Can Labour’s ‘Sure Start’ Children’s Centres remain safe under ConDem government’s cuts?

12th December 2011

During the general election campaign Wallasey’s Labour MP,  Angela Eagle, drew attention to the potential threat facing Labour’s Sure Start Centres if the Tories were to be elected.

Here in Seacombe Labour's 'Sure Start' has been a huge success.

That produced howls of protest from local Tories – insisting that Sure Start would be safe under them.  But the national picture has been as Angela predicted – one of growing pressure on councils that are now cash-strapped by government cuts.

While the unions continue to protect low paid workers, under the most hostile government in memory, ‘Unite’ members, and others, look forward to the Union’s North West Conference ‘Save Manchester Sure Start’ on 7th January.

‘Unite’ says it is organising this conference because the Con-Dem Coalition Government will be pushing for even more cuts in  2012. The Conference will provide a forum where Trade Unions, Charities, voluntary sector organisations, students and community-based campaigns can share information and build even stronger opposition to the cuts that so badly damage our public services and communities.

Public sector pensions & poverty in old age. John questions the myths.

17th November 2011

Does Mr Cameron intend to 'modernise' public sector pensions to fit in with the 'Victorian values' his party has applauded so loudly?

For areas like Egremont, New Brighton, Poulton, and Seacombe, where a high proportion of our residents have worked in low-paid public sector jobs, the attack on pensions can lead to real hardship, and misery, in old age. 

Cllr John Salter raises some interesting questions

But we are accustomed to propaganda ‘myths’ put out by the usual sources. 

John takes a close look at the propaganda myths

* ConDem propaganda gives the impression that public sector pensions are high.

But are they?  Expressed merely as a percentage the ‘headline’ figures can be presented to look at first glance as though they are high.  But 100% of nothing is … err, not very much!  And no percentage of an already very low income can ever amount to a lot of actual cash.  But it’s a clever propaganda presentation, isn’t it?

* Propaganda gives the impression that public sector pensions are not ‘affordable’, that they are more generous than private sector pensions, and that they are paid at the expense of everybody else.  

On the contrary, pensions are no more than deferred wages – pay at a later date for work already done.  In return for accepting less during their working years public servants enter into a bargain that it will be paid to them when they are old and no longer able to work. No evidence has been produced to establish that cutting public sector pensions will make private sector pensions any better.

* Propaganda suggests that cutting public sector pensions will save money for the rest of us because they are ‘not affordable’.  Really? 

Public sector pensions are affordable.  Can’t the seventeen or so millionaires in Mr Cameron’s Cabinet grasp that by attacking their pensions they may simply drive pensioners  into the kind of ignominious poverty that needs social security payments, instead, to make ends meet?

* Propaganda gives the impression that public sector pensions are extremely high.  What is the truth?  

In fact most public sector pensions are below £5,600 a year.   Half of women public service pensioners receive below £4,000 a year.  Most pensioners who are former Council employees can expect below £3,000 a year.

* None of the ConDems’ ‘savings’, by cutting public sector pensions, are intended to go into any other ‘low paid’ people’s pensions.  But is that what the propaganda will bring people to imagine?

Isn’t the truth that public sector workers are simply having their old-age incomes cut to pay for the deficit caused by wreckless speculators?

* Unions have spent long hours in talks over the spring and summer with ministers and their officials.  But that doesn’t seem to come across in the propaganda.

But there has yet to be any real negotiation.  Are unions unreasonable in taking action as the only way to start to get ministers to negotiate properly?

 

TUC research ridicules Tory propaganda myths – as Bank of England questions the private banks’ approach

7th March 2011         

Whilst comments from the Governor of the Bank of England show many leading banks in a poor light the latest TUC research leaves Tory propaganda claims in tatters.      

Tory myth no 1:  “Government debt is the highest it has ever been”.  The truth:  The UK’s debt is lower now than it was during most years of the twentieth century.  Just 6p in every pound of spending went on paying off debt last year, compared to 8p in 1996.   Labour took over from them – with a legacy of crumbling schools to rebuild, hospitals to rebuild, and long queues for patients to be admitted.  Of course borrowing to rebuild the country after decline during Mrs Thatcher’s Tory governments was necessary – and you don’t have to be very bright to know that 6p in the pound is less than 8p in the pound.        

Tory economics inspiration source?

 

There’s an old saying:  ‘Sins can be forgiven, but stupidity is for ever.’         

But the British people are not stupid.  Aren’t the Tories insulting the intelligence of the British people with their propaganda?        

Tory myth no 2:  “Britain’s debt is worse than other countries.”  The truth: Our debt is lower than that of France, Germany, Canada, the USA, and many other leading countries hard hit by the world wide bankers’ collapse. (See the chart at the foot of this page.)  In fact the IMF (International Monetary Fund) figures reveal that Britain’s debt as a proportion of GDP is the lowest in the wealthy G7 group of countries.         

Tory myth  no 3:  “We have delivered the first 0% council tax.”  The truth:  Oh dear!  Memory loss so soon?  Perhaps they should get out more!  Don’t they remember  Labour’s 0% Council tax right here on Wirral?      And that was a Labour decision.  But on this occasion the Tories had virtually no choice as it was governed by the central governmen’st restrictions and potential detriments if they did any different. In fact councils all over the country have no effective choice other than to impose a ‘zero’ Council tax change.   But do the Wirral ConDems want you to believe it was all their own decision?         

 

'We have a plan. We know the right cuts to make!'

 

 Tory myth no 4:  “We have a plan: if we don’t make massive cuts we will face economic disaster.”  The truth:  In fact deep cuts could damage the fragile recovery.  Workers who fear for their jobs will cut back on spending.  Those who lose their jobs entirely will not be spending much at all.  Local shops and businesses will suffer from the loss of trade.  As unemployment rises fewer people pay income tax, even those who do pay less, and the Government’s tax-income will fall at the same time that they have to fork out more in unemployment and other benefits.  The Tory ‘economics of the madhouse’ defies cost-benefit analysis for the wider economy and pours more and more public money into non-productive unemployment  benefits, and other benefits, to people who could otherwise be gainfully employed          

Tory myth no 5:  “The cuts will be fair.  We are all in this together.”  The truth:   The Tory cuts hit the low paid more – far more – than those on high incomes.  They hit low paid women more than low paid men.  They hit the North of England far more than the South and South East of England.           

Tory myth no 6:  ” We know the right direction for recovery – we are dealing with excess bank profits”  The Truth:  Bankers and finance speculators continue to award themselves millionaire ‘bonuses’.  The Super-rich big companies continue to orchestrate  tax avoidance through legal means.    But the loss to the country is more than  £40 billion a year.  If enough tax collection staff were employed, rather than being put at risk of redundancy, it is estimated that this tax loss could be halved.   

The 'right direction' for recovery?

 

And the banks and the financiers of ‘the City’ have been shocked by the Governor of the Bank of England’s questioning of their approach to the world crisis in which the banks led the world into crash.  

The Tories and ConDems are profoundly embarrassed by his view that the banks may even now, when the Tories are going so easy on them, be moving into the same mistakes that tipped the scales  in 2008/9.      

    

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The illustration shows that following measures taken by a Labour Government the UK emerged from the bankers' world collapse with lower debt than most of the world's richest countries. The Tory cuts are in line with their ideology of protecting the interests of the very rich.

 

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