IMMIDIATE BRENT COUNCIL LABOUR GROUP RESPONSE:
The Labour Deputy Leader of Brent Council, Councillor Muhammed Butt has warned that the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review will lead to acute hardship for local people and will threaten economic recovery.
Economic growth is at best anaemic, mortgage lending is at a ten low year and long term unemployment is rising. In the Brent Central constituency alone, male unemployment is already at 8.2%. School building and play builder programmes have been slashed, which will hit the construction industry – the engine of economic recovery – as well as a generation of school students; welfare benefits have been cut.
Local authority spending is to be cut by more than 25%, which will impact on poorer and more vulnerable sections of the community who most depend on public services. Tuition fees are set to more than double making it impossible for young people from working class and middle income families to get a degree. Meanwhile, the bankers who caused the crisis will continue to receive obscene bonuses.
Deputy Leader of Brent Council, Muhammed Butt said:
“Everyone agrees that the deficit needs to be reduced but it is a question of how quickly that is done. Before the election the Liberal Democrats agreed with us that cutting too fast too soon would damage the recovery – that speed kills. They changed their mind as soon as they were offered ministerial limousines. The government makes the analogy with credit card debt but a more appropriate analogy is with mortgages. What rational person would go without food in order to pay off their mortgage within five years? The truth is that these cuts are driven by the Tories’ secret agenda to destroy the welfare state, something they have always wanted to do and the Liberal Democrats are their partners in crime”.