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Ealing and Northfield

Council spending increase = government cut

Apologies for failing to finish of my series of blogs on Labour council’s pyramid of nonsense on the cuts. I have been enjoying some sun and the wedding on the telly.

The Labour council, Labour councillors and supposedly apolitical officers, have been trying to maintain this line as used in the libraries consultation:

Due to cuts to our government funding, Ealing Council needs to save £65million over the next three years. This is approximately 30% of the money that the council has available to spend on its services.

If you look at the budget papers, here, you will see that the council is planning for growth of £7.3 million. These are decisions that the Labour council have made to increase spending that have to be paid for by cutting other spending (or raising new income). However unavoidable or unwelcome they are these are not cuts imposed by the government and it is simply a lie to characterise them as such. During the four years that the Tories were in power we put in growth of £40 million. We did not go around saying that he Labour government had imposed £40 million of cuts on us. This is what Labour are doing in black and white in the consultation document.

You can reasonably deduct the £7.3 million from Labour’s £65 million figure. This gives us an honest characterisation of the cuts as 12.5%.

This level of cuts is very difficult to deal with and none of Ealing’s politicians would have liked to have dealt with it. Labour’s Cllr Bell and Johnson have had to drive through some very tough decisions and they deserve due respect for what they have done. That said the “cuts” are not 30% they are 12.5%, one eighth of spending not almost one third as they have mendaciously tried to suggest.