Tory bosses at Southampton City Council want to take services away from the city’s least well off while protecting discounts for the better off, say the city’s Labour councillors. They’re proposing an amendment to make the budget fairer, to be debated at the Budget setting meeting on Wednesday, 15th February.
The council’s own reports warn that many of the Tories’ proposed cuts would fall disproportionately on the elderly and the vulnerable, whilst at the same time protecting the 10% council tax discount for the most well off senior citizens in the city.
Labour Group Leader Councillor Richard Williams said; “We’ve used the council’s own assessments to show where the impacts of their cuts are most serious. In many cases they affect the elderly and the vulnerable the most. In tough times like these, the better off should shoulder more of the challenges, not those with the least. That’s why we want to reallocate the £1,000,000 rich pensioners Council Tax discount to services that help many more elderly and vulnerable people.”
For example, Labour proposes to stop the Tories’ increases in the price of day care and services for disabled people. They would also use some of the saved discount to keep the city clean.
New unemployment figures show there are now over 2,500 people on Jobseekers Allowance in Southampton Itchen.
Unemployment is now higher than at any point since 1994, the last time the Conservative Party was in power. Youth unemployment is now perilously close being over one million. Women’s unemployment now stands at 1,069,000, the highest it has been since 1988.
Today’s figures are the clearest proof yet that the Tory-led Government’s decision to cut too far and too fast is hurting and not working.
Mr Denham said: “These bleak unemployment figures are bad news. It clearly shows the Tory-led Government has taken Britain on the wrong path. While unemployment is decreasing in America, Japan and the rest of Europe, ours has risen to its highest level in 17 years.
“What we need now is a decent plan for growth and jobs.”
Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Liam Byrne said: “This is a day of judgement for the government.
“Today’s figures are the clearest proof yet that the government’s decision to cut too far and too fast is hurting and just not working. Unemployment is soaring, and more young people are out of work than ever before.
Westminster Council is planning to cut its Taxicard budget by £500,000 a year, just a week after agreeing to introduce evening and Sunday parking charges that will rake in an extra £7 million a year for the Council.
Cuts in the Taxicard budget of over £500,000 a year will result in 20% fewer people using the service, according to a Westminster City Council report. The Council plans to introduce a ‘means test’ to reduce the number of people using the service, as part of its continuing £60 million budget cuts. The Council estimates that it will save £292,000 in 2011/12, increasing to £519,000 in 2012/13 and subsequent years.
From 31st October 2011, the Council will introduce a ‘means test’ as part of the application process for a Taxicard. In future, only those who can demonstrate that they are on a low income would be eligible for the scheme. The Council says, “This would apply to all applicants to the scheme, including those who previously met the ‘automatic’ eligibility criteria, i.e. are registered blind, receive the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, receive a higher rate of Attendance Allowance, or receive a war pension mobility supplement.”
The Council also plans to introduce a face-to face Occupational Therapy assessment for those who qualify under the financial criteria, but do not receive the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance, do not receive a higher rate of Attendance Allowance, do not receive a war pension mobility supplement or are not registered blind.
Ed Miliband has added to his televised statements this morning calling for Rebekah Brooks to stand down from her News International position, writing in his blog:
People are right to ask what has happened to the British press for parts of it to operate in this way. It is beneath contempt.
British newspapers have been – and can be – showcases for some of the best journalism in the world.
What we heard about last night was undeniably an example of the worst journalism in the world.
The police investigation needs to take its course and get right to the bottom of what happened.
But it is up to senior [...]
Benedict Brogan’s revelations about the relationship and priorities of Boris Johnson, David Cameron and George Osborne confirms that Boris Johnson’s recent, very public criticisms of government policies are part of an agreed Tory strategy to try to distance the London Mayor from David Cameron’s government. Far from being at loggerheads “the two, who are routinely portrayed as pitched against each other in a contest for supremacy over the Conservative Party, are in fact joined at the hip.”
“Boris has been decoupling himself from the Tory leadership for months. This is, in fact, ‘an agreed strategy rather than a unilateral declaration of independence.’
Some time ago, he came to an understanding [...]
Ed Miliband has used his own blog to explain where David Cameron got it wrong at Prime Minister’s Questions today, saying:
Today we saw the usual pattern from the Prime Minister when he is in a corner. I have seen it at PMQs before – on school sports, NHS competition law and sentencing.
First he denies his own policy, then he tries insults. Usually, the U-turn follows
Will the same happen today? It certainly should.
It is bad enough that he insulted cancer victims by claiming they were a “smokescreen” Labour were using to distract from other issues.
But as I returned to my office after Prime Minister’s Question Time and read the messages to [...]
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls today gave a speech at the Institute of Directors warning that failure to create jobs and growth because of excessive cuts could result in the same vicious circle here in Britain as Ireland, Portugal and Greece, where their debt and deficit problems and the loss of market confidence gets worse, not better, the more they cut.
Ed Balls has published the full speech on his own blog, but this is how he concluded:
Let me conclude by saying this. My political opponents have accused me of talking down the economy.
As I have argued before, British history shows us that on previous occasions when major economic [...]
The Scottish Labour Party has today announced the sad death of David Cairns, 44, Labour MP for Inverclyde. Ed Miliband today led tributes.
A Labour spokesperson said: “It is with great regret that we have to announce that David Cairns, Member of Parliament for Inverclyde, passed away at 11 pm last night at the Royal Free, London. David had been suffering from acute pancreatitis after he was admitted as an emergency patient eight weeks ago. Our thoughts are with his partner Dermot, his father John, his brother Billy and all his many friends and family. David’s untimely death is a huge loss to parliament and politics in this country.”
Ed Miliband, [...]
BBC North West’s Political editor, Arif Ansari, has shared the content of a secret email to Nick Clegg from a leading Liberal Democrat councillor in Liverpool warning that the Party is heading for electoral disaster on 5 May.
“The Labour and Trade Union movement are saturating the streets of Liverpool, even in our heartlands,” Warren Bradley, who was council leader for six years, wrote in the email to the Deputy Prime Minister.
“Liberalism started in Liverpool (Church Ward) during the late 60’s with Sir Trevor Jones and Cyril Carr being the driving force; a ward we have held for many years through thick and thin, sadly this year, because of [...]
Manchester Evening News reports that Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have urged readers to join the paper’s campaign to give Manchester its fair share of government cash:
The Labour Leader said: “I welcome the opportunity to give my support to the Manchester Evening News’s campaign.
“These cuts are not only unfair but the wrong long-term choices for the future of Greater Manchester.
“Councils are working hard to find savings but the fact is that these cuts go too far and too fast – hitting jobs, economic growth and the vital frontline services people rely on.
“I urge M.E.N. readers to sign the petition and send a message to the Tory-led [...]