I’d like to cut – but the law won’t let me – so why not raise money instead?

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The Birmingham Post reports:

A decision to axe a £1.4 million funding package for 13 voluntary organisations, including the Citizens Advice Bureau, was unlawful, a High Court Judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Blake said a Birmingham City Council decision to stop giving money to groups such as the Citizens Advice Bureau was “clearly defective” and that councillors appeared not to understand their obligations under the Race Relations Act, Sex Discrimination Act and Disability Discrimination Act.

Council leaders failed to take proper account of the impact that withdrawing grants would have on disabled and vulnerable people, the judge added.

No consultation was carried out with people who would suffer because of the funding cuts, neither did the cabinet consider other ways of helping the organisations to identify alternative funding.

It's going to become a familiar story.

Because there are alternatives.

I'm sorry to note Ed Balls has been a little dismissive of tackling tax avoidance as a way of tackling the crisis - but also note he only said it can't solve the entire problem - about which I entirely agree. It can't. Which is why I offer much more - more than the Labour party, to its cost has dared do. But if we're serious we'd start investing heavy in those alternative ways of funding - now.

Why not start with the £16 billion lost a year because Companies House and H M Revenue & Customs aren't funded to properly regulate the 500,000 limited companies that disappear a year that should be paying tax? It's a good target. And would have got Birmingham out of trouble.