Thursday, 21 October 2010

Osborne's cuts are neither necessary nor are they fair

Osborne’s cuts are neither necessary nor are they fair

Labour Chair Sarah King and Labour Group Leader Jo Lovelock have denounced what Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson called “the myth” peddled to justify the cuts announced by George Osborne in his Spending Review today.

Labour Opposition Leader on Reading Council Jo Lovelock says: “Over the next four years, Reading’s grant from central Government will be cut by nearly 30%, and it will be impossible for the ConDem Coalition now running the Council to avoid major cuts which will hurt local people. Their coalition agreement says they would reduce expenditure by ‘efficiency savings’ but they’ve already taken the axe to children’s services in the first round of cuts in September and now there’s a whole lot more to come. It seems to us that not just the Conservatives but also the Liberal Democrats are relishing the excuse to cut back on public services. And while they talk of being “fair to all”, it is always the most vulnerable who rely on council services the most and they will always bear the brunt. The Labour Group will continue to highlight areas where there are alternatives to hitting those most in need, but these drastic cuts, apparently supported by the local coalition as necessary, should be of huge concern to everyone.”

“As Alan Johnson pointed out,” Labour Chair Sarah King says, “it is just not credible to pretend that the biggest global economic crisis since the great depression is the fault of the British government. Especially as, when the global crisis hit, the UK had the second lowest debt of any G7 country and the percentage of taxes spent on servicing the debt was less when Labour left office in 2010 that when we took over from the Tories in 1997.”

“Mr Osborne’s rush for cuts will cost half-a-million jobs in the public sector, and more in the private sector. It is a reckless gamble with people’s lives which runs the risk of stifling the still fragile recovery.

The ConDem coalition think by playing on the fear of debt they can convince the public that the wholescale reform of our public services and local government is necessary. This is not about what the economy needs but a deep seated belief by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats that the state should not provide support to the vulnerable and those in need."

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