Friday, 26 June 2009

Savings without cuts

The ever upwards rise in Hartlepool's Council Tax is always justified by claims from the Mayor that either Council Tax goes up or services will be cut. There is even the strong possibility that this is to be the battle cry of Labour in the forthcoming general election.

However, a recent Yougov Poll showed that 77% of people believe it is possible to save 10% off public spending, without reducing front line services. Only 14% believe it isn't possible with the other 9% not being sure.

Not surprisingly the belief in no-pain cuts is highest amongst Tories, but even among Labour and Lib-Dem voters more than 7 out of 10 think savings could be made through efficiency savings.

Of course just because you think the savings could be made that doesn't necessarily translate into votes. I'm sure there are lots of Labour supporters in local government who know that waste and inefficiency is rampant. Unfortunately I'm equally sure many of those people will never vote anything other than Labour.

However, the recent European Elections, where UKIP topped the polls and finished ahead of Labour, do show there are some voters deserting the labour flag. It was the first election in my life that Labour has been beaten in a national vote in Hartlepool. I hope this is repeated in the General election when a UKIP MP could replace the current snout in the trough Labour incumbent MP and so would give a clean start for the town!

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