Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has set its 2018/19 budget. As expected, Westminster austerity
cuts have been at the centre of most decisions. Some councillors appear to be only
now wakening up to the impact Westminster has on our daily lives. Less than two years
ago our independent Labour councillors were campaigning for austerity while defending
their MPss who voted with the Conservatives.
When the bankers and financial institutions
were prospering through Labour's deregulation of the banks, the people of these islands
saw little or no benefit from the vast sums generated. As a result the UK is now
almost two trillion pounds in debt. When the banks got into a mess, it was left to
the ordinary people to pick up the pieces. Despite this, the bankers are still receiving
obscene bonuses that are paid into off shore accounts with minimal tax being paid.
To make matters worse, the Westminster Brexit reports warn that the best case scenario
for leaving the EU will incur a substantial reduction in our economy. This year’s
budget challenges will be pretty tame in comparison to what is ahead of us for the
foreseeable future. The challenges will be on a scale never before experienced.
During the 2017 Westminster election, PM Theresa May kept telling us that we had
the 7th best economy in the world. The UK is as wealthy as ever, so where is the
money? The standard of living of the general population has been decreasing over
the past few decades. Successive Westminster governments over the same period have
worked at reducing the amount spent on public services. Only the rich have been getting
wealthier, where the use of off shore banking has become obscene.
Westminster politicians dance to the tune of the wealthy, there has been little mention
of he EU's plans to clamp down on tax havens. Is this one of the reasons multi-millionaires
are sponsoring the Brexit campaign?