24 February 2016

Four Features of the Cuts


The politics of the cuts

The multi-million £ cuts that are about to descend on council services across Scotland and have arisen from decisions taken by John ”Minimal Impact” Swinney have shown Dundonians two things :

*Dundee’s SNP council cannot protect Dundee from the policies of the SNP Government in Edinburgh.

*Dundee’s SNP council has shown no great desire to protect Dundee from the policies of the SNP Government in Edinburgh.

Rather than speak up for Dundee, they have chosen to remain quiet.

In Dundee , SNP stands for “Silent National Party”

The economics of the cuts

UNISON quote research that demonstrated the benefits that expenditure by a council brought to a community through its investment in  “goods, works and services” and the impact of employment spending in the local economy

These were :

For every £1 spent, 64 p was invested in the local economy.

Council employees in the area spent around 50p in every £ they earned in the local economy .

The coming cuts will overturn these benefits and reduce the amount of money in circulation to the severe detriment of the local economy.

The broader picture

The cuts that are being forced upon councils in Scotland will increase inequality in a society that is already highly unequal.

Official government figures show that total wealth in Scotland is in the region of £714 billion.

Of that, the richest 2 per cent of households in Scotland own 17 per cent of all personal wealth in the country amongst themselves

The lowest 30 per cent of households own 2 per cent in total of all personal wealth in Scotland.

The Politics of Identity

Media-political bubble conversation is of the opinion that we now live in a new era of politics , the politics of national identity supposedly having overcome the politics of class.

But outwith the bubble , events are taking place that may have unintended consequences.

These enormous cuts in local council expenditure may see the beginning of a new politics of identity –Do you identify with your city, your town and your community ? - or do you identify with the policies of the Scottish Government?

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