In advance of this evening’s Sefton Council budget meeting at Bootle Town Hall, Lib Dem leader councillor Iain Brodie Browne has given a warning that even bigger cuts in council spending could be in store if Labour were to win May’s General Election.
Just before Christmas, Ed Miliband announced that a Labour government would impose extra cuts of £2,000 million in central government funding to local councils.
“We’ve seen many example of Labour politicians on Sefton Council saying it’s all the Coalition Government’s fault that they are having to make cuts in local services,” commented Cllr Brodie Browne.
“Now we learn that Labour would cut even more if they were in power. It’s their hypocrisy that really gets me.”
In a little-reported speech delivered on 11 December, Ed Miliband set out his plans for balancing the books if he makes it into government. One key announcement was the result of the Labour Party’s so-called “Zero-Based Review”, a study by his shadow Treasury team into every single line of government spending. Part of the proposals, from the second year of a Labour government, would be to cut a further £500m annually in funding to local councils on account of so-called ‘efficiency savings’.
“Labour call them ‘efficiency savings’, but that’s just a way of dressing up real-terms additional cuts,” continued Cllr Brodie Browne.
“The problem is that councils are already starting to make efficiency savings through sharing back office services and similar, so you can’t make the same savings twice. That can only mean further cuts in local services under Labour.”