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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 January 2011
Councils ramp up service charges
COUNCILS ARE massively increasing charges to residents - aside from hefty council tax increases - for providing local services. These increases are an attempt to make up part of the huge funding shortfall that many councils are experiencing as a result of the coalition cuts in central government grants.
Increased charges include; paying more for home help and meals on wheels, ending the provision of free nurseries, massive hikes in hire charges in sport centres, extending parking charges to cover weekends, and even increasing the cost of burial plots.
Disingenuously, the government response has been to argue that such increases shouldn't be made to offset higher executive salaries or to avoid making 'efficiency savings'.
The government's tut-tutting about these increased charges conveniently dodges the fact that council workers' pay is being frozen for yet another year along with huge job cuts and a worsening of workers' employment conditions. It also sidesteps the inconvenient truth that billions of pounds of central government cuts in council funding is devastating local services.
Of course these charges and cuts can and must be resisted. Trade unions in councils such as in Birmingham have been fighting savage cuts with industrial action.
However, Labour-run authorities, while wringing their hands over the cuts, are meekly capitulating to government demands instead of putting up a fight alongside the workers and local communities they are supposed to represent.
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Coronavirus crisis - 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.
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In The Socialist 12 January 2011:
Bankers get billions - We get cuts
Youth fight for jobs
March for a future - Join the demonstrations on 29 January
More attacks on rights for young workers
Axe falls on courses at UWIC
Students at Leeds Trinity re-occupy
International socialist news and analysis
Tunisia: Wave of protests against repressive regime
National Shop Stewards Network
Rage at inequality fires workers' action
NSSN National: Anti-Cuts Conference
NSSN debate: The way forward for the anti-cuts movement
National Shop Stewards Network: Strategy and tactics - a dialogue
Labour baroness wants politics kept out of the Forest of Dean
Fighting Labour's cuts in Waltham Forest
Socialist Party news and analysis
Jobs cut while the rich carry on partying
The plot thickens at News International
'Big Oil' cuts corners on safety to boost profits
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Councils ramp up service charges
Campaigners tell PM: 'No to Royal Mail privatisation'
Police moles attempt to discredit protest movements
Socialist Party workplace news
Unison rejects NHS pay freeze
Kirklees council: First round victory in cuts battle
Darlington: Newsquest strikes continue to spread
Rotherham teachers strike
Workplace news in brief
The Socialist 12 January 2011 |
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