20 Oct 2010

The Language of Cuts

Judging by local paper reports, Hertfordshire Lib Dems and Conservatives seem to be relishing the chance to make "efficiency savings".

The language of the local party coalition partners is extraordinary. It makes the whole thing sound like good news. They tell us there will be a "transformation" in the council's business, a curb on "costly residential placements" for the elderly, "more effective" customer service, and a "driving down" of costs.

The truth, of course, is that our local Lib Dem and Tory councillors are enacting their Westminster colleagues' savage cuts, the most severe of which are to fall on welfare services. There is now a national plan to destroy a million jobs - half a million straight away in the public sector and half a million in knock-on effects in the private sector. Once dependent on welfare, the jobless will find themselves the victims of yet more cuts - in benefits.

The fact that the poorest are to shoulder the worst of these cuts betrays the intention of the Conservatives. I should imagine Lib Dem supporters will be aghast that their politicians are standing alongside Cameron, making it all possible. There was a real opportunity here to cut real waste, and create a fairer tax system, with a programme to restart the economy through public investment. Instead we are promised a long list of wonderful "savings".

In St Albans we look forward to our district councillors joining their county colleagues in their axe-wielding frenzy. And they'll tell us it's all unavoidable and that no-one else would do any differently. Well they would say that, wouldn't they.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well the Greens in Eire have cut deeper!