Monday, March 01, 2010

25,000 council jobs to go

The BBC has been leading with the story that 25,000 jobs are to go this coming year in English local government. Not unexpectedly, the biggest losses are in Birmingham, the biggest council in the country.

Job losses are common across authorities of all political persuasions. The main reason is simply that there is less money in the coming year for local government to spend. The biggest drop in income is due to the government reducing what is given to councils to spend. Given that for every four pounds spent by councils, three come from central government, any cut by ministers to the overall level of grants awarded to councils will have serious consequences.

Secondly, the income councils receive from other sources have been hit by the recession. Most have capital reserves that previously paid good interest. Nearly every council earned interest on their revenue balances. But interest rates are now next to nothing. Income from commercial property has also gone down. There has, after all, been a recession. So cash sources have been drying up.

The other main source is council tax. Given that central government will only allow limited rises, and council tax payers can stand only so much in terms of tax demands, council tax alone cannot take the strain caused by the loss of other revenue.

So, budgets have to be cut. Labour postures that spending will not be cut yet to protect the recovery. Their posturing is of course completely artificial. They have already started the cuts. They may not be as bad as what is to come, but they are still happening. There needs to be a bit of honesty from Labour about that.

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Matthew Huntbach said...

So there'll be thousands upon thousands of people sitting at home wanting a job. And thousands upon thousands of jobs that need doing but don't get done because they can't be paid for - I mean all those little cleaning and caring jobs that would make life so much more pleasant if they were done. We could get people picking up litter, or feeding all those poor old folks who die of malnutrition in hospital because
the nurses are too busy to feed them, and so on.

But we can't, because we've got to pay backl all the money we bororrowed to provide those bankers with their mansion-a-year bonuses.

So, every oldie starving in hospital, or every youngie bored out of you skull and unemployed at home. Just think - you are living and dying as you are to help give a millionaire a little bit more towards another mansion to go alongside the one he bought with his millions last year.

Anonymous said...

If you want to look for some one to take the blame for the present situation, you need look no further than this Government. They are always very keen to point out that they fund local government to the tune of 75% of it's spend. That is only half of the story. Some councils tax payers are contributing 75% or more to their councils because of unfair Government grants. Government grant is a very politically discriminate tax and the Government gives the biggest grants to its Heartlands.
25,000 job cuts are peanuts when you consider the number employed in local government.
AND local government does not fund little old ladies starving in hospital beds.
Perhaps it is time we took a leaf out of the Republic of Irelands book and cut salaries throughout state employment (including the PM and MPs) and made radical changes to the present pension scheme. That would save a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.