Monday, 13 February 2012

Manchester Labour's £80 Million Cuts Con

You may have seen the alarming front page of today's Manchester Evening News. However it appears not everything is quite as it seems.

"Manchester's Labour Town Hall boss Sir Richard Leese is guilty of dodgy 1980s style accounting, that would make Derek Hatton blush, when he claims that £80Million may need to be cut from the City Council's budget between 2013 and 2015." says Manchester's Liberal Democrat Finance Spokesperson Councillor Simon Wheale, after figures revealed that over 60% of the claimed cut was to pay for increased Council spending in other areas.

Simon added "Richard Leese has spoken in favour of a 'best-guess' report, going before the City Council's Executive on Wednesday, (15th February 2012), which outlines a potential shortfall in resources totalling £80 Million over two years from 2013. However what Sir Richard has utterly failed to do is make clear that a majority of the shortfall arises because the Council wants to splash out nearly £50 Million more on Town Hall spending on Departmental Costs and Corporate Items and would therefore need to find savings elsewhere to pay for the extra spending."

"Genuinely difficult decisions have had to be made at the City Council in the last year for the sake of getting our economy back on an even keel, but this suggested '£80Million cut' is a simple con. A majority of Sir Richard's '£80 Million cut' is actually moving Council spending from one Department to another whilst conveniently trying to blame the Coalition Government."

Councillor Wheale said "This is not the first time that Sir Richard has dressed up extra spending in one area of the Council, leading to the need for savings elsewhere, as Government cuts. In the current financial year well over £30 Million of additional expenditure was agreed, for things such as higher pension contributions and more Social Workers, whilst Town Hall Labour bosses simply blamed the Coalition Government for all the savings that then needed to be made in other Departments to pay for this new spending."

"Manchester will quite rightly receive the second highest Government grant of any Council in the country in the forthcoming year, has Reserves of over £170 Million and has recently committed itself to building three new swimming pools, a new cultural complex and to continuing with the £170 Million revamp of the Town Hall and Central Library. This is good news for the Council which Sir Richard undermines with this £80 Million cut con."

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