Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Stop council cuts!
A People’s Budget for Cumbrians, not for bankers!
“For the Conservatives, the deficit is just an excuse to railroad through the same old Tory agenda: driving down wages, cutting taxes for the wealthiest...and attacking trade unions. You can’t cut your way to prosperity, you have to build it.” – Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn has made it clear that cutting jobs, living standards and public services are not an economic necessity but a political choice, and now he has a huge mandate against austerity.
The next big battleground against cuts will be local councils. In November Osborne will announce a further 25-40% cut in local government funding on top of the 38% cuts to services so far. Rather than meekly do the Tories’ dirty work for them, Corbyn has now called on Labour councillors to refuse to vote for cuts budgets. So far only a few Labour councillors have done the right thing and have been rewarded for sticking to their principles with expulsion by the Blairites, but now Corbyn has publicly pledged to “support Labour councillors who support their communities.”
The Tories were only elected by 24% of the electorate. A one-day general strike against austerity and the undemocratic anti-union laws - agreed this week by the TUC Conference – and a refusal to pass cuts budgets by a number of Labour led councils, backed by a mobilised local community, would force the government to retreat.
Ironically, the 2011 Localism Act now gives councils a new “ power of competence” to do “anything apart from that which is specifically prohibited”. Councillors can legally use their discretionary powers to use reserves and “prudential borrowing” to refuse cuts, then mobilise pressure from below to force the government to pay up. This is now legally a “matter of judgement” which can overrule finance officers’ advice. Surcharge has been abolished. So “where there’s a will there’s a way!”
We want to discuss with anti-cuts councillors how to draw up a People’s Budget based on the needs of local people. If they agree, we’ll campaign to get them re-elected. If not, we’ll need to stand candidates against the cuts. To plan this strategy in more detail we invite you to a:
Public discussion meeting
Monday, 21st September, 7pm in Club Britannia, 35 Lowther St, Carlisle