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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Comprehensive Spending Review

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The announcement on Wednesday was every bit as bad as we had been led to believe it would be. The implications of the cuts for each government department and individual local authority budget will take some time to become clear, and some are to be spread over the next four financial years. But some of the main points are below.

 

Local authority budgets face a real terms reduction of 28% over the next four years, compared with overall cuts of 8.3% across all government departmental budgets. These are some of the biggest cuts in the public sector. Town halls will now face extremely tough choices about which services they can keep on running. These front loaded cuts will be very difficult for millions of people who use their services. Whilst councils will do all they can to minimise the effect of these spending reductions, they will lead to cuts at the front line.

There are concerns about cuts to police budgets where it is not yet clear what the impact will be. However it is bound to affect both jobs and services.

 

Some cuts are hidden the government has identified 1billion from the NHS budget to support social care not all of this money is currently used for that purpose. So although overall NHS funding is protected it will have to make cuts elsewhere to find this money. Also the extra 1billion promised to councils for social care will not be ring fenced for that purpose.

 

There are a number of specific concerns that will hit constituents hard:

         Abolition of bus subsidy, therefore travelling costs will rise hitting all passengers and increasing pressure for personal car use in the city. 

         Those getting back to work will find it hard to get jobs to cover increased costs.

         Raising social housing rents to 80% of market rents over time, increased pressure on housing costs, again a poverty trap for those trying to get back into work.

 

Replacing Educational Maintenance Allowances with “more targeted support”, partial withdrawal of effective mechanism which has encouraged children from lower income groups to stay in education.

 

Overall, a loss of nearly half million jobs in the public sector which will lead to further job losses in the private sector. The government maintain that employment overall will rise, which assumes that the private sector will grow and absorb the growing unemployed pool. I am concerned that such drastic cuts across local and national government are being imposed too quickly, which puts at risk the economy and brings the danger of slipping back into recession.


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