The reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line

The TUC has launched Cuts Watch, mapping where spending cuts are made & considering their impact for jobs (public & private sec), for families & for communities.

The TUC has launched Cuts Watch, mapping where spending cuts are being made and considering their impact for jobs (in the public and private sectors), for families and for communities. Our analysis has made clear that frontline jobs and services are in the firing line. And although the Government has been keen to put a positive spin on the cuts the reality is that – across a range of policy areas – ‘new’ or recycled funding is dwarfed by larger funding reductions.

Emerging trends show us that:

Cuts are having the greatest impact for the worst off – cuts to affordable housing, to children’s services, legal aid and to the Child Trust Fund will inevitably have the greatest impact for those who already have the least.

Cuts are hitting the private sector as much as the public sector – despite talk of a private sector led recovery, groups including building, transport and IT contractors are expressing real concern.

Cuts will hit the economic recovery – programmes that are providing key support for the recovery have faced large spending reductions including funds for tackling youth unemployment, regional investment funding and investment in green jobs.

Announcements on ‘new’ investement do not take account of larger cuts.

While a gaping lack of detail remains on how the cuts will impact, it is clear that announcements on investment have provided cover for larger cuts:

• While the Treasury announced £170million spending in social housing, CLG were announcing £780 million in cuts – which have turned out to include £230 of cuts in home building programmes and a freeze on larger housing investment budgets;

• Although schools, Sure Start and 16-19 education spending are protected from cuts this year, ending the ringfencing of £311m education grants that are made to local authorities will inevitably affect children’s services; and

• Much was made of a £150m re-investment in apprenticeships – but at the same time £320million was being cut from support for unemployed young people, and £50milion was cut from training for employees and greater cuts made to higher education.

It is vital to chart these cuts. It is only by documenting their impacts that we can hold the Government to account, demonstrate that cuts are not possible without causing real social and economic pain and refute the emerging view that a bloated public sector – as opposed to a global recession – has somehow created the need for spending reductions.

Of course there are always savings that can be made, as is the case in all large organisations – but suggesting that the public sector is overwhelmed by unnecessary spending is a stance grounded in ideology and not fact. Employees, in public and private sector jobs, are not the only losers from cuts. Communities where they spend their incomes will feel the impact of reduced local demand, and the country’s 2.5 million unemployed people will feel the lack of public sector vacancies.

Those who suffer most will be those who are already in greatest need and are the most dependent on public services – older people who rely on home care services to help them cook, clean and remain in their own homes; homeless families waiting for affordable housing; young people who need extra help at school… As the detail of the cuts become clear, more and more examples are emerging.

Campaigning against cuts does not mean that we oppose deficit reduction – on the contrary we believe that immediate and sweeping spending cuts put the public finances at greater peril. The risks of a double-dip recession remain real, and even if growth continues spending cuts now risk slowing the recovery. Lower tax revenues, higher unemployment, increased social security spending – a recipe for sluggish growth and a further deterioration in the borrowing figures.

A key lesson from the 1980s was that austerity measures do not work – as the Thatcher Government took public money out of the economy, unemployment continued to grow, benefit spending increased (despite significant reductions in payment levels) and public spending remained high. Going for growth – across Europe – is the only viable means to get our economy back on a secure footing.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

23 Responses to “The reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line”

  1. sianberry

    Spot on – join the campaign via @noukcuts RT @leftfootfwd: The reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line:

  2. Nishma Doshi

    RT @sianberry: join #noshock via @noukcuts RT @leftfootfwd: reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line:

  3. NormalBloke

    Unfortunately there’s no money left – the previous Govt have left the econmy in a mess.
    I feel that I and my family deserve things that I cant afford – we could borrow but eventually if I did this no one would lend and I still have to pay it back. That’s what the last Govt did!
    Instead of overspending in power the Govt could have saved in the good times, encouraged wealth creating sectors and saved for a rainy day. But no in pursuit of party interest not national interest it over promised and threw money at issues – money that your children and mine, and their children would have to pay back.

  4. Sean Sayer

    RT @leftfootfwd: The reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line:

  5. NormalBloke

    I know I shouldn’t be disturbing the dillusional left but hey here goes. The following was written by Jeff Randall –
    “Unemployment is higher today than in 1997, as are taxes. The pound is worth less than 13 years ago, as are many private pension schemes. Personal insolvencies are at record levels. Worst of all, the state is borrowing one pound in every four that it spends, and our collective debt is set to double by 2014-15 to about £1.4 trillion, equal to one year’s GDP.
    The “success” of New Labour’s economic expansion was a sham, based on a simple formula: spend more than we earn; pass off consumption as investment; wallow in self congratulation. Through the “boom” times of 2003-2007, all of Mr Brown’s budgets involved massive borrowing. He told us we were getting richer, while in effect making us poorer.
    In those five years alone, he clocked up £160 billion of debt. These are harsh, unavoidable facts. The legacy of that profligacy will bear down on British taxpayers for generations. As Niall Ferguson, professor of history at Harvard, has concluded, Mr Brown’s stewardship of the economy was a “disaster”.
    Now perhaps you understand that thanks to the left we have some serious issues to resolve.

