Money talks in David Cameron’s administration – and it says everybody has a price.
We have already witnessed an example of this, after it was revealed that the Conservative Party has apparently smashed legal spending limits in criminal attempts to win three Parliamentary seats with money.
Now here’s further evidence.
Look at the Tory MPs who had been threatening to block his cuts to local government funding. A £300 million injection of cash – into Conservative areas – will buy their silence.
Look at Oxfordshire Council, against which David Cameron himself embarrassingly complained about his own cuts. A £9 million slice of this ‘relief fund’ will silence the problems there.
Look at Cameron’s mother and aunt, who complained about cuts to children’s services in Oxfordshire. You can be sure a slice of that £9 million will give ‘relief’ to the budget issues afflicting those services – and both mummy and auntie will be silenced.
Yes, money buys silence in Cameron’s country. But his affluence only extends to those whose support he needs.
What about the North? What about Labour-run councils? What about the people who will suffer hardest because of Cameron’s cuts?
They can scream all they like. He’ll turn a deaf ear.
David Cameron has been accused of buying off Tory MPs threatening to block local government cuts, after it emerged that a new £300m relief fund will overwhelmingly help Conservative areas, including his own Oxfordshire council.
The extra cash was announced after up to 30 Conservative MPs were poised to revolt against the local government finance settlement, which is due to be put to a vote on Wednesday in the House of Commons. The funding was announced by Greg Clark, the communities and local government secretary, to the delight of Tory MPs.
A Labour analysis shows that 83% of the new £300m two-year fund will go to Tory-run councils, mostly in the southern shires. It found that the biggest beneficiary will be Surrey, which will get £24m, with £19m going to Hampshire, £16m to Hertfordshire, £14m to Essex, £12m to West Sussex, £11m to Kent and £9m to Buckinghamshire. Cameron’s county council in Oxfordshire will get an additional £9m to ease the cuts over the next two years.
The council in Oxfordshire had been criticised by the prime minister’s own mother for its planned cuts to children’s services. On Tuesday night, Cameron’s aunt joined in the calls for the council to reverse its decision, saying it was a “great, great error” to allow 44 children’s centres to close. Clare Currie, sister of the prime minister’s mother, Mary Cameron, told ITV News that her nephew is a family man who she believes “doesn’t want them to be shut either”.
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