On Wednesday the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, made his long awaited statement to the House of Commons outlining the Comprehensive Spending Review, which sets out the Government's spending plans for the next four years.
The Chancellor announced the biggest and deepest public spending cuts in decades, with police, council and welfare budgets hit extremely hard.
The expected job losses from this Spending Review amount to 490,000 in the public sector alone. There is no evidence that public sector workers who lose their jobs will be able to find alternative work in the private sector as these cuts will impact on the private sector as well. A report last week by leading accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers suggested that a million jobs are at stake.
It seems to me that this is a Spending Review from a Government with no plan for jobs or growth. Without growth it’s impossible to get the deficit down, by simply throwing people out of work it will end up costing us all more.
It is also particularly worrying that the welfare budget is going to be slashed; this will cause hardship in constituencies like the Rother Valley. It is right that the Government looks for some savings from the welfare bill but any changes have to encourage work, be sensible and be fair, making sure that the poorest and most vulnerable do not lose out.
These cuts are too deep, too fast and take a dangerous gamble with our economic future and people’s jobs.