Friday, 11 December 2009

Public finance crisis makes March election likely?

According to a piece in The Guardian, the Tories are banking (their favourite activity?) on next year's General Election happening in March, not May.

The billions of national debt racked up to prop up failing banks, and to fund the disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mean next year's budget will be one of tax rises for everyone - and massive cuts in public services.

We've already seen a hint of that, in a letter send to all local authorities yesterday by the Government warning that any councils trying to protect local jobs by raising Council Tax more than 3% could be 'capped' - this has already put paid to plans to offset 100-odd job losses at Sussex Police by diverting some of the staff to neighbourhood policing duties (though I haven't given up fighting to keep Brighton's bobbies on the beat rather than put them on the dole yet!)

Then, of course, there's the Tory plans to slash 160 jobs from Brighton and Hove City Council - I am already being lobbied by staff warning that the plans will hit social care for older people hardest.

Anyway, the Tories' logic is that Labour won't want any election to happen after next year's budget, when much of this bad news will be out in the open - and I think their reasoning is pretty good really.

This week I have been invited to a Muslim wedding in Sudan next Februrary -I guess I'd better decline, and send best wishes by post instead!

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