Grim future (George Smith)

Brian Smith and his union colleagues are absolutely right in their assertion that Shetland may be heading for economic and social catastrophe. Let no-one for one minute think that this is just overpaid, underworked council employees trying to look after themselves. Never have I been more concerned about Shetland’s future as we know it.

To hear the council blithely accept the plans to remove 15 posts and £1million from the Shetland economy, with even more savage cuts to come, will result in a further loss of revenue for shops, leisure centres, taxis, pubs, restaurants and so on, not to mention the local construction industry.

If Shetland Islands Council continues with its strategy of drastically reducing its spending with the resultant effect on public services in order to maintain its reserves for future generations, my fear is that there will be no future generations as those mobile enough will look to leave Shetland. Let’s have a proper debate about the future of Shetland and the level of public spending needed to sustain and develop Shetland economically and socially.

George Smith


Add Your Comment
  • Ted Knight

    • June 16th, 2011 6:59

    Perhaps the grim news hasn’t yet reached Shetland, so here goes:

    “The money has all gone” – approximate quote from Liam Byrne ex Labour PartyTreasuary Secretary in May 2010.

    Belt tightening is now the order of the day – better get used to it folks.

    On the subject of Public Service Workers. Are they a special case. In a word, NO.

  • Brian Smith

    • June 16th, 2011 11:13

    The letter and the response to it neatly shows that there are two views about the current national and local situation. (a) The view that people should take everything that’s chucked at them, meekly; and (b) the view that communities should try to protect themselves against vandalism.

  • Harry Dent

    • June 16th, 2011 14:08

    But of course the money hasn’t all gone – it’s just in the wrong hands.

    For example there’s the £6 billion tax that Vodafone got away without paying.

    Or the £120 billion tax annually (government figures) that goes uncollected.

    I don’t think Mr Smith was claiming public sector workers are, or should be, a special case, but it’s undeniable that without public sector workers there can be no public services, from education to healthcare, rubbish collection to tax collection.

  • George Smith

    • June 16th, 2011 14:46

    The multiplier effect of any significant reduction in public sector expenditure on the private sector should not be under- estimated.

  • Ted Knight

    • June 19th, 2011 10:46

    If the money hasn’t gone – why did Liam Byrne leave George Osborne a note to that effect? Was Byrne lying? Or, perpaps, in typical New Labour fashion, did it sound clever inside his head before he opened his big mouth?

    Furthermore, there will always be Public Service Workers. Take a look at the unemployment figures should you require confirmation. Perhaps Public Service Workers bereft of taxpayer subsidised pensions etc, but workers nevertheless.

  • Ted Knight

    • June 19th, 2011 12:43

    Liam Byrne left a signed note for George Osborne to the effect that “…sorry, the money has all gone”. Was he lying, or did it sound awfully clever inside his New Labour head before he opened his big mouth?

    Harry Dent: Have no fear, there will always be Public Service Workers, but if you need confirmation take a look at the current unemployment figures. However, you may rest assured that their pensions will no longer be underwritten by lower-paid workers in the Private Sector, which I trust that you will find to be eminently fair.

  • Mark Ritch

    • July 22nd, 2011 14:59

    “However, you may rest assured that their pensions will no longer be underwritten by lower-paid workers in the Private Sector, which I trust that you will find to be eminently fair.”

    Carry on down the deflationary route and there won’t be any lower paid (or indeed, moderately well paid) private sector workers left to underwrite public sector pensions.

    Hope you find that fair Ted.


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