Sunday 15 February 2015

Welsh Labour takes a break from making Tory cuts.. For 2 days only before normal service resumes!

Welsh Labour councillors and Assembly Members have taken a couple of days off from making devastating cuts to jobs and services this weekend for the pre-election rally that is Welsh Labour Conference.

Up until this weekend the pace of cuts announcements has been relentless; on the eve of Conference news came out that Cardiff's Labour-led council will shed nearly 600 jobs.

One area among many devastated by Welsh Labour cuts is education. Conference is being held in Swansea, home to a majority Labour council which is proposing to slash £24 million, 15% of the current budget, from education and schools, over the next 3 years.

Welsh Labour still claims to be protecting education but when Swansea primary heads were asked what cuts of this scale would mean they painted a picture of job losses for teachers and other education workers. They predict that it will be impossible to meet the statutory requirement to teach 5-7 year olds in maximum class sizes of 30 and that older primary pupils will be taught, in a number of cases in classes of 42+.

Cuts to their members' jobs didn't stop NUT Cymru tweeting pictures of Welsh Labour politicians from its stall inside the Conference. Welsh trade unions continue their unrequited love for Welsh Labour despite Labour's ongoing willingness to implement Con-Dem cuts. But their membership will not tolerate this for ever; already many trade unionists are turning their backs in Labour - 4 members of the NUT NEC will stand under the TUSC banner in May.

The Welsh Government is as guilty of vandalising education as Welsh councils. Further education colleges are reeling from cuts to various funding streams which will mean some colleges losing well over 10% of their funding. A 50% reduction in funds for and volumes of, post 19 education is a massive blow not only to workers in further education but to the communities they serve.

Once Miliband and the rest return to Westminster, normal service will be resumed as far as Welsh Labour making Tory cuts is concerned. Over the next few weeks, Labour councillors will vote on £millions of cuts to jobs and services in annual budget-seeing meetings. Miliband is promising to continue with austerity but anybody who doubts he means it should take a look at Wales, where Welsh Labour has been a conveyor belt for Tory cuts.

Trade unionists, socialists and people whose services are under threat will oppose the cuts proposals of councils and the Senedd and more and more will draw the conclusion we need a political alternative.

TUSC Wales already has an impressive list of trade unionist candidates for the General Election but there's still time for others frustrated by the cuts-consensus to join with us to ensure as many people in Wales as possible get the opportunity to vote for a real no-cuts alternative.

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