Kent Labour: Osborne’s Statement does nothing to help Kent
Deputy Leader of Kent Labour Group Roger Truelove with Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate Guy Nicholson.
The Labour Group on Kent County Council says that the autumn statement from Chancellor George Osborne will do nothing to tackle the basic problems facing Kent.
“Kent is held back by structural inequality across the County, creating social deprivation and holding back the local economy. Mr Osborne wants us to celebrate the belated recovery which is far too dependent on consumer spending that is built on growing personal debt. Far too many of the jobs being created in the private sector are part time, unskilled, temporary and based on zero hour contracts. It leaves too many families dependent on the very benefits that he is so willing to cut. This Government is happy to blame the poor and ordinary families, whilst leaving untouched the bankers who plunged the country into debt”
“Mr Osborne has missed his targets for cutting the deficit because of three years of flatlining. Far too much of his deficit cutting strategy is based on hitting local government. It is too easy to ask locally elected Councillors to make the hard decisions that so badly damage our public services.
“He says he expects Council taxes to be frozen again in 2014. We know that is unrealistic in Kent and it is clear that this Government is not only indifferent to the role of local government but equally indifferent to the position of their own Conservative Councillors in places like Kent As a party that supports small business we welcome the cut to the business rate but we want to hear how the Chancellor will compensate the inevitable loss of income for local government, which could be considerable..”
“We are also very concerned about the Chancellor’s excited enthusiasm for Academies and Free Schools. The loss of funding that these cause to Local Education Authorities, like Kent, is causing chaos in the delivery of core services to children in our maintained schools.”
“We note the statement about public sector infrastructure. Unfortunately, this is really a re-statement of previous programmes and we see little movement in Kent and are concerned to know what the Government’s real plans are for the Third Thames Crossing. Many of the less prosperous parts of Kent need vital local infrastructure investment.”