With Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) becoming the first local authority to see its finances effectively collapse, former council leader Heather Smith told the BBC:
“We have been warning government from about 2013-14 that, with our financial position, we couldn’t cope with the levels of cuts we were facing.
But this isn’t merely a Conservative-run county council … every single MP in the East Midlands county just happens to be a Tory.
Unsurprisingly, all seven of them have been doing their utmost to distance themselves from the fiasco – releasing joint statements saying the government should take over NCC finances and later that the council should be abolished.
So it would be pretty embarrassing if it turned out that these MPs had – in fact – repeatedly trumpeted their support for the austerity policies that gave rise to this situation.
Errrr … here’s a taster.
Wellingborough MP Peter Bone in the Commons last February:
“Does the Secretary of State agree that our long-term economic plan has worked and that the Opposition Members who opposed it should now be contrite?”
Kettering’s Philip Hollobone to Andrew Lansley:
“will he arrange a full day’s debate … on Britain’s long-term economic plan, so that Members from across the House can describe how their constituencies are benefiting from Britain’s strengthening economic recovery?”
Corby MP Tom Pursglove said of a Northamptonshire retail development:
“This is local evidence that the Prime Minister’s Long Term Economic Plan is working.”
Chris Heaton-Harris, Daventry, reckons:
“This Budget is part of our long-term economic plan to give economic security to the families of Britain. The single biggest risk would be to abandon the plan and listen to Labour’s calls to borrow more, spend more and put up taxes.”
Michael Ellis, Northampton North, told PMQs:
“It is thanks to our long-term economic plan that £200 million has been allocated to fighting potholes, including £3.3 million for Northamptonshire”
And as economic secretary to the treasury under Cameron, South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom has her hands dipped dipped directly in austerity blood.
Soon-to-be-redundant council staff may take more convincing on this ‘long-term economic plan’ thing.