Carmarthenshire UNISON shows the way on fighting council cuts
The crisis facing local public services is now so intense that it has become unavoidable news even for the tame establishment media. The flashpoint over Christmas was the situation in the NHS, including the tragic story of two patients waiting for attention in A&E unable to get a bed and literally dying on hospital trolleys.
But part of the reason for the crisis in the NHS is the parallel crisis in adult social care, which is provided by local councils. The years of council cuts - by Tory, Liberal Democrat but Labour councils too - has meant that there are record numbers, of elderly patients in particular, fit enough to be discharged but having to remain in their hospital bed because there is no social care provision to enable them to return to their home safely.
The mantra of all bar a handful of councillors has been, 'there is nothing we can do', 'we have no option' but to pass on Tory government cuts to council funding. But the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has explained that is just not true, councillors can fight back. And now more evidence for our arguments has come from the Carmarthenshire council branch of the public sector workers' union, UNISON, which has produced a 'No cuts' proposal for this year's council budget.
The UNISON branch's budget submission has been set out in a newsletter, available as a PDF at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/390.pdf
Also available online is the TUSC briefing document, Preparing a No Cuts People's Budget, at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/355.pdf, and a model letter to Labour councillors asking them to join the anti-cuts resistance at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/389.pdf.
The message to councillors is simple. Enough with austerity - fight the cuts now.