From Manchester Evening News, 2 February 2011 I very much welcome the M.E.N.’s decision to back opposition of cuts to vital services in vulnerable communities and highlight the need to seek alternative solutions. (‘Stand up for a fair share: We back councils’ petition to fight unfair budget cuts’, M.E.N., January 31). Pamela Welsh rightly highlights the disparities between the impact on spending by our local councils in Greater Manchester and the relatively small impact on more prosperous authorities in the south of England.However, there are other solutions to this crisis that go beyond the more equal geographical distribution of pain and suffering. For example, the supposed need for cuts could be massively reduced by closing the many tax loopholes exploited by rich and by imposing a ‘Robin Hood’ tax on the banks. The government could, also, save billions each year by spending less on war and nothing on weapons of mass destruction. Instead of forcing local authorities to close day centres, the government could, alternatively, stop spending £5bn per year on sending our young people to kill and be killed in Afghanistan. Instead of cutting EMA, the government could stop spending £2bn each year on maintaining the unnecessary and dangerous Trident nuclear weapons system. We need welfare, not war. We need treatment, not Trident.
Philip Gilligan, Littleborough