Axe this Lot - No to Massive Cuts in Swansea!

11th October 2013

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Image: "The Axeman Commeth" front page of the South Wales Evening Post. Credit to Social Work Action Network  - Swansea for the image.

I don't know who designed the image on the front page of today's South Wales Evening Post but it illustrates perfectly the 'cuts consensus' of politicians from different parties and at all different levels. Under a headline 'the axeman cometh' there is a picture of Tory PM, David Cameron, Labour Welsh Government First Minister, Carwyn Jones and Labour Swansea Council Leader, David Phillips, each brandishing hatchets.

This week the Labour Welsh Government secured a deal, to pass their draft budget, with a Plaid Cymru/Liberal Democrat alliance (the 2 parties had previously agreed a common approach to budget negotiations) and allocate, £1.7 billion of cuts for Wales, determined by a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition in Westminster.

The end result of the actions of 4 parties, for the people of Swansea, is £45 million of cuts to services and jobs over the next 3 years. To rub salt into the (axe) wounds that they are inflicting, the Council want the people of Swansea to pick the services to cut, sell off or simply axe, through the 'sustainable Swansea' consultation.

Council workers' jobs are also for the chop, with warnings from the Council to expect 'significant' job losses. In neighbouring Carmarthenshire, the leader of the Council, which is also Labour-led, says 'many hundreds' of jobs will have to go.

On TV last night, representing the only UNISON local government branch with a commitment to opposing all cuts, Carmarthenshire, branch secretary, Mark Evans, promised "we will oppose cuts". Council workers and users of services have no choice but to come together to do just that - fight all cuts - if we want politicians to stump up to keep our services, until such time as we can replace the axemen with representatives who will fight Tory cuts not wield the axe for them.
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