At a meeting of the Pensioners' Forum last Friday, Cllr. Willie Sawers, the administration's finance spokesperson, sought to defend the Council's proposed budget. There were 3 principles guiding their choices, he said:
- to protect front line services.
- to have no compulsory redundancies
- to keep the Council Tax freeze.
The meeting had some sympathy for the Council in the face of the brutal cutbacks being implemented by the Westminster and Holyrood governments. It was acknowledged that the local administration was doing what it thought was the best way to manage the massive decline in the resources available in the public sector. However, it was crystal clear that the Pensioners' Forum were saying that the administration has to do more than manage decline. It was time for the Council to embark on different policies that would restore the jobs and services being lost. There has to be the political courage to say the Council Tax freeze has run its course and that the better-off must pay higher taxes. If the Council is on the side of the people, if they stand on a manifesto of protecting the most vulnerable they have to fight back against the policies of austerity which hurt the poorest and most vulnerable the most. Mr. Sawers was told unequivocally 'Enough is Enough'.
The following day, Saturday 30th January, hundreds turned out in a driving blizzard to march and attend a rally in City Square. Their attendance despite the relentless snow, far more than words could convey, said, "Enough is Enough"!