Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1125/32197
The Socialist 17 March 2021 |
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We need a fighting strategy to win funding from the government - why I'm standing for TUSC
TUSC leaflets (Click to enlarge)
Lee Trow, Doncaster Socialist Party
Last March, Doncaster Council's Labour group passed a three-year council budget which included a 'budget gap' of £17.7 million. The plans to fill this financial hole include service and job cuts as well as council tax rises.
Labour councillors generally try to justify these austerity proposals by declaring that they have 'no alternative'. It's also been reported that Sir Keir Starmer has warned all Labour councillors to vote with Tory councillors on budget caps.
But the money is there. According to the council's latest statement of accounts, its general fund balance reserve stood at £63.5 million on 31 March 2020. This reserve is considered 'usable', meaning that the council may use it to provide services.
These funds can and should be immediately reallocated to avoid cuts and tax rises. A campaign can then be launched - in collaboration with other local authorities - demanding that the Tory government reverses cuts in central government funding and provides relief funding for local authorities that have had to deplete their reserves, or adopt other temporary budget-balancing measures, to maintain vital public services.
However, rather than adopt this fighting strategy, Labour councillors choose to carry out the Tories' dirty work - all the while falsely claiming that they have 'no choice' but to carry out the cuts.
The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition candidates, in contrast, will fight the cuts by whatever means necessary. Our candidates will not hide behind phoney excuses. That is why I'm standing as a candidate in Doncaster in May's elections.