COLUMN by by Cllr Peter Lamb, Crawley Borough Council (Lab, Northgate): Government has put us back in recession

Councillors have to play a number of roles, from representing people on the council and in the community to undertaking casework on a one-to-one basis. While I find it an enormous privilege to have the chance to work for the local community, the cases which I have to deal with are increasingly harrowing as the recession and cuts leave their mark.

When Ed Miliband spoke of ‘One Nation’ he wasn’t just talking about some abstract idea, it goes to the core of who we are as a community. Too often we get lost in numbers and ignore the human side of policies. When we speak of youth unemployment we’re really talking about why our kids can’t find work. When we talk about cuts to social care we really mean why Mum and Dad aren’t getting the respect they deserve in old age. We are a single community and the cuts inflicted by the Coalition affect us all as a whole.

For all the talk of tough decisions the reality is that this Government has pushed the country back into recession and that UK debt – which Osborne said they should be judged on – is actually growing. In fact, Labour’s spending plans at the last General Election would have amounted to a lower level of debt in 2012 than the Government’s approach has achieved.

There’s a simple reason for this. If the Government pulls money out of the economy, then the economy slows down and more people are made redundant, given fewer hours of work or lower pay. This means more people claim benefits and less income tax comes in, so debt grows. It’s a vicious circle. Simply put, this government can’t cut fast enough to accomplish what it’s trying to achieve. All the while the Government is proposing to give millionaires a tax cut.

On 20th October I will be joining citizens from across the UK to march from Embankment to Hyde Park and show the Government the strength of opposition to their policies. Conservatism isn’t working and its time we let them know we aren’t happy about it.