Steve Wakefield ponders cuts in the New Year

Happy New Year I have taken a break from blogging over the Christmas period, but now I am refreshed and back to blog. There has been much made in Swindon by Political Spin Meisters that the government financial grant settlement for Swindon is somehow not as bad as feared. That is fine if some want people to believe that spin or want us all to think that the Tory led government, has given us millions of pounds worth of cuts as an act of kindness! I do not swallow that for one minute and  in fact I fear it, because it is a like a row of dominoes each falling over as one is  hit by the other.  It is more like an accumulator bet except the payoff is a massive loss to ordinary families. They are bearing the brunt of the banking crisis and the bankers and the super rich are still comfortable.

I will remind people what has happened thus far, in the short time since the Tory led government got its shears sharpened. Retirement age has risen, wages have been frozen, and pensions are being attacked. Tuition fees have been hiked and the EMA scrapped. In Swindon we are about to see the most vulnerable and poorest people in our society hit by harsh and deep cuts. All the cuts are being fast tracked in something called front loading.  All these measures are against the soft target of ordinary working people and their families. bankers are left unscathed and can carry on regardless. Mortgage companies are being asked by Tory Ministers to apply  a light touch to the rules introduced after the banks failed to lend more money again! Have they learned nothing from the banking crisis? Do they expect that if it all goes wrong again its OK as ordinary taxpayers will pick up the tab?

Swindon is facing 10-12,000 job losses and this could include police job losses of anything up to 350 in Wiltshire Constabulary. October saw Swindon borough council, vote through £5.3 million worth of cuts £1.5 million from Adult Social Care, and £968,000 from Children’s Services. There will be millions more to come over the next 3 years. We will all suffer in Swindon, unless we are rich, as we know public sector jobs are being cut and then private companies are being brought in to provide that service on a contract. In my opinion this proves the Tory led government are doing what they always do revert to a basic instinct. Cut public sector and give public money to the private sector. They would rather help their friends big business and financial markets.

This coalition can be broken up by ordinary people, the libdems are listening to people more as each day of their coalition passes. Libdems are having doubts and their ministers have voiced these doubts, which they have been expressing freely. From what they have been reported to have said, cannot understand why their conservative coalition partners are so fond of cuts that hit the poor and help the rich bankers and businesses. This pro rich cuts regime has been interpreted as a Maoist revolution by a very senior libdem. I think that says it all.

Cllr Steve Wakefield
Toothill & Westlea Ward (