The Isle of Wight Council and MP meet the Government over Budget Crisis:

The council cannot raise the figures required to be saved.The £17.38 million now; and around £32 million over the next four years. It is not feasible.

With the cuts in services there can be no credible council as the Trades Councils said over two years ago when it asked, “What will be the point of the Council?” We foresaw the debacle and the method in the madness of the Conservatives whose intention was to shift emphasis to devolution.

Even with the grant cuts the council has already made, the Government were always going to come back for more but now the line has been crossed the last line of defence is set to be breached.

The intention for local authority services to be entirely funded by business rates will not only fail to solve the problem of care but raising Council Tax will be nigh impossible to collect,the burden will be too great for the Council and the people who will be forced to pay.

And what is this ASDA money? – A mere sop, a temporary one to ameliorate a situation by squandering a public asset. A quick fix piece of patchwork maybe, that might fill a hole caused by not financing out of our rightful grant money that has been taken away and needed to pay for services.

Raising Council Tax to 4% has to be seen for what it is, A Government that says that it is against raising taxes, is in fact raising them by getting Local Authorities to do the dirty work and carry the can.

We have long argued the unique situation of the island, but above this is the fact that many councils have been driven to the edge.This Austerity strategy cannot be sustained.

Now that the Council, the MP and Officers face the Government together they should not waver. On behalf of the people of the Isle of Wight, they should be firm with a Government who have caused this situation, not on bended knees with a begging bowl and a plea but demand that the Government backs off and pays up what it owes us instead of putting our backs to the wall.

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2 Responses to The Isle of Wight Council and MP meet the Government over Budget Crisis:

  1. Geoff Lumley says:

    So where is the TUC, nationally or locally, when it comes to the fightback ? The People’s Assembly and here Unite the IOW, a cross-party and no party local alliance, is the only body attempting to build a campaign whilst Ryde TUC pontificates from the sidelines. Remember you were supporting the ‘IW Independents’ at the last Council elections (even though most of your affiliates are also affiliated to the Labour Party) and their candidate at the last General Election. Do you really think they will get off their knees ?

    As for the Asda money, it cannot and isn’t being ‘squandered’ to balance the books. It is a capital receipt thaht will be used for much needed capital assets.

    Austerity and neo-liberalism will continue to be the policy of this Government so long as the trade unions are on their knees. As James Connolly, the Irish socialist and republican said, “Arise” and stop sniping from the sidelines.

  2. rtuc says:

    Thanks for your comment, Geoff. Just a couple of points you need to know though;

    The local TUC’s are Trades Councils and are not the national TUC. The National TUC does have relations with the People’s Assembly and many Trades Unionists helped to form it and some local Isle of Wight Trades Councillors supported the People’s Assembly from the start.

    A reasonable proportion of IOWTUC and RTUC have joined UNITE THE ISLE OF WIGHT.

    There may be some criticism of active participation but on the whole every major issue and campaign has been taken up by the Trades Councils. These include the Ferries, Strategic Funding, KILF, the NHS, Teachers, Firefighters, Austerity, low pay etc. Other issues include Palestine and opposition to war.

    The Trades Councils as a whole have not affiliated to any political party but has supported candidates of the Alternative or against Austerity. This has included encouragement of candidates of various parties that are not right wing. Sometimes support has been critical but no affiliation has been made. The Trades Councils are excited about the Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon, which has allowed members to move closer to Labour than at any time in recent history and hopes to move closer still.

    It was Eric Pickles who said that local assets should be sold off and used to support Capital funding nationally and that is where the criticism should be aimed not at local authorities. The Government are the squanderers.

    The workers and their Trades Unions will never be on their knees or lie down as long as they exist. The Junior Doctors are only the latest group to take action and no doubt there will be more. The working class will never be sidelined.

    It is wonderfully appropriate to raise Connolly on this year the centenary of the Easter Uprising;

    James Connolly was not only a Revolutionary Communist but a great union man too, along with Larkin who was a great uniter and he coined the phrase, “An Injury to One is an Injury to all!” in the great Dublin strike and lockout.

    You know all of these things though, you don’t really need to be told.

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