After posting this piece <http://tinyurl.com/6cdtxkw>
on facebook I was asked what UK Uncut was about and thought it was worth repeating…..
The blurb: ‘At the same time as making massive cuts to public services, which will result in hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs, this government is letting rich individuals and corporations avoid billions of pounds of tax. Join UK Uncut’s Big Society Revenue & Customs (BSRC) and become part of an army of citizen volunteers determined to make wealthy tax avoiders pay.’
UK Uncut is basically a diverse group of concerned citizens organising on the net who do various demos, protests and innovative ‘pop-up style’ actions to draw attention to the absurd situation going on here in the UK – the poor are disproportionately shouldering the financial collapse…..whilst the mega rich such as Philip Green use state resources and immorally dodge paying their fair share of taxes by finding loopholes to avoid and/or evade them(Philip Green owns Topshop and the Arcadia chain….or for tax purposes think it’s his wife?).
Sound appealing? If so there is an event coming up near Manchester you might be interested in < http://tinyurl.com/5v2b9ca>
Manchester Green Party backs calls for the District Auditor to be called in to investigate the loss of £421,000 of City Council funds as reports from the last meeting of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) revealed an astonishing accounting error! Local Councils, using taxpayers’ money, fund “Marketing Manchester”, which is basically the PR machine for Greater Manchester and is known to have several objectives, the first ‘allegedly’ being to make money for a small but powerful elite of business people by increasing tourism and investment. Manchester Council was supposed to pay 35% Marketing Manchester’s costs, and another nine Councils were responsible for the other 65% between them. But since 2004…. wait for it ….. Manchester has mistakenly paid 65% and the other Councils only 35%, meaning that Manchester has overpaid £421,000. Our local councils did not discover this error for several years – what does this say about their service and the “due diligence” which is expected of them?!
To add insult to injury, at the AGMA meeting it was agreed that the overpayment would not be repaid. According to the meeting minutes, Labour’s Deputy Council Leader Jim Battle (who attended the meeting as Manchester’s representative) “kindly agreed to waive the overpayment,” and our elected representatives have now declared that they would not be asking for ANY of the money back! It is ironic, therefore, that Cllr Battle serves on the Leadership Group’s ‘Public Protection Committee’.
It’s one thing to lose £420,000 of council taxpayers’ money, but then not to bother trying to get it back once the error is discovered is an absolute disgrace. We are currently being asked to tighten our belts, with cutbacks expected to vital public services, etc. – we simply cannot afford to lose nearly half a million quid!
Manchester Green Party therefore supports calls for a thorough independent review to explain how this happened – even a fraction of this money could have been useful in Hulme, for instance, or other deprived wards in Manchester. £40,000 could go into the much needed play area in Shawgreen, for example. Why should Hulme residents suffer because of Labour’s incompetence? We all deserve better.