I was absolutely dismayed at the level of hypocrisy shown by the Brent Liberal Democrats and Brent Tories at the Full Brent Council meeting this week. I tabled a motion at the meeting reading, “This Council condemns the £104 million cut to Brent’s Budget over the spending review period”, which Brent Liberal Democrat and Brent Tory Councillors failed to support.
While appearing to fight for local services they have adopted a peculiar position of apparently supporting the Coalition’s chosen method of cutting public spending which has led to more cuts to Brent’s Central Government grant than in other Councils.
There are two main arguments floating around as to why we have a large public debt. In short, one that it was a global economic crisis that led to a collapse of the banking system meaning that the Government had to borrow to stimulate the economy, bail out the financial sector and lost out on projected tax revenue income. The second that Labour public spending was out of control and is to blame for the country’s deficit and deficits of USA, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Germany, France and many more, which we have to pay for now.
Regardless of what line of argument you believe, I thought that all Councillors of all parties would be unified in condemning the scale of cuts to Brent compared to other Boroughs.
Even if you believe that the scale of cuts is necessary nationally and that the debt should be tackled within one Parliament (The Coalition Government’s original plan A on the economy), is it fair that Brent Council has to make cuts in the region of 27-28% of our controllable budget whilst other Councils are not being hurt as bad as Brent? Brent is losing out on £73 per resident whereas Guildford faces a cut of £10 a person and Richmond £5.39 a person.
If Brent Tory Liberal Councillors do blame Labour for creating the deficit, do they believe that people in Brent caused the recession more than residents from other areas and therefore should be made to pay and suffer more?