Why is Devon’s Labour party supporting the Tories’ standstill, austerity budget?

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At Devon County Council on Thursday, Labour leader Cllr Rob Hannaford (left) commended the Conservatives’ budget as ‘full of Labour values’, and all the Labour councillors then voted for it, except one who abstained. Lib Dem, Independent and Green councillors voted against.

The budget did, it is true, provide increased funding for adult and children’s social care – but overwhelmingly to meet increased demand and rising costs, not to improve services – and then funded by a massive Council Tax rise which is unfair to many residents.

In other service areas, like Highways and Libraries, the budget meant standstill funding, reflecting the austerity which – despite Boris Johnson’s claims to have ended it – still applies to local government. If this reflects Labour values, I’ll eat my hat.

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