Barbara Keeley MP


Salford Advertiser Column, 31 January 2013

The Conservative-led Government is forcing more cuts onto hard-working people and families in Salford. The latest cuts to the council’s budget mean that every resident in Salford has seen a Government cut of £336 per head over three years. Salford people are losing vital services while in other councils, like Wokingham or Richmond in Surrey, cuts have averaged only £16 per head.

These cuts will mean the loss of services in Salford like the children’s centres in Barton Moss and Eccles. The Labour Government invested in our children’s early years and I am upset to see these vital services for children now being cut. Older people will also suffer from the Coalition Government’s cuts. Up to now Salford has continued to support people with moderate needs for social care, which only one in five councils across the country have managed to do. However social care represents 40% of the Council’s budget, so the extra Government cuts of £23million this year have meant that the council has had to look at cutting care services for older people.

Meanwhile we have had the news that there was no growth in our economy, which actually shrank in the last quarter of 2012 and is now smaller than it was in 2008. The Government’s austerity programme is not working and local people are paying the price.

Even though there was a small fall in unemployment nationally, the latest figures for Worsley and Eccles South show that unemployment grew here last month. The figures for the number of people unemployed for more than twelve months have increased by nearly fifty per cent in the last twelve months. It is clear that the Government’s Work programme for the unemployed is not working here.

It is time the Coalition Government changed its policies and offered people more hope for the future. We need a plan for jobs and growth that will help get local people working again. The Government should also make help for struggling families and businesses a priority rather than giving tax cuts to millionaires.

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