The recent comments made by Rishi Sunak regarding Nottingham City Council are very disappointing, but not surprising. He once again is seeking to abdicate responsibility for the actions and failures of this Conservative government.
Over the past ten years, we have received £100 million less each year than we did before 2013, representing a loss of a billion pounds. There is £694 less funding per resident each year. Coupled with this is the rising cost in adult social care and supporting vulnerable children. This is despite the fact that the Conservative government promised to tackle social care problems and they have failed to do so.
Homelessness has also spiralled out of control due to the cost-of-living crisis and rising mortgages, along with chronic underinvestment in house building, with a watering down of targets under Michael Gove. The cause of the cost-of-living crisis we face was the utter failure of the Liz Truss Prime Ministership. She will go down in history as one of the shortest sitting PMs, but the damage of her period in power is still ongoing.
The PM says that councils have 10% more funding this year, but costs and pressures have risen by more than this, and what we receive is still less in real terms than the council received in 2013. He claims the Conservatives halved inflation, but economists argued inflation would half by itself; and it was the Tories who doubled inflation in the first place.
Instead, it has been reported that the Chancellor is more interested in cutting inheritance tax for the most wealthy and bringing back banker’s bonuses instead of actually supporting working people.
It is these issues of social care and homelessness that have contributed to our in-year budget gap. Like so many councils across the country, we are struggling due to the Tories actions, due to their complete failure as a government and as a party to lead, and to do anything to benefit the country.
The underinvestment in Local Authorities which is damaging councils across this country, is not happening by accident, it is the aim of the Conservative government. They do not believe in a state that supports, nurtures and helps the people who live under it. At every turn they look to weaken the states institutions, to undermine social and international norms and to demonise and weaken the hard-working people of this country. They have slashed benefits, through council cuts, they have led to gutting of youth centres, of libraries and many other services. Under their watch and guidance the NHS has been brought to its knees. The NHS underpinned the post-war consensus, it brought in by a Labour government that believed passionately that things could and should be better. But the Conservative has not properly funded or supported the UK’s dearest institution, waiting lists have increased exponentially and ordinary people are having to wait longer for vital treatment.
Rishi Sunak says that Nottingham deserves better than Nottingham Labour. In truth, Nottingham deserves better than this Conservative government – and certainly better than this unelected Prime Minister: a man who isn’t supported by his own party, who is out of ideas, who is not up to the job.
We all deserve better. It is also worth reiterating that Nottingham Labour Councillors were elected to 50 out of 55 seats in May, while the Conservatives were pushed out of the city winning no seats at all. The people of Nottingham have made their views clear, they don’t want the Conservatives.
Nottingham Labour reject wholeheartedly the Prime Minsters comments, and we call on him to call a General Election.