Opposition day debates, a rarity in the current climate of long-running complex Brexit discussions, allow parties other than that of the government to choose the topics that feature on the order paper
Today’s debate area, chosen by Labour, was local government and social care funding.
Following the debate, Stephen Morgan MP has said:
“Local councils are on the front-line of government, delivering the services that form the beating hearts of our communities.
The fact that local government has severely suffered as a result of nine years of Tory and Lib Dem austerity and cuts is highly worrying. Research by the LGA has found that local government will face an almost £8 billion funding gap by 2025, this is not good for cities like Portsmouth.
This is something that needs to be at the forefront of discussion in Parliament.”
Today drew attention to the government’s recent strategy of shifting the financial burden to council taxpayers and the subsequent postcode lottery that this creates.
The city MP added:
“It is unacceptable that some in this country have to endure variations in quality of public services based solely on their geographical location. We need to see consistent, across the board services that are equal for everyone in this nation.
Not only is this current system based on luck, it disproportionately affects those in our poorest communities again meaning that city’s like one I grew up in, Portsmouth, bear the brunt of government errors.”
Portsmouth City Council has been far from exempt in terms of local authority cuts with local services we all rely on slashed by 48 percent since 2011, equating to £73m.
The debate was not only an opportunity for MPs from across the House to draw attention to the Government’s poor form when it comes to local authority funding, it also provided the Shadow Secretary of State with the opportunity to lay out Labour’s plan to invest in councils and public services.
On this, Stephen Morgan MP said:
“I am committed to standing up for local communities. Hearing the Shadow Secretary of State today pledge to deliver fair and adequate funding for local councils, as well as deliver real and meaningful devolution to our communities is reassuring for cities like Portsmouth”.