Mass scale cuts to council budgets will lead to the death of local government and heap punishment on the most vulnerable, as ministers announce a further 2.9 per cent cut in funding for 2014/15, warns Unite.
Many of the country’s most deprived councils will bear the brunt, with Liverpool city council facing a 62 per cent cut in funding between 2010 and 2017. Local government workers, who have already suffered a £3,544 cut in pay since 2010, will be pushed deeper into poverty as they are forced into a jobs versus wages tussle.
Unite, Britain’s biggest union, fears that by 2015 there will be little local government left after a 43 per cent real terms cut in funding in the five years since 2010. Cuts of this scale will lead to the complete demolition of services including care for the frail and elderly, children services, support for vulnerable families and youth services.
Despite the huge pressures faced by councils, Unite appeals to councils not to slash before thinking, but to work with unions to find savings and to protect service quality.
Responding to the government’s provisional local government financial settlement, published today, Fiona Farmer, Unite national officer, said: “This government is presiding over the complete meltdown of local services. Ordinary hardworking people are, again, the ones being battered by the loss of the services they rely on to educate and care for their families.
“This is a shamelessly political settlement which rewards wealthy Tory councils and punishes the less well off.
“In some of the country’s most deprived areas, including the prime minister’s Oxfordshire constituency, services such as care for the frail and elderly, support for vulnerable families, children’s centres, sexual health services around teenage pregnancy and Connexions services, have already been shut or are threatened with closure. The wealthy Tory shires continue to escape relatively unscathed.
“The government will be gambling on the public blaming local councils for service cuts, but it is wrong; the public understand where the real blame lies - at the door of the communities and local government secretary, Eric Pickles.”
For further information please contact Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774146777
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey