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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 January 2011

Councils ramp up service charges

COUNCILS ARE massively increasing charges to residents - aside from hefty council tax increases - for providing local services. These increases are an attempt to make up part of the huge funding shortfall that many councils are experiencing as a result of the coalition cuts in central government grants.

Increased charges include; paying more for home help and meals on wheels, ending the provision of free nurseries, massive hikes in hire charges in sport centres, extending parking charges to cover weekends, and even increasing the cost of burial plots.

Disingenuously, the government response has been to argue that such increases shouldn't be made to offset higher executive salaries or to avoid making 'efficiency savings'.

The government's tut-tutting about these increased charges conveniently dodges the fact that council workers' pay is being frozen for yet another year along with huge job cuts and a worsening of workers' employment conditions. It also sidesteps the inconvenient truth that billions of pounds of central government cuts in council funding is devastating local services.

Of course these charges and cuts can and must be resisted. Trade unions in councils such as in Birmingham have been fighting savage cuts with industrial action.

However, Labour-run authorities, while wringing their hands over the cuts, are meekly capitulating to government demands instead of putting up a fight alongside the workers and local communities they are supposed to represent.

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In The Socialist 12 January 2011:


Anti-cuts campaign

Bankers get billions - We get cuts


Youth fight for jobs

March for a future - Join the demonstrations on 29 January

More attacks on rights for young workers

Axe falls on courses at UWIC

Students at Leeds Trinity re-occupy


International socialist news and analysis

Tunisia: Wave of protests against repressive regime


National Shop Stewards Network

Rage at inequality fires workers' action

NSSN National: Anti-Cuts Conference

NSSN debate: The way forward for the anti-cuts movement

National Shop Stewards Network: Strategy and tactics - a dialogue

Labour baroness wants politics kept out of the Forest of Dean

Fighting Labour's cuts in Waltham Forest


Socialist Party news and analysis

Jobs cut while the rich carry on partying

The plot thickens at News International

'Big Oil' cuts corners on safety to boost profits

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Councils ramp up service charges

Campaigners tell PM: 'No to Royal Mail privatisation'

Police moles attempt to discredit protest movements


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison rejects NHS pay freeze

Kirklees council: First round victory in cuts battle

Darlington: Newsquest strikes continue to spread

Rotherham teachers strike

Workplace news in brief


 

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