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From: The Socialist issue 1123, 3 March 2021: Not a budget for the working class!

Search site for keywords: Devon - Tories - Labour - Council - Budget - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition - Council tax

Labour surrenders to Tories in Devon

Protesting against Devon county council's sham consultation in 2018, photo Exeter Socialist Party

Protesting against Devon county council's sham consultation in 2018, photo Exeter Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Sean Brogan, Devon Socialist Party

Devon County Council majority Tory group has passed a budget with a 4.99% rise in the council tax. This is the maximum allowed under government rules, and is a tax that hits those on low incomes. Was it opposed? Yes, but this was left to the Liberal councillors.

The opposition response from Labour group leader, Cllr Hannaford was: "As a responsible opposition, after careful consideration and discussion, we recognise and acknowledged this strongly... We will be supporting and voting for the budget this year".

Even the Liberals' plans were to take 6.15 million out of council reserves. The degeneration of the leaders of the Labour Party is there for all to see. Ten years of austerity has seen the closure of youth facilities, community hospitals, and an endless reduction of resources. What do most Labour politicians do but hold up their hands in surrender? The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is mounting a challenge in Devon and urges others to unite with us to make a fighting stand against all cuts.

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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.

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Article dated 3 March 2021

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