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Greens highlight new austerity report

As many councils in the South West agree reduced budgets this week and Green Party campaigners join anti-cuts demonstrations across the region, a new report confirms that the cuts have hit the most vulnerable the hardest.

Counting the Cuts, a report by the Centre for Welfare Reform, is based on government statistics and finds that the disabled, those on low incomes and those needing help from social services are those who are being particularly hard hit by the cuts.

Anna Bonallack, Green candidate for Bisley-with-Lypiatt – said: “ George Osborne and Ed Balls are both committed to an economic plan that means the continued reduction of government funding to local councils. The economic ideology makes little sense, but worse is the moral bankruptcy that underpins it. I fear for the most vulnerable people in Stroud, it is only going to get worse for them.”

The Green Party wants radical change to the way local government is financed. With approximately 80% of local government finance coming from central government, Greens argue for power to be decentralised so more finance is under local control, as is the case in almost every other European country.

Dr Molly Scott Cato, Green Party finance speaker and lead South West European candidate, said:

“Austerity is political. It makes no moral or economic sense. The Green Party would bring in a national living wage, implement a citizen’s income, introduce a land value tax and encourage more local currencies such as the Stroud pound. By revising tax banding to make it fairer, and by introducing measures such as a Robin Hood Tax, we could bring an end to austerity and enable local government to fund services for the common good, ensuring a decent quality of life for everyone.”

Molly Scott Cato will propose a motion on the FTT (commonly known as Robin Hood Tax) at Stroud District Council on 27th February.

Counting the Cuts is released ahead of a key debate in the House of Commons next week forced on the Government by the WOW Petition, signed by over 100,000 people and strongly supported by the Green Party. The petition calls on the Government to calculate the cumulative impact of its policies on disabled people.

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