Big News Margate, I left a comment pointing out that here in Thanet, the consequences of Labour's unrestrained borrowing spree has left us in Thanet, short of approximately £21 million pounds over the next four years; a 28% reduction as council leader, Bob Bayford wrote in his Thanet Gazette column on Friday.
You'll notice the artwork on the left from the start of the recession when Gordon was promising to solve the fiscal deficit problem but In fact since we had the figures following the Chancellor's spending review over a week ago, the figure does keep increasing, incrementally, as we discover new grants that won't be forthcoming, in what is a highly benefits dependent area of the country.
A quick mental calculation estimates that the additional burden of debt shared between every man woman and child in Thanet at roughly £140 or a challenge to deliver four years of public services with, as Bob wrote, only three years money available to pay for them in the form in which they presently exist!
In an earlier entry, I warned readers that the landscape of local government and the welfare state is about to experience an unprecedented change, call it a tsunami if you like, which will change it forever; value for money being at the very top of the list of priorities. And when people ask me where their council tax has gone, I gently remind them that it's only represents income of around £9.75 million of a total annual expenditure locally of around £45 million, of which a large chunk goes towards crippling public sector pension commitments. The balance of funding comes from central government and county grants.
The Labour opposition is of course remaining very quiet about the size of budget cuts they would have been forced to make, just to pay the enormous annual interest on the national debt.
With this weeks fierce debate over housing, whose party manifesto pledge was this you might ask?
‘Housing Benefit will be reformed so we do not subsidise people to live in private sector accommodation on rents working families couldn’t afford.’
The author was one Ed Miliband!
With local elections only a matter of six months away, the people of Thanet will have to ask themselves which political party can best navigate our community through this tough financial period in our history and bring us out of the recession, prepared for a new future and still afloat and solvent. Left to a local Labour Party, who still deny the existence of a deficit, I believe we would risk sinking our small boat quite quickly but Thanet's future rests very much in the hands of voters in May, perhaps more so than any time in the last thirty years!