Thursday, February 17, 2011

Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition Election Pledge

Across the country, councils are setting budgets, some of which have already announced drastic cuts in front line services, redundancies and even pay cuts. We do not believe these cuts are neccessary and nor do we believe that working people should have to pay for this crises.
There has been much discussion as to how to fight the cuts. The events in Poplar , Lambeth and Liverpool have been well documented. In the 80's, other Councils and the GLC at the time implemented the so-called " dented shield strategy" of raising the rates.
Today we are calling on all councillors and council candidates to refuse to vote for cuts once again and to make an election pledge on this. This pledge is being put out in one form or another to all candidates up and down the country by local anti-cuts campaigning bodies. The Worthing Solidarity Network is soon to publish its own one. Below is the pledge statement being put out by Brighton Stop The Cuts Coalition -Unite Against The Cuts. Hopefully it will be successful in getting maximum support.

Shame on those who refuse to sign. They want our votes but will they earn it? Let's hope so if they want to represent us.
The biggest cut to any government department is 27% to local council funding. The responsibility for implementing Westminster’s austerity package is being passed on to local government. In Brighton and Hove this will mean an overall cut of £12.3 million according to the budget strategy, which will be voted on in March 2011 by the full council.

With the national debt having been higher for 200 of the last 250 years, tax evasion and avoidance running at an estimated £120 billion a year and as the richest 1000 people in the UK increase their wealth by 33% in 2010, it is very clear this cuts are not driven by economic necessity.

The Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition therefore asks every candidate to agree and adopt the following pledge as part of their election commitments:

During my election campaign I pledge to:

·        Publicise the fact that public service cuts are wholly unnecessary and driven by political dogma;
·        Publicise the fact that alternative and just sources of income are readily available to central Government to fund public services;
·        Work for the anti-cuts vote to be maximised;
·        Work proactively and vigorously with ward and city anti-cuts campaigns;
·        Oppose all use of discrimination and division to promote a cuts agenda

If elected I pledge to:

·        Oppose and vote against any attempts to set Council budgets which will result in cuts to public services and local jobs or a worsening of terms and conditions for council staff;
·        Oppose and vote against any attempts to cut or privatise individual public services;
·        Oppose any above inflation increase in council tax and instead campaign for a progressive national tax system where the rich pay more.
·        Propose an alternative ‘no-cuts’ budget which could involve use of reserves and/or council borrowing powers and a campaign against the government to replace the funding they are cutting from local government.
·        Fully support industrial action taken by trade unions to defend their members’ job, terms and conditions from cuts;
·        Use my position to argue against all cuts and support and publicise campaigns against privatisation and cuts in jobs, services or benefits.

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