Green Group Leader Councillor David Williams accused Labour of tinkering at the edges of the County Budget. The Council budget will be voted on this coming Tuesday the 17th of February.

Councillor Williams comments:

"The larger parties are playing around creating tiny pots of money with schemes such as not cutting the grass as often and then giving a few thousand to good causes they like. They are not facing up to the fact that tens of millions have been taken from the budget with an extra £20m removed this year.The Liberal Democrats have now decided not to formulate an alternative budget and will merely issue a statement condemning the level of Government grant to Oxfordshire County Council as inadequate! This is a total abdication of their responsibility to try and protect the most vulnerable people in our community from these extremely nasty cuts.“We must face up to the fact that the scale of the cuts is destroying local government services. It is clear that if Labour or the Conservatives win the next General Election they are going to continue on with the failed austerity programme leading to a further massive decline in government funding for our essential services.

“The Green Party calls on the opposition parties to unite and to accept the Green budget which proposes a referendum to restore cuts in services. The extra amount per week is only 72p per week and for that we can protect many of the cuts to the elderly, the sick, the disabled, the homeless and the poor plus make long overdue improvements to services. The Green budget restores around £10 million pounds worth of cuts. Much of the proposed savings come from not giving very senior managers a pay rise and cancelling the 19% increase in Councillors Allowances.”Ann Duncan, Green Party candidate for Oxford East notes:“Injustice and inequality are not accidents, they are the result of the Coalition’s policies that favour the rich at the expense of the poor and include the relentless pursuit of austerity. Oxfordshire CountyCouncil cannot possibly deliver essential services without an adequate tax base, that includes more central Government funding and a minimal rise in Council Tax.”

FURTHER INFORMATION: Councillor David Williams, Leader of the Green Group on Oxfordshire County Council on 01865 765852 or 07531 328931.

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