It appears that even stanch Conservatives have had enough of the inner-circle of government’s ‘austerity’ measures.
In an unusual move, Conservative led local authorities have formed an alliance with Labour and LibDem led authorities to tell Osborne enough is enough.
The Conservative controlled Local Government Association (LGA) said in a letter to the Observer that they have already imposed cuts of 40% since 2010 and can not afford more cuts.
They state that any further cuts will have more serious ramifications for community life and social care and will have a knock-on effect on other services such as the NHS,
“Councils have worked hard to shield residents from the impact of funding cuts. However, efficiencies cannot be remade or buildings resold,” they say.
“Further local government funding reductions over the next five years are not an option. The new government must consider the consequences that further funding cuts, without radical reform of the way public money is spent, will have on the services which bind our communities together and protect the most vulnerable.”
Making more cuts to authority budgets will be false economy because any savings will cost other services who will be forced to “…pick up the pieces of councils scaling back services”.
“If our public services are to survive the next few years, councils need fairer funding and the freedom to pay for them. The public sector has to stop working in silos and join up even more. We need a new settlement for England that devolves decisions about infrastructure, transport, housing, skills and health and social care down to local areas so they can tackle the big issues facing their residents.
“Councils could then ensure elderly and disabled people receive the care they deserve, young people are equipped with skills to find local jobs, desperately needed homes are built, roads are maintained to high standards and every child has a place at a good school.”
Local authorities have come under immense pressure since the last Tory led coalition government embarked on a budget slashing frenzy with little thought to the long and short-term effects across the range of public services.
Cutting local authority budgets has increased demand for NHS services, placing more pressure on services which are also suffering as a result of the government’s ‘austerity’ policies.
Ironically, many charities and voluntary sector providers have been hit hard by local authority cuts as grants and other financial initiatives have been severely reduced or cut altogether. Many of these organisations were already filling in gaps in local authority care provision.
With Osborne announcing an ‘emergency’ budget in July, it remains to be seen how keen the Tory government are to implement their draconian and oppressive policies in light of opposition from within their own party.
“Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”– George Bernard Shaw
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