Sheffield Labour Councillors demand a genuine end to austerity

Since 2010 Sheffield City Council has had to cut its budget by a staggering £430 million and the government’s recent budget means that the Council will still have to continue to make significant cuts to public services.

The Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) sets out an honest and robust assessment of the financial challenge over the coming years, recognising that Government cuts mean the Council will need to make savings totaling millions in order to bridge a funding gap over the next five years.

Speaking about the continued cuts Sheffield City Council will have to undertake, Council Leader Julie Dore said:

“Since 2010 the Council’s budget has been slashed by £430 million. But this only tells half the story, as rising demand for social care and children’s services has meant that resources have become increasingly stretched. Quite simply there is not enough money to deliver the council services we would expect.

“We really are at breaking point and Labour will continue to fight for a fair and proper funding settlement for Sheffield. Labour would end austerity responsibly and fairly, properly funding our public services by ensuring the rich are taxed effectively, clamping down on tax dodging and increasing income taxes on the top 5% and big business.

Critics have said that the Chancellor’s recent budget does very little for our schools and local councils and that there is now a funding gap of £7.8 billion nationally facing Councils by 2025 – with cuts amounting to £1.3 billion still going ahead next year.

Speaking about the economic position of the last eight years Councillor Olivia Blake, Cabinet Member for Finance, said

“We are calling for a needs-based settlement and an end to austerity with real investment to provide a sustainable way of funding our public services. All we got from the recent budget was more sleight-of-hand from the Treasury but no meaningful funding.

“A Labour government would end austerity and invest across the whole country to boost productivity and create 400,000 well-paid green jobs. Now more than ever we need a Labour government to rebuild the country, as under the Tories local services are reaching breaking point”.