Just a few short weeks ago Falkirk’s Labour and Tories celebrated the continuation of austerity by hugging each other at the referendum count and cheering their claims we are “Better Together” in austerity Britain.
They boasted of the impact their Project Fear had on pensioners told from call centres in England that if they voted YES they would lose their pensions. We all know that many elderly people took in the fear and smears only to be betrayed by the UK parties on the breaking of promises of higher pensions.
Of course we all knew their day of reckoning was coming for the Labour / Tory alliaace as they faced up to the impact of the projected £25billion of Westminster cuts announced by the Tory Government.
That day has arrived and Falkirk Council’s Labour and Tory council leaders face the elderly, the young, the unemployed, low income families and all vulnerable people in the dismantling of the council’s social contract with the people.
The Better Together Administration within Falkirk Council are targeting the most vulnerable with proposals to,
- Raise charges for disabled people by removing the cap on charges for essential care, increased existing charges for such as Meals on Wheels and new charges for services such as the Garden Aid Service, Day Care and Social Work transport, the scrapping of the Taxicard scheme.
- The Tory led council are also proposing to privatise Homecare, close Nursing Homes The Rowans Respite facility, and ASSET the employment facility for adults with learning disability
- Cut funding on mental health such as FDHAM and Caledonian Clubhouse by a staggering 20%.
- School meals to rise in price by 20% over the next three years, school subjects and courses reduced as are staff numbers in schools, an end to free lets in schools for community groups and 5% increase in paid lets, a 5% increase in the price of Child Care,, re-calculation of qualifying distances for free school bus passes, transfer of community centres, scrapping of the school library service.
- An end to free special uplifts, fewer school crossing patrols, closure of all public toilets, higher charges for Bereavement Services, cuts in street cleaning, shrub and open space maintenance and new charges for Pest Control.
These are just a sample of the cuts proposed by the Labour / Tory coalition and shamefully kept hidden from the people during the referendum campaign. The full list of cuts are listed here http://www.falkirk.gov.uk/coins/submissiondocuments.asp?submissionid=10435
Commenting on the cuts SNP Group Leader, Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn said,
“We warned during the referendum campaign that a heavy price would be paid for a NO vote and that warning has been borne out by the content of this report.”
“What we are seeing between the UK Government’s Welfare Cuts and Falkirk Council’s targeting of the Westminster austerity programme is the social destruction of the caring society with the replacement being the ethos that essential services are only available if you can afford to pay for them.”
“As has happened in the past is that the most vulnerable within our society who are being hit hardest. Little if any thought has been given to the ability to pay these charges, many of which are flat rate charges paid by everyone no matter their income.”
The irony is that the group being hit hardest is the group so shamefully targetted by Better Together during the referendum campaign.”