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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 December 2016

Reading TUSC writes to Labour councillors to demand cuts fight

TUSC has developed viable strategies to fight austerity now at every level, photo Senan

TUSC has developed viable strategies to fight austerity now at every level, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

The following letter was sent to councillors by Neil Adams from Reading Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) to raise questions related to proposed budget cuts to local services:

Whatever Theresa May's pledge to the working class to end austerity, cuts and misery pour down on the heads of us all as inequality continues to widen.

The rich get richer as their taxes are cut, while workers suffer a continued pay freeze and cuts to public services. These cuts hit the most vulnerable hardest.

Cuts to the Reading council budget are hitting hard - over 41 million by 2020. The council says: "Our financial situation has worsened significantly during 2016/17." As a result further cuts are being proposed of over 10 million.

These cuts aim to remove funding to children's services, domestic violence, sexual health, breast feeding support, health visitors, mental health services, grass cutting and street cleaning with cuts to council and agency jobs.

Reading Labour council proposes to cut and privatise to tackle this crisis. But what about fighting these Tory cuts? What about mobilising the anger at austerity to force the Tories to retreat?

Jeremy Corbyn's election and re-election showed we have had enough of endless austerity and want to fight back.

Reading Labour councilllors must use their powers to set a legal, balanced, no-cuts budget and build a mass campaign of the local trade unions and community to demand the restoration of central government funding. This means using reserves and prudential borrowing powers to set a budget that meets the needs of Reading.

Such a stand would receive huge support and, if linked up with other Labour councils across the country, could result in the defeat of the Tory cuts agenda.

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In The Socialist 7 December 2016:


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John Sharpe: 1953-2016

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