West Ham MP Lyn Brown is angry about Newham’s government funding cuts


- Credit: Archant

I thought I’d seen it all when it comes to the self-serving smugness of this Tory government. Everything they do is calculated to secure the maximum party political advantage.

Moves are afoot to gerrymander the boundaries of Parliamentary constituencies to boost Tory chances at the next general election. At the same time, the numbers able to vote in the future are being massaged down, through changes to the electoral registration process.

In Parliament, money available to support the opposition party is being cut by government, as a cynical strategy to dilute the scrutiny they must undergo in Parliament.

They don’t like being accountable to the public, nor to Parliament. Without that scrutiny all they face is feeble and fawning coverage in much of the national media.

Councils like Newham have seen half their funding slashed. They have been told to increase council tax by two per cent every year for four years, to go towards social care: nowhere near enough to pay for the care older people need.

Even worse, the government plan another 1.75pc increase, to make up for Tory cuts to central government grants. So, you pay more and get less. That’s value-for-money, Tory style.

Newham Council has had to save £117m since 2010/11 to meet the gap in the budget. This latest Tory con trick means Newham will have to find £70m more by 2019/20. They’re bleeding us dry.

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The government found £300m for the Tory shire counties. A massive 83pc went as sweeteners to Tory areas, just before their county council elections. Labour-run areas got barely 5pc, despite being those to have suffered the biggest cuts since 2010. Newham won’t receive a penny of these “transitional funds”. Tory Surrey gets £12m a year.

I’m expecting to see massive cuts in our schools budgets soon. Watch this space. More from Lyn