Another year of dodging difficult decisions, another year of failing to prepare adequately for the future.
Another leak of Budget proposals to the media ahead of sharing with the other parties, another year of showing they put politics above positive co-operation.
Another Budget designed and engineered to try and shift the blame for unpopular cuts on to Labour, not the Tories whose government are imposing them, in order to stem the haemorrhaging of Green votes.
Another budget that puts politics ahead of what’s best for residents and their council services. Another Budget with an above inflation increase for residents with below inflation pay rises.
Another political gesture rather than responsible government. That they have deliberately and consciously chosen children’s services for cuts simply to blackmail people into backing their 6% increase is appalling and shameful.
Another year of Greens saying they will vote against their own Party’s proposals, voting down a legal Budget. Déjà vu for those of us who remember the days of Militant in Liverpool, and a Budget outcome that would only lead to government intervention, more cuts, faster and deeper privatisation.
And it’s more déjà vu from the Tories. The Conservative Party’s “council tax freeze” would mean even more cuts this year and in the future. If they can’t get a freeze they’ve hinted at backing a referendum on a 6% increase, which would cost almost a million pounds if the result was a “no” in May.
They and the Greens say “let the public decide”; if you don’t elect councillors to set a Budget, what are councillors for? Last year it was Labour that faced up to the responsibilities residents give us, it was Labour that set the Budget and – déjà vu again – it’s Labour that will do so once more, even from opposition.
It’s time to end the déjà vu, the political game playing. It’s time to take some responsibility for tough decisions, and it’s time for some proper leadership. We won’t be seeing this kind of Budget again next year.