The Green view on the national debt

Further to my earlier post on this issue, an additional opportunity to set the national debt in context arose last week. The Conservative group of councillors submitted an extraordinary motion using the national debt to justify massive cuts whilst also reassuring residents that ‘Intelligent Commissioning’ and other actions left the council in a good position to handle the cuts.

Well this motion had to be amended, and so I submitted a detailed amendment, as you can see here.

Unfortunately the amendment fell, because Labour sat on their hands for the vote. Thankfully the motion as a whole also fell. Still Labour need to seriously reflect on what they stand for before coming to the next council meeting.

My speech to the amendment is copied below. I got no response to my final question as Conservative councillors ranted on about other things, if you can bear to watch on the webcast.

Speech proposing amendment to Conservative public debt NoM
21st October 2010

Mr Mayor

Yesterday George Osborne announced as part of the comprehensive spending review that not only would, according to the Local Government Association, local authority budgets be cut by 25.5% but that the cost of borrowing for councils would also be increased by 1%.

This authority and its officers are going to be squeezed beyond all reason. Yet, as benefit cuts bite and the economy suffers from the ill-considered government slashing of public services, our residents will need us more than ever.

Our amendment makes abundantly clear that the current UK national deficit is by no means sufficiently alarming to justify these unprecedented cuts. The deficit is not particularly large by historical comparison, the interest charges are a reasonable proportion of our GDP and the repayments are owed over many years. We include a number of ways in which the deficit could be reduced through tax and benefit reforms, but not public service cuts.

To echo a certain high street store – These are not just cuts, these are coalition government cuts. With lashings of hypocrisy and soaked in misleading statements.

What we are witnessing are not just a few efficiency savings. We are seeing the utter abandonment of whole swathes of our society. At the slightest hint of stormy waters the coalition government are chucking people overboard shouting to them “if you can’t afford to survive then you’re on your own.”

Frankly Mr Mayor, the administration have some gall presenting this motion reassuring residents in the face of this economic and public sector catastrophe.

I urge members to support this amendment. And I finish with a question – did any of the members on that side of the chamber actually check the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s lurid claims about the scale of the deficit, or did they just swallow it – hook, line and sinker?

One thought on “The Green view on the national debt”

  1. Dear Jason

    Always great to see you and always great to see the latest fantasy-politics you put up on your blog. The parallel universe from which you swoop is indeed a poorer place without you in it!

    The Greens answer to everything is……TAX everyone – this time to the tune of 71billion quid. As if good folk haven’t been mullered by the reckless Labour party enough. You and I agree that Labour spent way over the top in Government, and should never have allowed public expenditure to get out of control from 2005 onwards.

    After economic prosperity should come savings, investment and some caution, not borrowing 1 in every 4 pounds and selling off the gold reserves at their lowest value in decades.

    What we don’t agree on is the way forward.
    You are the enemy of business, and risk-taking entrepreneurs will be driven out of this country just as they were in the 1960’s and especially in the 1970’s when there were threats of taxing up to 99p in the £. We know Caroline Lucas and her minion Paul Steedman are all for scaremongering – what does he EVER propose?? – but you are more erudite, articulate and savvy than both of them together. But you’ve got this wrong – 71billion in taxation PUNISHES people of all incomes and backgrounds, and as for RE-FINANCING??!
    Jason, I have to tell you, all you have to do is look at the problems this has caused Manchester United and Liverpool football clubs. Borrowing against assets to increase unsustainable debt, re-financing etc puts off the inevitable. This great country would become a 4th world country in a split-second, and once the creditors call in the debts……doesn’t bear thinking about.
    In fact, our credit-rating has not dropped because we ARE dealing with the deficit sooner rather than later. it is important not to have 120million quid x 365 days extra to pay by leaving it for a year.

    All of the G20 countries agree the deficit should be dealt with, in fact most of the world agree. The only ones who don’t are the British labour Party [the wreckers] and a few Maoists in the northern most point of Manchuria.
    Labour left us the 3rd MOST UNPREPARED country to deal with the financial crisis, when we should have been swimming in money.

    I want you to take a good look at Canada and paul martins’ achievements there as PM. He cut 60% out of unnecessary Govt expenditure and lots else to curb a crippling economy – a few years later they were in the BLACK. Masterful performance which actually saved his country, because he was brave and creative and made the taxpayers’ money mean something, which Labour and the Greens seem to forget about.

    As Cllr Oxley said : your amendment was a sham and didn’t deserve to be supported. Marxism, Maoism, Communism, call it what you like – the truth is with you lot in power we may as well all emigrate.

    Apart from that, you spoke with great passion, are always ready to defend your cause and have great conviction. i admire that. 99% of the English-speaking world will not agree with anything you say, but hats off for at least getting up and joining the debate.

    As for the MP for Brighton pavilion – has she condemned the violence on the streets of Brighton last week or has she chickened out from making a comment? She’s happy to swan around the voluntary sector saying how she will save the world and create all these jobs, but she showed a distinct lack in leadership when the Leader of the Council, the official opposition leader and the other 2 MPS defended the right to protest, but not for violence. In fact, what does she actually DO for this city other than whinge and use the Commons as a platform for her own profiling?
    [Please ask her to send the best motorway travel plan for lovers of Italy in your next blog]

    As ever, you’re a gent and look forward to seeing you soon.
    all the best
    Ayas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s