Marvin Rees announces another £100m to be cut from Bristol
Tory austerity must be challenged – mass anti-cuts campaigning needed
Marvin Rees, Bristol's new Labour mayor has revealed that the city council faces a funding shortfall of £100m by the end of his term of office in 2020. This is because of the cuts being imposed on spending by the Tory government.
Bristol is already reeling from over £100m cuts made by the previous mayor, George Ferguson. Coming on top of that, these additional cuts will hit jobs and services in the city even harder. Even Rees himself concedes that “there is little fat left to trim leaving us facing unpalatable options.” Those worst affected will be the less well-off and those with the greatest social needs. Making these cuts is not compatible with Rees’s stated aim of making Bristol a more equal city.
During the recent mayoral and council elections Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates repeatedly warned that the new administration would end up making cuts on a huge scale if it was not prepared to stand up to the government and refuse to implement the austerity agenda. We called for a no-cuts budget based on the needs of the city, and a mass campaign to force the government to return the stolen funds. We will continue to campaign alongside ordinary people to resist this new threat to jobs and services.
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) former mayoral candidate and Socialist Party member Tom Baldwin said:
“Just over a month ago Bristol voted in an election that saw an overwhelming desire for change in the city. But already we’re getting threats of massive cuts, wrapped in the talk of “tough choices” and “unpalatable options” – exactly as we’ve seen over the last few years. I’m sick of politicians talking about the tough decisions they face when those decisions are tough on us and not on them. More cuts of this scale will be disastrous for Bristol. If our new mayor is serious about making this city a more equal and better place to live then he must stop them. If he’s not prepared to stand up to this weak and divided government then he risks becoming just the latest Tory stooge – pushing their austerity agenda from City Hall.”