Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/971/26466

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 November 2017

Is cuts-making Preston 'beating Tory austerity'?

Fight for no-cuts budgets

The way to beat the Tory cuts is not to make the Tory cuts, photo by Mary Finch

The way to beat the Tory cuts is not to make the Tory cuts, photo by Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Becci Heagney, Lancashire Socialist Party

Labour-controlled Preston Council has received press coverage as "beating Tory austerity" (Mirror), "where workers are in control of wealth" (Guardian) and "Jeremy Corbyn's model town" (Economist). Is this too good to be true?

There have been positive initiatives taken by the council. For example, it's an accredited Living Wage employer. It has put an emphasis on contracting local firms rather than big businesses. It's setting up a credit union, and has set up a council-owned energy supplier.

The council claims these measures have resulted in a massive increase in money spent in the local economy. This is all well and good. But there are hard limitations to what it can achieve. And meanwhile the council has cut jobs and privatised services!

Some have argued the credit union will be able to compete with the big banks in Preston, and actually take power away from them. But no local credit union will be able to lend the sort of money or offer all the products a big bank can.

Similarly, a council-owned energy supplier will be able to save some people money. But it cannot sustainably compete with the cartel of the 'Big Six'.

Private

Of course creating jobs is a good thing. But the private construction company held up for doing so, Conlon, has only created a handful. And the jobs created by Preston's focus on attracting more shops and restaurants to the high street will be of the low-paid, zero-hour type.

And many Preston initiatives are not positive at all - such as privatising leisure centres, and charging for bin collections, as part of the city's cuts budget.

The council is backing the Lancashire 'sustainability and transformation plan' in the NHS, which will mean massive cuts to hospitals. It aims to copy the 'housing boom' in Manchester by attracting private developers to build luxury apartments - with very few plans for affordable housing.

Meanwhile, homelessness is a growing problem. The council puts out propaganda that 80% of people on the streets aren't "genuinely homeless." It has brought in a rule that "beggars" will be given five minutes' notice to move on - or they will be fined or taken to court!

Many of the positive proposals in Jeremy Corbyn's hugely popular manifesto do not yet go far enough. For example on energy companies. We argue the sector must be nationalised, ending the control of the Big Six. It will be even harder to carry out these half-measures effectively in just one city.

And Preston's measures are not even far-reaching enough to deal with the issues people are facing through the austerity it continues to implement: low pay, rising living costs, lack of decent jobs and more.

The way for councillors in Preston to start "beating Tory austerity" is by refusing to pass on Tory cuts. This means using reserves and prudential borrowing, and mobilising a mass movement to win the money back across Lancashire - almost 300 million by 2020.

If Corbyn and McDonnell backed 'model towns' like that - and promised to reimburse them on coming to power - they could bring down this hated Tory government now.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 15 November 2017:


Socialism 2017

Socialism 2017: Organising to fight back


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict

TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

The Socialist Inbox


International socialist news and analysis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories on the brink - kick them out!

No more excuses: fit sprinklers now!

We're freezing: reverse cuts to boiler replacement schemes!

Is cuts-making Preston 'beating Tory austerity'?

4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

What we saw


Socialist Party workplace news

Fight to keep guards on trains continues despite setback Aslef deal

Strikers picket the South Western Railway network

Strike wave continues with 49 walkout days by housing workers

Huge support for strikes of bus drivers and train guards

Virgin train workers ballot for strike action

Plymouth PCS members fight relocation threat


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

March for free education! We demand a future!

Corbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

Why I joined the Socialist Party: "I started to question whether there was a better way"

Carlisle socialists campaign against Universal Credit


 

Home   |   The Socialist 15 November 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Preston:

triangleLancashire Stagecoach drivers continue their fight

triangleStagecoach strike - bus workers show how it's done

trianglePreston & Lancashire Socialist Party: Britain after the referendum

Austerity:

triangleLondoners suffer and Khan piles on pressure

triangleNottingham City Council: Major battles against cuts ahead

triangle2020 - a year which drove home the catastrophic failures of capitalism

triangleSwansea & West Wales: Join the fightback in 2021 against Tory cuts and new austerity

Cuts:

triangleSocialist Party national women's meeting

triangleNews in brief

triangleFight for NHS pay and funding

Council:

triangleRyan Aldred: Why I'm standing for Usdaw's EC

Jobs:

triangleRolls-Royce Barnoldswick factory future secured following strike action

Lancashire:

triangleLancashire workers' strike shows the way to fight aerospace cuts and job losses

Jeremy Corbyn:

trianglePeace and Justice Project - no way forward for socialism

Councillors:

triangleTUSC relaunch in the north west

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

21/1/21

Socialist Party

Socialism the podcast: 2020 episodes

20/1/21

London

May elections: Tories and Labour's Khan both vying to slash public services

20/1/21

Jeremy Corbyn

Peace and Justice Project - no way forward for socialism

20/1/21

Socialist

USA in crisis - the need for a socialist alternative

20/1/21

BBC

News in Brief

20/1/21

Scotland

Millionaire tendency regains control of Scottish Labour

20/1/21

Vaccine

Vaccine confidence - a worker's response

20/1/21

Social Media

Trump Twitter ban: only independent workers' voice can defeat right

20/1/21

Pay

Make the super-rich pay, not the poorest

20/1/21

Working class

The Tory blame game: scapegoating the working class - 100% pay for all now

20/1/21

Covid

Covid: Bosses chase profit and put workers in danger

18/1/21

Britain

Latest Socialism podcast: The outlook for class struggle in 2021

13/1/21

Economy

Global capitalism at most dangerous conjuncture since the 1930s

13/1/21

Vaccine

Fully resource the vaccination programme now

13/1/21

Vaccine

Covid vaccine nationalism threatens pandemic response

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999