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Proposed Conservative cuts will hit County’s most vulnerable, warn Lib Dems

October 23, 2018 11:27 AM
  • Kent County Council's Autumn Statement shows Conservative Austerity is set to continue
  • Council Tax set to rise by another 5%, twice the rate of inflation
  • Kent's Conservative Administration mulling a further £51.5 million of cuts that will hit the most vulnerable

The most vulnerable in society will suffer under a £51m raft of cuts proposed by the Tories if more money cannot be secured from Central Government, the Liberal Democrats have warned.

Rob at CHCommunity wardens, children's centres and services for pupils with special educational needs could all be in the firing line in a new round of austerity measures.

The Conservatives are also planning to charge for more council services, further disadvantaging the poorest in society, despite Tory councillors hiking council tax by almost 5%, twice the rate of inflation and the maximum allowed without a referendum.

The council tax increase is well above average pay increases, and will add £56 to the annual bill for Band D properties.

Under pressure from the Liberal Democrat opposition during the council's Autumn Statement debate, the Tories accepted a budget amendment tabled by Opposition Leader Rob Bird, calling on the Government to maintain Kent's Revenue Support Grant and protect the people of Kent from further unacceptable cuts.

Speaking afterwards Rob Bird, Leader of the Opposition at KCC, said:

"In typical Tory fashion, the cuts they are considering will fall on the poorest and most vulnerable in society. Kent residents can expect to pay more council tax but vital services will still cost more or get scrapped altogether. Families 'just about managing' will inevitably be hardest hit.

"The Liberal Democrats say enough is enough - instead of rolling over and accepting it as the Conservative Government cuts council budgets to bone, it's time to stand up for the people of Kent and demand funding is protected so we can maintain services to a reasonable standard.

"By backing our amendment, it's clear that even some of Kent's Tories have belatedly realised there is nothing left to cut. If the Prime Minister is serious about bringing an end to Conservative austerity, then the Government should be looking to protect local authority services as a matter of urgency."

Kent County Council has launched a consultation asking for residents' views on next year's budget. The consultation is open till 21st November. Make your views known by clicking here.