In less than six weeks, voters in Salford are faced with a choice. The recent Budget of the Conservative-led Government has made clear that choosing Conservatives will mean even deeper cuts to public spending for the next three years than we have seen over the last five years.
Salford City Council has already suffered £149 million of budget cuts from this Government since 2010. Yet Surrey County Council sees an increase in its spending power this year. There are wealthy London boroughs which have had cuts only a quarter of the size of those inflicted on Salford. This grossly unfair way of allocating more cash for public services to wealthy areas is similar to other policies of the Conservative government. While families in Salford are £1,600 worse off on average since 2010, Conservatives gave a tax cut to people earning £150,000 or more.
This choice matters because deeper cuts for Salford can only lead to a further deterioration in our local public services. We have already seen a damaging deterioration with cuts to police numbers and pressure on community health and other local services. Cuts to adult social care mean 1,000 people in Salford are losing their publicly-funded social care packages this year.
If Conservatives are given the chance to make even more extreme cuts over the next three years, this will hit Salford harder than other areas. I worry about what this will mean for policing, for children and young people’s services, for cleaning and maintaining our streets and for social care and the NHS. The next round of cuts will be cuts to the bone.
Labour has a plan for a better, fairer and more balanced way to run the economy. We will also protect our NHS and invest in it for the future. Our Time to Care plan will mean 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs and 5,000 more care workers. It will also mean guarantees of GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.
Labour will control government finances in a way which supports vital services such as social care and the NHS.