In Brent, we know this is true as we have lost Police Sergeants in Brent as all were made to reapply for their jobs so that spending targets could be met.
At a Brent Council Partnership and Place Committee Meeting I revealed that even losses to back office staff to the domestic violence team in Brent meant that frontline staff were spending time they would otherwise spend helping people, doing paperwork and desk office functions.
The anwers I received reveals that even back office cuts has a profound impact on frontline services.
Figures out today show that debt under the Tory Liberals has increased and passed the Trillion Pound mark.
The Tory Liberal approach to tacking the budget deficit, cutting too far and too fast without having a plan for growth has already produced high levels of unemployment, growth revised downward from 1.6% under the Labour plan to address the deficit to 0.6% under this Tory Liberal plan.
Unemployment has not been this high since David Cameron was an advisor to the Thatcher Government. In addition, youth unemployment is having a damaging impact on our next generation.
Inflation is also higher than in previous years with the cost of living rising and the Government making things worse by increasing VAT. All this further supports Labour’s call for a five point plan for jobs which I have blogged about in the past here – LINK.
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.
Labour’s fiscal stimulus helped make sure that recession didn’t turn into depression and that stimulus meant that people did not lose savings in their bank accounts, or mortgages didn’t collapse along with the banks, which would’ve led to people losing their homes.
Yes, Labour did borrow to help us recover from the crisis and that is why we now face a large public debt. But there is an alternative to paying back that debt. The Labour alternative presented at the last election was to first focus on recovery and pay back 50% of the debt within the next Parliamentary term (4 to 5 years). The Lib Dem / Tory plan is to pay it all off within the same timeframe and starting the cuts now risks economic recovery as the first year following a recession is always fragile. Even Thatcher didn’t make any cuts following first year following the downturn in the 1980s.
Figures from the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies show the difference between the current plans that are due to be implemented by the Coalition Government and the Labour alternative.
At the last full council meeting, Lib Dem group leader Paul Lorber barked on about blaming Labour for the state of the economy, ignoring the role that banks had to play.
But to say Labour is the reason why we’re in this mess is simply wrong… it’s irresponsible bankers that got us into this mess, and they should play a strong part in bearing the brunt of the costs for the role that they played getting us into this mess. While the Lib Dems and Tories are pushing out the message that Labour is to blame, the bankers responsible for the crisis are getting away with it.
Normally blog posts are about the author’s views. But today I draw upon what a local Dudden Hill resident said to me this weekend.
I was out talking to a local resident in Neasden on Saturday conversing about what the Government is doing with regards to public spending.
“This is typical Tory”, he said, reverting back to his memories of the Thatcher Government in the 1980s. “These cuts are all ideological, they just want to cut, cut, cut.”
With most of the cuts yet to even come into force, he said “it’s already affecting people.”
….. and it is. It’s been hard enough for people to cope with the impact of the recession, but to have cuts to services, to benefits for people who may have lost their job during the recession, and the forthcoming rise in VAT, will be hitting people that need help the hardest.
The Independent reports that the Liberal Democrat and Conservative coalition’s expected cuts agenda is at the expense of people’s jobs – LINK
This echoes policy of the Thatcher Government where in her heyday, where in her cuts agenda, the priority was tackling inflation not protecting people’s jobs. Now the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives are looking to tackle the deficit rather than concentrate on securing the economic recovery.
During the election campaign, the then Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable supported the Labour Party position to concentrate on securing the economic recovery and agreed that cuts now may lead to a double dip recession. The Lib Dems now appear to have done a total U-turn in Government and gone back on their principles and what they said.
Former Finchley and Golders Green MP Rudi Vis has sadly passed away following his battle with cancer. He did not contest the 2010 election due to ill health. Prior to Rudi’s election victory in 1992, his seat had been held by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher since 1959.