George Osborne said today that the Tories would take a leaf out of Tory-led councils’ books when it comes to cost-cutting if they get in to Government.
Channel 4 News tonight gave us an idea of what that might mean. They featured what’s going on down in Hammersmith and Fulham where the Tory-controlled council is cutting services and support for the disabled. And up in Leeds, where I am, we are also getting to see what Osborne would be up to if he ever gets the keys to 11 Downing Street. Pay cuts for the lowest paid council workers – refuse workers stand to lose as much as £6,000 a year and have taken strike action in despair.
It’s going to be working class families who will suffer the consequences of the Age of Austerity rhetoric that Osborne preaches; and other victims, the elderly and vulnerable. The Tories in Leeds want to cut day care centres, including Bramley Lawns in Leeds West, which provide much needed support for those who use them – and some respite for their families who provide round-the-clock care.
There is a choice. Yes, future spending rounds are going to be tough, but Labour are on the side of hard-working families and those who most need government to be on their side – the young, elderly, disabled and vulnerable.
We can see, in Leeds and elsewhere, that the Tories are on a different side – a cut in inheritance tax for the richest few hundred families and pain for those who can afford it least.