In response to the Chancellor’s Emergency Budget announcement today, Green Cllr Amy Kennedy said:
“We are gravely concerned to see so many wide-ranging cuts to public spending. The effects of today’s announcement will have a massive impact on local government and communities, as we warned a few weeks ago.
“The enforced freeze on council tax is a crude attempt by central government to shift the blame for soon-to-be disappearing public services onto local government. Not only is the Government desperate to avoid criticism for their own ruthless economic policy, but they’re limiting the flexibility for local councils such as Brighton & Hove to be able to manage fairly the cuts the Government is demanding.
“The public sector pay freeze which will affect many at the city council, which on the face of it may seem reasonable to some, will in fact amount to a pay-cut to some of those on lower incomes once inflation is taken into account.”(1)
Adrian Hollister from the Green Party in Newbury agreed and said, "We are now at a point where everyone working in public sector is holding their breath for the pending cuts. Public sector employees here in West Berkshire are expecting to see job cuts and they are expecting to see services cut leaving them to hope and charity.
"The ConDem local government we have in West Berkshire will I'm sure keep up the pretence of being 'two parties' but in reality their leaders sleep in one bed and the Liberal Democrats must be ashamed that they have sold out their morals for a few years in power. How they are going to justify cuts in local services I just don't know – the Lib Dem's told the public during the election that they would protect people, they would represent families, they would represent the poor and build communities. Clearly they do not.
"I am not sure the people of West Berkshire have quite realised what monster they have voted in, but it is clear from today that the poorest and the 'middle class' are going to pay back the debt largely caused by the greedy rich few. I wouldn't mind betting rich Tory boy Richard Benyon is laughing all the way to the bank."
1) For example, the £250 year-on-year increase for an individual on £16,000 per annum actually only amounts to a 1.5% pay increase whilst inflation is expected to be between1.6-2%.