Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1122/32088
The Socialist 24 February 2021 |
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Liverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy
Roger Bannister, photo Senan (Click to enlarge)
Members of Unite Liverpool 0538 branch
On Friday 19 February, the branch meeting of Liverpool Unite union voted to refuse to endorse any of Labour's prospective Liverpool mayoral candidates. We pointed out that all the candidates - Anna Rothery, Wendy Simon, and Ann O'Byrne - have long histories of obediently implementing Tory cuts on Liverpool City Council.
The branch's decision will now be reiterated in a letter to Unite's national leadership. This letter will also note branch members' dissatisfaction with the decision of the union's national leadership to endorse the Liverpool Labour mayoral candidature of serial voter for Tory cuts, Anna Rothery, without first consulting our branch.
At the meeting we also moved a motion calling on Unite to support an alternative, legal, 'no cuts' budget for Liverpool City Council. In the subsequent debate, we defended the Socialist Party's ideas regarding the need for - and feasibility of - legally balanced 'no cuts' budgets. These ideas and arguments are so strong that even the sitting and prospective Labour councillors present chose to abstain, rather than vote against.
Despite the strength of our arguments, Labour's prospective candidates for Liverpool mayor and city councillors will almost certainly not endorse the fighting strategy laid out in our legal no-cuts budget proposal.
But there is one candidate who already has endorsed the fighting strategy - the Socialist Party's Roger Bannister - who will be standing for mayor as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. Unlike Labour's candidates, Roger is a determined class fighter who will do whatever is necessary to stop cuts.
Below are some key points from our legal no-cuts budget proposal for Liverpool City Council:
- Liverpool City Council has total usable reserves of £63 million. These should be drawn down to £35.4 million in order to reverse the Liverpool Labour group's planned budget cuts of £15 million, 5% council tax rise, and pay freezes for many council workers.
- Liverpool City Council should launch a campaign - in collaboration with trade unions, other local authorities, and community activists - demanding that the Tory government reverse cuts in central government funding for local councils, and provide relief funding for those authorities that have had to deplete their reserves or adopt other temporary budget balancing measures to maintain vital public services.