Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

Election campaigns :: Councillors

spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

Education

* Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Councillors


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1047, 19 June 2019: Trade union action can end low pay

Search site for keywords: Council - Cuts - Labour - Liverpool - Austerity - Councillors - Council tax

Council cuts continue while reserves rise

Trade union and Socialist Party members protesting for a no-cuts budget in Swansea, 28.2.19, photo Socialist Party Wales

Trade union and Socialist Party members protesting for a no-cuts budget in Swansea, 28.2.19, photo Socialist Party Wales   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Walsh, Liverpool council worker and Unite member

Local authorities in England are sitting on almost 22 billion of financial reserves, 5 billion more than the year before, the Sunday Times reports. Councils have been accused of choosing to raise council tax in order to build reserves rather than maintain services.

The article accepts that government grants have been drastically reduced since 2010, but suggests that council cuts were mainly a result of bad management.

However, last year the Institute for Fiscal Studies said the current system was unsustainable, particularly for councils in the north and urban areas, which have been hit hardest by the cuts. It also said the government should be honest that these councils will not be able to provide many of the services people expect.

According to the Centre for Cities, in Liverpool Council, where I work, spending is down by 816 for every person in the city compared to 2010. The workforce has been reduced from 12,000 in 2010 to fewer than 5,000 today.

The cuts have been devastating for the most vulnerable people in the city.

When the director of social services, Samir Kalakeche, retired in 2017, he warned in an interview with the Guardian that social services would not exist in Liverpool by 2019 if changes weren't made.

Changes have been made, but only so budgets can be spread extremely thinly. The most vulnerable people now receive wholly inadequate care packages, while those classed as needing moderate care go without help or must find the money to pay.

Bankrupt

In 2018, the National Audit Office reported that some councils were at breaking point and were using reserves to run day-to-day services, and that reserves would be exhausted by 2021 at that rate. In fact, Northamptonshire County Council declared itself bankrupt in 2017 and was forced to sell its HQ to fund day-to-day services.

Labour councils like Liverpool are implementing Tory cuts, causing enormous pain and suffering.

Labour figures like our own council leader Joe Anderson argue it would be irresponsible to set a no-cuts budget. The government and its wealthy backers would agree, but Anderson should be responsible for the care of the residents and workers of the city. Clearly they are not his priority.

Labour councils have left people in desperation year after year, hoping a Labour government will solve their problems, but how long must we wait? And will Labour, while it's overrun with Blairites, be able to end austerity?

Labour councils should not increase council tax or make cuts to compensate for Tory austerity. Nor should they simply provide a bare minimum of day-to-day services.

Instead they should use reserves and borrowing powers to restore services, build new council homes and create jobs. Just like in Liverpool, where the Labour council led by the Militant (now the Socialist Party) conducted such a campaign between 1983 and 1987, local people would respond.

They would see and feel the benefit of the councillors' actions. And the working class could be galvanised in support, ready to rise up, just like in Liverpool, where mass rallies of tens of thousands of people could be called upon to march on the town hall.

If just a few Labour councils were willing to follow the Liverpool example, this weak and divided Tory government would be brought to its knees.

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell should stop retreating from the Blairite challenge and provide bold leadership, encouraging councillors to take this action.

If they fail to provide a clear alternative to Tory austerity, and people are unable to see the difference between them and the Blairites, they will squander their chance of reclaiming the Labour Party and transforming society along socialist lines.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Election campaigns keywords:

Candidates (92)

Council elections (56)

Councillors (427)

Election (1364)

Elections (567)

Elections 2015 (3)

General election (257)

No2EU (83)

TUSC (1128)

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (557)

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Article dated 19 June 2019

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle19 Apr Oxfordshire & Aylesbury Socialist Party: Poland under Stalinism

triangle20 Apr Bristol North Socialist Party: Vaccinations, innovation and capitalism

triangle20 Apr Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: Election Question Time with candidates from TUSC

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

Covid-19

News

Elections

Workplace news

Lessons from history

Campaigns news

Readers' opinion

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1129 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version