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Local government :: Council tax
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Which side are you on? That question should be asked of every Labour councillor in Swansea as they prepare to vote on butchering £45 million of jobs and services.
As I sat in my Unison stewards' meeting, listening to a long list of cuts proposals, discussed by the Labour cabinet and outlined to union officers, I felt myself first getting down, then angry and finally determined that this must be where we draw a line in the sand and say: "no more cuts!"
These proposals will take the number of Swansea council job losses to around 1,200 since Con-Dem austerity began, with nearly another 700 to go on top of around 500 already cut. Councillors say that they want to minimise compulsory redundancies, but accept many likely volunteers have already gone in previous rounds.
They also propose axing, selling or reducing a whole range of services, including:
Some union members think the council should increase council tax to reduce attacks on jobs. But an increase in council tax is a cut in the living standards of ordinary people. And even a big hike in council tax will only put a small dent in the cull of jobs and services proposed.
Stewards passed a resolution opposing the cuts and committing to balloting for strike action to resist compulsory redundancies. This is a vital part of preparing the fightback, which will need to unite council workers with service users in opposition to all cuts.
We need to be prepared to put up our own anti-cuts candidates in future elections against Labour councillors who carry out Con-Dem cuts.
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Civil service cuts (1)
Council tax (63)
Council tax (63)
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Article dated 11 December 2013
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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