Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/830/19557
Local services suffer under Welsh Labour
Ronnie Job, Socialist Party Wales
In an article that would be attacked by our opponents as scaremongering if written by a Socialist Party Wales member, chief reporter for Wales Online, Martin Shipton, writes: "The local government settlement announced by the Welsh Government will mark the beginning of the end of council services as we have come to know them".
Welsh local authorities will get £145 million less in 2015-16. Councils across Wales will not be able to maintain even statutory essential services. As Shipton puts it: "It won't simply be a question of deciding whether a local leisure centre can survive, but whether there will be enough money available to provide credible social services."
Wholesale cuts to council services have been relatively delayed up until now in Wales compared to England - partly because the Welsh Government's decision not to ring-fence NHS funding in the early days of Con-Dem austerity meant that the NHS bore the brunt of cuts in Wales.
Plugging the gaps
The Labour Welsh Government hasn't baulked at passing on Con-Dem cuts - it's just divvied them up slightly differently. The BMA has pointed out the 'black hole' left in Welsh NHS finances, so now the Welsh Government is changing approach - taking money from councils and education to try and plug gaps in the NHS.
This is the problem with Welsh Labour - all they can offer is a different way of making the same level of Tory cuts as the Con-Dems in Westminster because they are unwilling to fight for the funding that services in Wales need. Welsh Labour councils have put up no fight at all to these cuts handed down by their party colleagues in the Assembly.
There are no planned council elections in Wales until at least 2017. Socialist Party Wales members in Swansea therefore think that it is vital that we utilise the upcoming council by-election in Uplands Ward to stand a TUSC candidate on a platform of opposing and voting against all cuts to jobs and services.
We call on all trade unionists, socialists and everybody who values council services to join with us and show that there is an alternative to the Tory-Liberal-Labour cuts consensus.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance that stands candidates against all cuts and privatisation. It involves the RMT transport workers' union, leading members of other trade unions including the PCS, NUT and POA, as well as the Socialist Party and other left and anti-cuts groups and individuals.
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In The Socialist 22 October 2014:
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