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Devastating cuts

Tory austerity hits most deprived councils hardest
Ryan Fletcher, Friday, April 8th, 2016

Spending cuts for Labour councils are more than five times higher than for Tory councils, new Labour Party research has revealed.


By the end of Parliament Labour held local authorities will lose an average of £340 in spending power per household, compared to just £68 for more affluent Tory run councils, the research found.


The ten councils set to have the UK’s deepest cuts are all Labour controlled, whilst eight of the 10 councils retaining the most money are under the control of the Conservatives.


For nine of the 10 most deprived areas in the UK – all them under Labour administrations – greater than average austerity measures are also being imposed.


The second most deprived area in the country, Knowsley in Merseyside, is facings cuts of more than £760 per household by 2020.


The figures show that cuts are deliberately punishing poorer Labour areas whilst sparing wealthy Tory ones, said Unite national officer for local authorities, Fiona Farmer.


“These cuts are politically motivated with working people facing the highest level of cuts in Labour authorities such as Knowsley, Hull and Nottingham,” she said.


“Waste and refuse, highways, social care, children’s and youth services are being drastically cut as Labour councils struggle to manage their budgets. But Tory councils are being shielded.”


Despite Tory claims of reviving the economy, their policy of cutting public services to the bone is having the opposite effect, commented Farmer.


“Thousands of jobs are at risk, this makes no economic sense,” she said. “For every £1 earned by local government workers, 60p is re-spent in the local community.


“Local government has borne the brunt of cuts to public services. We need fair funding for local government and a recognition that local government is as vital as the NHS.”


Vocal and organised opposition and high voter turnout in the upcoming local elections is needed if the brakes are to be applied on the Tories’ wrecking of the country, said Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner.


“The cuts carried out by this government are devastating lives, local communities and our economy as a whole,” he said. “Building opposition to what this government is doing continues to be vital work. On the April 16, thousands will demonstrate in central London for the People’s Assembly Against Austerity’s four demands of health, homes, jobs and education.


“Just a few weeks later are the local, mayoral and devolved administration elections – Labour has made clear it is an anti-austerity party and is staking out an alternative economic policy that can deliver the public services people need and deserve.”


Want to learn how much your local area will be affected by Tory cuts? Find out with the Tory local cuts calculator.


Find out how you can take part in the fight against Tory austerity at the People Assembly march on April 16 here.


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