Labour has laid bare Lib Dem plans to slash and burn the newly-elected Labour City Council’s entire anti-poverty funds. The news comes as Cambridge Lib Dems revealed their proposed changes to Labour’s budget plans. The Lib Dem amendment, which has been rushed to Monday’s meeting of the Council’s finance committee at short notice, cuts all £500,000 from the new ‘Sharing Prosperity Fund’ which will finance the Council’s Anti-Poverty Strategy. The Lib Dems want to abolish a range of schemes proposed by Labour including promoting the Living Wage, a new Council youth apprenticeship scheme, and initiatives to cut residents’ water and energy bills.
Labour’s Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, Cllr George Owers said: “We have exposed the Lib Dems as the Tory lackeys that we know they are. They don’t care about poverty in Cambridge and are brazenly advocating these swingeing cuts despite the fact that they have just been kicked out of office and voters have backed Labour’s plans to make Cambridge a fairer and more equal place.
“At the last Council meeting, the Lib Dem Leader Tim Bick said that wealth would ‘trickle down’ to the poorest if economic growth continues.
We are having none of Tim Bick’s Thatcherite approach. The Council needs to prioritise helping low-income households who are struggling to make ends meet. Visits to the Cambridge Food Bank are rocketing, rents are through the roof, and the gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest in Cambridge is over ten years. We want to tackle these issues, but the Lib Dems want to stick their heads in the sand and pretend poverty in Cambridge doesn’t exist.”