Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Shouldering a Greater Burden of Austerity with New Cuts ; COMMENT

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Shouldering a Greater Burden of Austerity with New Cuts ; COMMENT

Article excerpt

THE hard detail of the Pounds 80m cuts Manchester must make because of the grant settlement from government is now sinking in.

It translates into the proposed closure of swimming baths at Levenshulme, Chorlton, Withington, Miles Platting and Broadway, and the axe for libraries at Levenshulme, Northenden, New Moston, Burnage and Miles Platting.

A further 830 jobs will go, on top of the 2,000 jobs already lost as part of Pounds 170m cuts since 2010.

While receiving less, Mancunians must pay more. Council tax will rise by 3.7per cent. Council leader Sir Richard Leese is criticised by Liberal Democrats for not taking a Pounds 1.5m grant available to councils agreeing to freeze council tax.

But let no-one be in any doubt, the true iniquity is that Manchester is again forced to swallow a stiffer dose of austerity than more comfortably-off Tory shires. Cuts are falling more savagely where the government has fewer votes to lose.

The loss of swimming pools is sad in a city which so sorely needs to improve public health. …

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