Anti-cuts, public services

Questions and answers on the cuts

Published on: Tue, 19/10/2010 - 12:04

Martin Thomas

Q. The Lib/Tory coalition says that the government just has to make social cuts, in the same way as anyone who has "maxed out" their credit cards needs to cut back. Is that true?

A. No. In the first place, there is nothing impossible about the government continuing with a large budget deficit for a while. Governments can't "run out of money" in the same way that households or businesses can.

In the last analysis the question "where can the government get the money from?" can be answered simply: from the Bank of England printworks. There are limits on printing more cash, but the government is

Salford, Liverpool and Tower Hamlets

Published on: Wed, 04/03/2020 - 11:06

Martin Thomas

On 26 February, Paul Dennett, the Labour mayor of Salford, announced that "for the first year since 2010/11… Salford Council has managed to set a no cuts budget after nine debilitating years of Tory-Lib-Dem and Tory cuts, which have taken £211 million or 53% of central government funding out of Salford".

This is surely a good move, and some of the credit must go to campaigning over years by unions and community groups in Salford.

Steve North, Salford branch secretary of the local government workers' union Unison, writing in a personal capacity for Socialist Alternative, says: "The most

Indicted for opposing cuts

Published on: Wed, 04/03/2020 - 08:48

Ann Field

Disciplinary proceedings have been initiated by the leadership of Glasgow City Council Labour Group against Matt Kerr, who is a candidate in the Scottish Labour Party deputy leader ballot running from 21 February to 2 April.

At a City Council meeting a fortnight ago the minority SNP administration proposed a cuts budget. The Labour Group also proposed a cuts budget, with the usual homilies about it being "less painful", "the fault of Holyrood underfunding", "our cuts not as bad as yours", etc., etc.

Matt, a Glasgow Labour councillor, decided that he could not vote for either of the cuts

What should be done about floods?

Published on: Wed, 26/02/2020 - 12:09

Misha Zubrowski

As I write on 25 February, yet more “severe flood warnings” are being issued — currently in Shrewsbury and Ironbridge — indicating “danger to life” with suggestions that floods could reach “highest ever” levels for that area.

This follows a fortnight of deluges sweeping much of the UK, with exceptional rainfall bought by Storm Dennis and Storm Ciara.

What is causing these floods? Climate change? Bad “land management”? Austerity? Or a mix?

These storms come only three months after similar — record breaking — floods in the Midlands and Yorkshire; and nine months after the Peak Districts and

Liverpool Mayor says he'll refuse cuts

Published on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 11:15

Jane Edwards

Liverpool's Labour mayor Joe Anderson has said “I will refuse to make any further cuts to our budget because we are now at the stage where doing so will mean closing down vital services.”

He added: "This means we are entering a crisis point in the city's history and it will put us on a collision course with the government but we aren't prepared to play their games any more.

"I will say this now - I will not close any libraries or children's centres in this city, I will not set a budget that cuts any of these vital services".

The Tories have already cut £436 million from Liverpool’s funding

We're still for a united Europe

Published on: Wed, 05/02/2020 - 12:16


The socialist left should vocally oppose the Tories’ Brexit plans. It should argue for a united Europe, and for the UK to rejoin the EU. It should fight for the broad labour movement, including the Labour Party, to argue and campaign for this too.

Almost all the Labour-leader candidates say that we have no choice but to “move on” while the Tories “get Brexit done”. Even Emily Thornberry, the most vocally anti-Brexit candidate, says only that Labour should have been more anti-Brexit.

That is wrong. Actual, really-existing Brexit involves a range of attacks on the interests of the working class.

Other motions not passed - AWL conference 2019

Published on: Tue, 21/01/2020 - 14:28

Angela Driver, David Pendletone, Simon Nelson, Luke Hardy

Motions on left antisemitism, the Hijab in schools, and social security and Labour's policy, were all submitted to AWL conference 2019. The conference decided that the first of these motions - on left antisemitism - should not be voted on, after a debate; the second, on the Hijab in schools, fell; the third - on social security - were not voted on, as decided before any debate.

Tories: prepare the fightback!

Published on: Wed, 08/01/2020 - 11:42


Boris Johnson has talked of ending austerity, bolstering public services and appealing to the working class, but on all the evidence so far that is a threadbare velvet glove on an iron hand.

NHS spending is set to increase, but by nothing anywhere near what is needed to fill the shortfall from its 2010-20 cuts. The tide of privatisation will continue to roll forward.

The NHS is probably the best protected part of the public sector. The Institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that by 2024, non-NHS spending will be 14% lower than in 2010.

The provisional local government funding settlement

Liberals out Tory the Tories

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 19:33

The Lib Dems have proposed rules mandating a 1% surplus on current spending – meaning the day-to-day costs of public services would have to be lower than the amount raised in taxes.

This is quite something. It is not done even by “fiscally conservative” governments elsewhere. It is more draconian than the approach taken by George Osborne when he was chancellor, suggesting Lib Dem support for even deeper austerity.

And in fact when he announced the budget surplus policy, Lib Dem deputy leader Ed Davey condemned not only Labour’s but the Tories’ plans public spending plans as making “Santa Claus

Facts and figures of the election

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 19:33

Sacha Ismail

The Tories have condemned Labour’s plans as “eye-watering”, “wild”, “reckless”, “unaffordable” and set to “bankrupt the country”, with much of the press singing in tune.

Just after Labour’s 2017 election manifesto came out, Solidarity estimated that its proposals would “take some tens of billions of pounds — John McDonnell estimates £50-odd billion — out of the £1,000 billion a year which currently goes to the rich and the very well-off, or to enterprises under their control”.

The 2019 manifesto isn’t out until Thursday 21 November, but the indications are it will be a similar document to 2017

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