For the record, I post below a speech I made to the Council in Coventry on 23rd February. It’s in note form really but is easily readable and makes the points clearly enough I believe. I point to the last line which the Labour Party now appear to be using nationally so I am waiting for the cheque in the post. Any way, here goes…..
“Evidence is growing that both our economy and the world economy is going into reverse. Osborne describes a ‘cocktail of risks’ to the economy.
Oil prices have collapsed and US dollar strengthening meaning higher debts across the world. China is slowing down, Brazil is in recession with growth predictions across the world being slashed.
Migrant crisis is putting a strain on the European Union with the IMF recommending integrating refugees into the Labour market, bolster investment and advising any reductions in budget deficits should be ‘equitable and growth friendly.’
The Tories response is the exact opposite becoming more isolationist whilst continuing inequitable attacks on the most vulnerable in the name of austerity.
The Tories are deliberately attacking Coventry for daring to vote Labour locally and nationally.
Coventry has a proud history and with support, an exciting future
But it needs real help as it is still vulnerable to economic maelstroms.
Some stats courtesy of research and policy institute Centre for Cities:
• Employment rate = 66.1% 56th out of 63 cities in the country
• Population growth is high but its earning are 2.2% down in a year putting us 58th out of 63 cities
• 31,600 people with no formal qualifications 59th out of 63
• Unemployment is still higher than the regional and national averages
• Average income is £1800 less than the West Midlands which on average is some £2000 less than in 2008
• We have higher than regional and national NEETS
In response government have cut further education.
They have slashed early intervention grants.
Redistributed business rates to wealthy counties and boroughs.
Demolished Democratic Development agencies for unaccountable LEPS.
Funded locally unaccountable free schools at the expense of others.
Forced sell offs of social housing whilst denying Councils the ability to replace them.
Gave millionaires a £42,000 tax cut whilst increasing VAT to 20% and levied 24 other tax rises attacking the poorest in society.
They continue to ignore the growing crisis in social care and instead seek to pass the blame to local authorities by giving them the alleged ability to raise funds knowing full well the amount raised will not even scratch the surface.
And here’s something which has gone under the radar:
The Tories have scrapped a review into banking reform, a review they promised just at a time when predictions of another world wide banking collapse looms into view.
But at least they got a company with a turnover last year of £46BN to pay £130M in tax.
Not sure who I mean: just google it.”