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The Laz Word....on Tory cuts and Liverpool

The Bullingdon Boys' sums make grim reading for Liverpool

Published on October 28th 2010.

The Laz Word....on Tory cuts and Liverpool

LIVERPOOL was virtually wiped out during the Thatcher years which saw an epidemic of factory closures. Remember when the docks employed tens of thousands of dockers, Dunlop, English Electric, Plessey, Meccano?

Here, four our out of every 10 jobs are in the public sector. Those public sector job losses in Liverpool could translate into 16,000 joining the dole queue

Even if you don't, you will be aware that they all went and, yet, the city somehow survived. In fairness to the Conservatives, there’s no doubt the arrival of Tarzan, aka Lord Heseltine, as Minister for Merseyside, helped kick start the recovery by salvaging the Albert Docks.

Of course shedloads of Objective One money from Europe also helped, but much of it was badly spent or even mis-spent.

So just as there’s light at the end of the Mersey tunnels, along comes The Sons of Thatcher: Bullingdon Strikes Back.

The sequel could be much more frightening than the original version. Last week a Conservative MP said on a radio programme that I was known for my gloom-and-doom outlook. What me, Happy-as- Larry-Neild?

I did some number crunching and it struck me the figures just don’t add up. George Osborne, the Chancellor said 490,000 public service jobs are to go, PricewaterhouseCooper say another half a million private sector jobs will go, welfare benefits are being slashed, people currently on disability are to be encouraged (some say dragged and kicking) into work.

What puts Liverpool into a vulnerable position is this: four out of every 10 jobs are in the public sector. Those public sector job losses in Liverpool could translate into 16,000 joining the dole queue.

Yet Liverpool already has the highest unemployment rate in the North West, and when number of people on various incapacity and disability benefits are added, it seems there just won’t be enough jobs to go around.

To make matters worse, Liverpool City Council, already wondering how to make ends met with its current multi-million pound shortfall, will have its government handout slashed by around 7.1 per cent over the next four years.

We are getting a couple of consolation prizes – the new Runcorn bridge (though the vast of money for that will come from the private sector and recouped via tolls), and electrification of the Liverpool to Manchester rail line.

Tens of thousands of people in the 1970s and 1980s were dispatched to the benefit mountain on a weekly Giro because it was convenient for The Establishment to park them there. Many were so-called unskilled workers, ill-prepared for a changing world. The impact of that legacy is still being felt in communities around Liverpool to this day.

Housing experts have predicted that the decision to make new social-landlord tenants pay 80 per cent of a commercial rent would send average weekly rents rocketing from £80 to £250 – that’s a grand a month. Yet as part of the spending review, Housing Benefit will be limited.

Look around Liverpool and there’s unfinished business; Toxteth, Everton, Smithdown Road – streets upon streets of boarded-up houses.

Yet Liverpool did emerge from the 1980s as a stronger and more confident city, and there’s no doubt it is capable of doing the same this time. How many victims of the new recession will emerge, though, in the meantime?

I failed my GCE maths exam so maybe my adding up is not up to scratch.

If I’m wrong I really will be as Happy as Larry.

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18 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousOctober 25th 2010.

Thousands took to the streets in the Thatcher era in Liverpool. Now we've no fire in our bellies. The cuts will drip feed through to avoid a mass uprising. I hate it when the toffs (from whichever side of the Political divide they come from) say we are all in it together, we will all share the suffering. Take 10% off the lifestyle of a well paid person and they'll moan and groan, take 10% or even 5% off somebody on low pay or on benefits and they really will suffer.

Kensington L6October 25th 2010.

What were people thinking of when they voted Tory? I mean I really want to know.

Mike NearyOctober 25th 2010.

Not voting at all was hugely damaging as was a switch due to an understandable disgruntlement at certain Labour policies. OK, so those responsible have had their wrists slapped but where has that placed the country? In the grip of people who could not possibly concieve of the choices faced by those on averedge salaries let alone below. I do not begrudge anybody wealth, but I do not want somebody with wealth so staggeringly out of kilter with the vast majority of the nation making huge sweeping fiscal and moral choices the ramifications of which could not possibly ever be felt by them or most in their family / social circle. Lady Olga Maitland famously gaffed on Kilroy that if people needed money to pay the Poll Tax they would just have to take two or three less holidays; this was not some brandy swilling Countess running out the clock in a far flung outpost of progress, she was an active politician. Such worrying distance and the resulting abscence of any kind of empathy with most of the country has returned to mainstream politics. It is very well hidden at the moment but it is most surely there and informing much of current government policy. They have to be voted out in five years or the country will be unrecognisable within a generation.

Alfie189564October 25th 2010.

we are all f*cking doomed basically

AnonymousOctober 26th 2010.

We did squander so much Euro money that came our way. Hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent in places like Toxteth and Kensington. Where, how, why, when; surely we should have a right to know seeing it was taxpayers money. Public funding wisely spent would have helped prepare us for the future.

AnonymousOctober 26th 2010.

good point

Tony BrokeOctober 26th 2010.

Eh up "˜Anonymous"! You say "We did squander so much Euro money that came our way". Who is "we"? I don't seem to remember having any say in this spending!

Tricky WooOctober 26th 2010.

By "we" anonymous, do you mean the self-interested magicians who made £62 million disappear from Kenny Regen, or the poor people who have to continue living there.

DigOctober 26th 2010.

The people who voted for The Lib Dems should be able to rescind or change their vote as those votes were effectively handed to and shared with the Tories. I'm sure if The Lib dem voters knew their vote could empower a Lib Dem, Tory coalition with Cameron leading we would still have a Labour government. I admit I changed my vote from Labour to Lib Dem and now I feel I have been cheated. I didn't vote for this so I should be able to change my mind. My vote does not represent my wishes and I'm sure everybody else who was foolish enough to do what I did feels the same.

London RoadOctober 26th 2010.

I have never trusted a Lib Dem and never will. They are completely finished now, unfortunately so are the rest of us. I never doubted that Labour were a safe pair of hands. People were led by the TV debates. Fools, it is not the X factor.

Mike NearyOctober 26th 2010.

Dig - at last someone's had the guts to admit it !

ADOctober 27th 2010.

Sorry but blameing the torys for the cuts is fine and dandy but who are you all blaming for the masive black hole in the budget? Loubour were in for 13 years - They failed to regulate the banks and They thought they had abolished recession so they spent money when they should have been saving for the bad years that invevitably follow the good - Its GCSE economics for christ sake.

I'm not saying the torys are the answer but trusting Labour, Gordon Brown particulaly, after that debacle would be crazy.

London RoadOctober 27th 2010.

There was a global financial crisis AD. Don't believe the constant Tory spin about Labour getting us into this mess

DigOctober 27th 2010.

Shit, I did actually type that..... I thought I just imagined it.

Sensitive DispositionOctober 28th 2010.

Dig, would you mind getting that offensive word off the front page, please, and wash your mouth out with soap

DigOctober 28th 2010.

Piss off.

Cack featuresOctober 29th 2010.

Very funny

Mike NearyNovember 1st 2010.

Dear AD, trusting Brown and / or Labour isn't really an option when they are in opposition. (???)

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