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From: The Socialist issue 692, 2 November 2011: Bosses prosper, workers suffer... join the 30 Nov strike

Search site for keywords: Liverpool - Council - Bankers - Labour - Jobs - Apprenticeships

Liverpool council 'does its best' for the bankers

Tony Mulhearn

In rejecting the option to stand up and fight for Liverpool's hard-pressed working families, council leader Joe Anderson, at Liverpool council's Question Time public consultation on 27 October, claimed that he was doing his best for the people of the city.

He asked how to make 51 million in spending cuts next year. This is an outrage when bankers are trousering billions in bonuses, when CEOs' pay increased by 50% this year, when an estimated 150 billion of fat cats' tax is uncollected and when it is revealed that the senior tax collector Mike Clasper, after being wined and dined, has cut a deal with billionaires which allows them to avoid paying much needed mega-loads of tax.

The meeting was an exercise in obfuscation and misinformation.

Joe, responding to robust criticism for his lack of leadership, claimed he was building thousands of homes and creating thousands of apprenticeships.

A peculiar claim when the city council has no house-building programme and is currently shedding hundreds of jobs.

And what type of apprenticeships are these? Are they for engineers, joiners, bricklayers, who will then have full-time jobs building the houses, schools and hospitals we need? Joe's answer should be interesting.

The fact is that they are not real apprenticeships and the house building is being carried out by agencies other than the council.

In response to demands to set a 'needs budget', he retorted that he was not prepared to go illegal nor was he prepared to 'martyr the city'.

But he is prepared to martyr those in need of council services and jobs which are being demolished.

He boasted that the 67% of the vote Labour received in the last elections was an endorsement of his cuts policy. No Joe. That vote was a clear signal from the workers of the city telling Labour to protect them from the Tory/Liberal onslaught.

Joe's stance confirms that the Labour Party has morphed into a party which is no different to the other two main parties.

That underlines the desperate need to intensify the campaign to defeat the Con-Dem government by joining the industrial action on 30 November and to link that movement to establishing a new mass party of the working class.

See Liverpool city council and its 'consultation' for more on Liverpool council's consultation sham

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