Today I attended a conference organised by the Convention of the Left where the theme for the day was “Make it Public”. Key issues for the event included exploring how we can reclaim privatised services for the benefit of everyone and safeguard our communities from the “savage” cuts being planned by all three main political parties after the General Election. I was asked to address the closing session and received a very positive response.
How can defend our Public Services?
Gordon Brown currently plans to spend roughly £160 billion – mostly on weapons of war and mass destruction.
This needless, extravagant spending includes Trident nuclear missiles (up to £70bn), super aircraft carriers (£4bn), Eurofighter aircraft (£20bn), A400 air transporter (£3bn), national identity register (£10bn), the Afghan war (£5bn), motorway building and widening (£30bn) and NHS computerisation (£20bn).
These eight big-spender projects will cost around £160 billion, mostly over a five to ten year period (or 25 years in the case of Trident). None of them is essential for the defence or welfare of the nation. We can live without them.
If they were axed, the government’s accounts would be £160 billion better off over a period of 10 to 25 years. This would free up a staggering sum of money, equivalent to almost the entire current budget deficit of £175 billion.
It is these projects the government should cut – not the public services that make this country great, that none of us can live without. Schools, universities, hospitals, post offices, council and social housing, health and social care, even your local library – ALL of these things will suffer HUGE cuts by all three main political parties.