I don’t think I was alone in being somewhat confused to hear the Prime Minister declare that “austerity is over”, given that the Government is still planning a further £1.3billion cut to council budgets next year.
Tory Treasury Minister Liz Truss must have been similarly befuddled, as she also declared that the Government is “not making cuts to local authorities” – an early contender for ‘Barefaced Lie of the Year 2018’.
Austerity has caused huge damage to communities across the UK, and now many council budgets are in crisis. The Tory government is entirely to blame; overall, councils have lost 60p out of every £1 since 2010. Now, Labour councillors are saying that enough is enough, and have launched the #BreakingPoint campaign.
More than 5,000 Labour councillors have already supported the Breaking Point petition.
We are calling on the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to use the Budget to reverse next year’s planned £1.3 billion cut to council budgets, immediately invest £2 billion in children’s services and a further £2 billion in adult social care to stop these vital emergency services from collapsing, and pledge to use the Spending Review to restore council funding to 2010 levels over the next four years.
Labour in local government is speaking with one voice – now it is up to the Government to listen and to act, before it’s too late.