Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Cuts and Extra money

The papers are full of the cuts being made by the coalition government at the moment but the extra money being found for important things hardly gets a mention.
£1 billion for areas like ours which are very heavily dependent on public sector jobs, to help with steering the economy into a broader area. Stockton is preparing to bid for money to help with small enterprises - not huge companies with household names which come and go at the whim of boards of directors hundreds or even thousands of miles away, but small companies that give jobs to one or two or ten local people and have a stake in the community.
Thousands of people taken out of paying income tax by raising the level at which we start to pay tax.
The earnings link restored for pensioners, removing years of unfairness started by Conservatives and prolonged by Labour.
Extra funds for child tax credit so that parents on low incomes get extra help to cope.

But for some reason it's considered better to cover front pages with cuts, spread gloom and worry. It was good to hear the vice-chair of Stockton Renaissance Partnership tonight say that the people of Stockton are resilient and will pull together to get Stockton through these hard times. Pride in Stockton is something to foster and nurture this year and for the future. Together we can do it - improved living for our poorer families while encouraging the better off to do their bit for the good of the whole. Now that needs true leadership! And that's the challenge for us as councillors - to provide that leadership.

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