s, the Thatcher Government made cuts that were designed to pass the buck towards local authorities as much as possible. In addition, Tory Councils were hit less by the cuts in comparison to Labour controlled authorities.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and history repeats itself. Labour controlled Councils are being hit disproportionately by the cuts imposed by the Con Dem Coalition Government.