“[N]early 40 per cent children in the city are classed as being in poverty” reported the Leicester Mercury this week, with Leicester ranking “among the 10 worst areas for child poverty in the UK with more than 26,500 city children living below the poverty line.”
When asked to explain why child poverty — which runs as high as 48% in Spinney Hills – was increasing here in Leicester, Labour deputy mayor Rory Palmer simply blamed the Con-Dem cuts. Bizarrely the only opposing voice cited in the Mercury article was from the lone Tory on the city Council.
Unfortunately the city’s two official opposition Councillors were not contacted to air their opinion on this matter. This is despite the fact that the two members of Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts are campaigning on exactly this issue; that is arguing that the Con-Dem cuts do not need to be made in Leicester.
Rory Palmer, in his non-response to the Mercury added that “The most certain route out of poverty is good, well paid jobs.” This is clearly an issue that Labour is unwilling to address in Leicester, with too many businesses, like Next for example, failing to pay their staff enough to make ends meet (see “Whatever NEXT?”). This is on top of the ugly phenomena of sweatshops which Labour again are failing to address (see “Don’t sweat the cuts”).
By way of a contrast, Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts, being affiliated to TUSC and collaborating with local trade unions, support the campaign to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of £10 an hour for all workers. They also aim to fight to collect the £120 billion worth of tax that goes uncollected each year from the super-rich to allow the improvement, not degradation, of vital public services.
To discuss how you can help Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts create a “People’s Budget” for Leicester, get along to their conference this Saturday 25th October at the Bishop Street Methodist Church, Town Hall Square, Leicester. Download the flyer for the event CLICK HERE.