Thursday, 3 March 2011

Oi, councillors...

Posted on February 24, 2011 by Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition
The following has been sent to all Brighton and Hove City Councillors and is endorsed by GMB and UNISON local government branches.

Brighton Stop the Cuts Coalition Election Pledge

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 £28 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 have increased their wealth by 33% in 2010, it is very clear these 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’ jobs, 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.