We all know the story – Suffolk has to make 30% cuts and all because of those naughty bad bankers and the UK’s mountain of inherited debt.
The Lib Dems have discovered that Suffolk county council only needs to make cuts of 11% IN TOTAL over the next four years to balance out the reduction in central government grants. This means cuts of less than 3% a year.
Which means that the administration used their huge Tory majority to plan cuts that were THREE TIMES as savage as they needed to be!!!!
How have they managed to spin this? Simple. They expect us to be not very good at our sums and not to check the facts and their figures. Pretty much like someone trying to sell you dodgy double-glazing or an unnecessary insurance policy.
They have estimated that the amount of money they would get from the government will be reduced by 33.3% over 4 years (because of the Comprehensive Spending Review). That is, they assumed that Suffolk would have to manage on two thirds of the current central government grant.
In point of fact the reduction in central government funding will be just over 26% over four years (not 33.3%) which is much less of a hit. But this is just the thin end of their mathematical shenanigans.
BECAUSE the government grant makes up much less than half of Suffolk County Council’s total income. And the rest of this income is not going to reduce at all. In some cases it will rise.
When we did the sums, the reduction in Suffolk’s total income over the next four years was NOT a big noisy 30%, it was less than 11%. That’s a very big difference when you are talking about closing and selling off care homes, cutting school crossing patrols and closing the park and ride!