Lib Dems in Portsmouth have condemned the draft council budget published today. It has been put together by the Conservative, Labour and UKIP coalition running Portsmouth City Council.
It will see massive cuts to social services, especially for the elderly and adults with disabilities. There will also be cuts to libraries, to the women's refuge, to dial-a-ride for disabled people, as well as stealth taxes by increased charges to disabled people living on benefits, and to those with residents parking permits. The future of both the women’s refuge and of the dial-a-ride service in Portsmouth is now in question.
"We have only been able to see any of these papers today, as Lib Dem councillors have been denied any access to them before today," says Portsmouth's Lib Dem Leader, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson.
"We will need to look at these proposals in detail, but they seem to be a series of really savage cuts, major redundancies and attacks on the most vulnerable citizens of Portsmouth. We will put together an alternative that will reduce these cuts and stealth taxes."
"The Conservative council leader has decided that spending tax payers’ money on a flash new office for herself is more important than protecting services to local people. We do not agree.”