Barwell backs further spending cuts that hit Croydon hardest

Tory economic policy

The ConDem government announced ever more cuts to local authorities this week, with Croydon Council losing another £5.8 million from its spending power.

This really is the politics of cowards, with David Cameron and his Chancellor, Gideon Osborne, unwilling to take the economic flak, but happy to pass the impact of their failed policies down the line, with Labour-controlled local authorities often carrying the biggest burden.

It is deeply, darkly divisive. While the largely Conservative-run authorities in the shire areas saw a cut on spending power of -0.6 per cent, councils in London have suffered a cut seven times deeper, -4.3 per cent between 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. Independent research shows that the cuts to local government have hit the most deprived areas hardest, with reductions in spending of more than £100 per person compared to more affluent ones.

The posh boys in Downing Street have delegated austerity to local government. It’s a dangerous and cynical way to undermine confidence in the state.

In 2015-2016, Croydon Council will receive a total settlement of £128.1 million, down by £21.26 million from the 2014-2015 figure.

“The people of Croydon deserve fair funding from government,” said Sarah Jones, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Croydon Central. “In the last four years Croydon and other urban boroughs have had disproportionate cuts to their budgets with funding being diverted from areas of serious need to wealthy rural areas. We desperately need investment in local NHS services and to deal with the huge shortage of primary school places.

“Instead we hear that Croydon will yet again bear the brunt of Government cuts.”

Soulless ToriesJones accuses Gavin Barwell, the MP for the Whitgift Foundation, of voting against the interests of Croydon “again and again”.

Jones points to the voting record in parliament of the government whip, where Barwell has voted to “… cut funding to vital local services, putting the NHS under threat and doing nothing to tackle our school places crisis”.

The government’s uber-Thatcherite policies, implemented with the complicity of the FibDems, appear to target the most vulnerable in society, as they drag the country back to the days before the NHS and Welfare State. Can the Dickensian work house be far away?

Jones said: “The Tories want to take us back to public spending levels last seen in the 1930s. Labour will make savings fairly, like we are doing here in Croydon while delivering a Council Tax freeze, but we will defend vital services that working people rely on.”


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