Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1075/30329
Leicester: We can't take any more cuts, any more misery, and we are fighting back
Lindsey Morgan, Leicester Socialist Party
In one of the poorest cities in the country, the cuts will disproportionately affect those on low incomes, particularly women and the disabled - as stated in the council's own budget report!
Excluding social care, 62% has been cut from Leicester services over the last ten years. And the misery is set to continue.
The council is increasing council tax by 4%, pushing the burden of paying for Leicester services even further onto workers.
It's OK though, apparently, because they have a plan to mitigate the worst effects - by effectively letting women know about food banks and giving them budget advice!
The council found £700,000 to buy a car showroom as part of a gentrification project. Why should we pay more to big business? The money isn't 'trickling down' here.
The council is arguing that by using a 'managed reserves strategy' they won't be implementing cuts this year. This fund was built by cutting more than the government forced them to in order to build up a surplus.
But throughout the year, the mayor has the executive power to make cuts, without the scrutiny of the full council. We have no faith that they won't try more cuts. The council's own report states that major pressures persist and future funding isn't clear.
We can't take any more cuts, any more misery, and we are fighting back.
Leicester Socialist Party lobbied the council on 19 February. We campaign for a solution that could put a stop to all this pain and suffering the Labour council is inflicting on us.
The council should take the 'Liverpool road' - just like when Liverpool council beat Thatcher - and use reserves and borrowing powers to set a legal no-cuts budget.
This should be fought for by a coalition of council workers and their trade unions and community activists, joining together to pressure the council.
But our Blairite-controlled council won't set a no-cuts budget if we just ask nicely.
If one council refused to make cuts, we could use that movement to inspire communities around the country to put pressure on their councils too, get anti-cuts councils to support each other and unify to force central government to refund the money.
All of this is possible and more. Enough is enough. Fight for more, fight for socialism.
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In The Socialist 26 February 2020:
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