Monday, 22 December 2014

Liverpool approves £91m cuts despite opposition

Liverpool Council has passed a budget that will reduce spending by £91 million despite a last-minute bid to help the voluntary sector.

An amendment was tabled by the Liberal Democrat group hours before a council meeting last night. It aimed to restore £1 million of funding to the voluntary sector, but the budget was passed in its original form.

The Labour-led council needs to find £91 million of savings in 2011/12.

A cut of 30 per cent to the Supporting People budget has been sanctioned, despite criticism from housing minister Grant Shapps.

Liverpool, Walton MP Steve Rotheram raised the 30 per cent cut with Mr Shapps in parliament last month. Mr Shapps said it was ‘extraordinary’ and suggested Mr Rotheram had got his facts wrong.

Mr Rotheram responded by asking Mr Shapps if he would make up the difference between the 1 per cent cut the government believes is acceptable and the 30 per cent cut planned, if he could prove the scale of the reduction.

Mr Shapps replied: ‘It cannot be the case that the Supporting People budget has fallen by the claimed 30 per cent, so I take him up on his challenge.’

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