17 April 2014

Austerity, Budgets and Trident

Liverpool's 2 Green councillors proposed the following motion to full council yesterday:

"Council regrets the devastating loss of government funding for local authorities in general and for Liverpool in particular.

Council considers that a new formula is needed which clearly addresses the need to redistribute the share of funding from more affluent areas towards areas with high deprivation; in particular, central government should fully fund the cost of adult social care.

Council considers that the total size of the budget for local government should be restored to a level that would undo the damage done by the Coalition government since 2010 and that any future government should replace the destructive austerity programme with a programme of investment to create sustainable jobs, in green industries such as energy saving, public transport and renewable energy - a "Green New Deal".

Council further considers that the cancellation of the Trident nuclear weapons programme would create a capital saving to help finance a transition from austerity to a Green New Deal.

Council therefore requests the Mayor to use his influence on any potential party of government in pursuit of these aims."

This motion was derailed by a Labour wrecking amendment. This is very disappointing. Are there any Labour councillors in Liverpool who are members of CND or Greenpeace, and if so, why not allow a debate on Trident? Politics deserves real debate and as Seumas Milne and the IEA have both pointed out, there are really difficult choices for any incoming government.

Liverpool was once a radical home for politics, particularly Labour politics, and it could be again. Joe Anderson, to give him a little credit, was ahead of the national Labour party (although well behind the Greens) in demanding in public that the bedroom tax should be scrapped. If local Labour groups won't even apply pressure on the national party to consider scrapping Trident, why should any CND or Greenpeace supporter locally back them in the European Elections?

Once again, I end with a reminder that the first year of any Labour government will stick to Coalition spending plans. It's not good enough and to have any impact on that policy and the approach of the Labour Party in government to Trident, then Labour supporters need to vote Green in the European Elections. It is the last chance to lean on the Labour leadership before the General Election.

1 comment:

eartheart said...

I think our motion was a bit of a wrecking ball with the Trident bit in it. It would have been much better to get the basic issue and the Green New deal across - sorry can't really agree with this post.