This is another story about how politics affects you, even if you don’t want anything to do with it.
Councils in England are warning that the cuts Jeremy Hunt is likely to force on them – in a desperate bid to fill the financial black hole that Liz Truss created with her daft neoliberal trickle-down economic plan – will mean the cancellation of everyday services.
They mean services they provide that help you do the things you need to, every day.
The BBC is reporting that a survey of county councils suggests bus services, home care for the elderly and climate change projects are most likely to face the axe.
Other services under threat are leisure centres and parking.
So you will be faced with the added expense of driving to work – and spending a lot of time in traffic jams because many more vehicles will be on the roads.
If you have elderly relatives who need care, then you’ll be the one providing it. While their pensions and possibly other benefits will help financially, your free time will be wiped out.
And obviously any project that actually helps reduce the threat of climate change is vital for our future existence. Who knows what could be cancelled that may otherwise change the world for the better?
You won’t have anywhere to go to relieve the pressure on you because all the leisure centres will be closed.
And you wouldn’t be able to drive there anyway because so would all the car parks.
All because Liz Truss couldn’t do her sums, because 12 years of Tory rule made the UK vulnerable to energy and food price inflation, and because the Tories had spent all that time cutting council funding to the bone, so there is nothing left to tackle emergencies.
Council funding from central government – which makes up the vast majority of the money councils use – has been halved by the Tories since 2010.
And there are more services facing cuts: road maintenance, home-to-school transport, and opening hours of libraries and recycling centres may all be cut. Charges may be introduced to use public toilets and may be increased in car parks. You may be forced to wait longer for your rubbish and recycling to be collected (which may create a problem with vermin).
Apparently the best idea the Tories have is to raise the cap on council tax increases so local authorities can charge already-impoverished residents even more money for the meagre services they continue to offer.
And the Tory government of Rishi Sunak seems to be in denial. A spokesman has said Westminster gave £3.7 billion to councils last year, to shore up services. But that was before inflation went through the roof. How much was actually needed to maintain them at their proper level?
You won’t hear an answer from Downing Street. The press office there is all about damage control, not factual accuracy.
And when I mention damage control, I mean controlling any damage to the reputation of the Tory government – not controlling damage to the fabric of UK society.
Damaging our society has been Tory policy since before they slithered back into government in 2010.
But we still have people who say they’re not interested in politics and they don’t think politics have anything to do with them.
Someone should create a checklist to demonstrate exactly how badly they already have been affected by this country’s political choices – and how much worse it will be in the future.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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