Island Labour share this response to last night’s vote at the annual budget meeting – catch up here. Ed
The Isle of Wight Labour Party has condemned the budget passed by the ruling Conservative Group on the Isle of Wight Council at the council meeting in Newport this evening.
The budget passed by the Conservative councillors imposed a rise of nearly 3% in Council Tax, while cutting £5.5m from public services.
Island Labour Chair, Julian Critchley, said:
“This is a punitive budget, which will hit the Island’s most vulnerable families hard. With cuts to the disabled children’s intervention team and care packages, the Conservative councillors are targeting those Islanders most in need of support.
“Those cuts seem even more unnecessarily callous when put alongside the increase in council reserves to twice the minimum size. In other words, the cuts being imposed on vulnerable Islanders aren’t being imposed against the will of the council by central government – they are a deliberate choice to place unspent reserves ahead of the welfare of disabled children.”
Double whammy Islanders will be slow to forget
He went on to say,
“To add insult to injury, the council are also imposing a council tax rise of nearly 3% on all Islanders.
“We already have one of the lowest average household incomes in the south, so to hit residents with another big rise in tax in order to build up unspent reserves, while also cutting services, is a double whammy Islanders will be slow to forget or forgive.”
IWC should be protecting services and residents’ incomes
The Island Labour chair finished by saying,
“The principle most of us go by is to save in good times for a rainy day. Well it’s raining now. We’re in our ninth year of Tory-imposed cuts, and times are increasingly hard.
“This is precisely the time when any council should be doing its utmost to protect both services and the incomes of residents. To raise taxes and cut services in order to build a pile of unspent cash in reserves, at times like these, is just plain wrong.”