  6. ray campbell

    RT @leftfootfwd: The reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line

  7. Catherine McDonald

    RT @leftfootfwd The reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line:

  8. Mr. Sensible

    Nicola I completely agree with you.

    Indeed, in today’s Guardian they’re reporting that Spain’s credit rating has been cut by Fich’s, and it has warned that austerity measures are in fact damaging growth prospects:

    In any case, I don’t wish to sound like I’m repeating myself, but if we need to ‘cut the deficit further and faster than Labour’ we cannot afford to prop up the coalition’s pet projects.

    If we cannot afford to keep Building Schools for the Future, we cannot afford these new ocadomies or the ‘Free Schools’ nonsense.

    If we cannot afford to keep the Child Trust Fund, we cannot afford the tax break for married couples or the Lib Dems’ pledges on income tax, the benefits of which to low income families are, as demonstrated by LFF dubious to say the least.
    If we need to increase VAT as suggested by the Treasury’s economists, we cannot afford to scrap the increase in National Insurance.


    This, Nicola, is exactly how Nottinghamshire County Council has behaved under the Conservatives; give us mood music about eficiencies, cut frontline services on which people rely yet find money for your own spending.

    1 aspect I don’t think you have covered in this article though, Nicola, is the impact that these cuts could have on our young people, coming as it does on top of I believe a slashing of the target for Univercity places by 50%.

  9. Mr. Sensible

    ‘NormalBloke’, the fact is that in spight of this recession unemployment here is less than half of what it is in Spain, and it is because of the government trying to encourage the recovery that the deficit for the last financial year came in significantly lower than the Treasury’s own forecasts.

    And as I have just said, if we need to cut public spending we cannot afford the coalition’s pet projects such as an expantion of academies.

    That is a fact.

  10. Ben Craig

    RT @leftfootfwd: The reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line:

  11. Pete Drake

    The reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line | Left …: The TUC has launched Cuts Watch, mapping w…

  12. Ell Aitch

    RT @leftfootfwd: The reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line:

  13. Anon E Mouse

    Nicola – It’s a pity your organisation didn’t spend the last 13 years blocking Labour’s stupid overspending they we may not be in the mess they left us in…

  14. Anon E Mouse

    Mr.Sensible – The pet projects will be applicable to a government that over 65% of the electorate voted for. The popular combined vote in this country voted for those projects.

    Labour deservedly lost the election and if Brown hadn’t tried to hang on in such a desperate way in his bunker (with silly excuses about being there until a coalition was formed yet leaving before it was 5 days later – how undignified was that?) there would now be a minority Conservative government and one that could be held to account by the opposition.

    Your slavish support of that last useless bunch is breathtaking dude – you really need to move on…

  15. Andre

    The reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line | Left …

  16. Richard Walthers

    The reality of ConDem cuts: jobs & services are on the line | Left …

  17. MT

    I wish people, the same people who probably seethe at “Liebour” for example, would stop using the phrase “ConDem”. It’s just emotive and hardly advances debate.

  18. NormalBloke

    Crikey you lefties need some education.

    The important fig is the economically inactive – look it up – we’ve just had 13 yrs of hidden out of work – you know fiddle the figures, disability, sending kids off to uni to get massive debt on poor degrees.

    Labour instead of building wealth and job creating businesses instead built non jobs and underemployed jobs in the public sector – along come the bad times and hey ho no more money.

    Thanks Labour

  19. NormalBloke

    Mr sensible – wrong – look at the facts – manufacturing collapsed at the highest ever rate under labour -look at the SAT scores and the numbers NOT reaching expected levels or the number of children with less than 5 GCSEs inc Maths and English.
    LP needs to have answers not problems

  20. Mr. Sensible

    Mr Mouse, you could spin that both ways; if the Lib Dems had got in to coalition with Labour, we could just as easily say we had a progressive majority.

    That’s the problem with coalition politics; 2 parties could form a majority between them and then claim they have the support of the majority of the electerate.

    And your last comment about Brown clinging on doesn’t really make sense; Brown did his constitutional duty. Remember, whilst those coalition talks went on a government had to stay in place. And when the deal was done Brown went.

    And on the point about manufacturing, I would suggest that Mrs T had something to do with that by privatizing it when she was PM.

  21. More woe for Clegg as Ed Miliband slams Coalition’s 100-day record | Left Foot Forward

    […] ten are: the deep cuts which risk a double-dip recession; the £389 per family VAT tax bombshell; the cuts to business […]

  22. Cartels and price fixing « Living in the shadow of the con

    […] terms that describe rather well much of the banking behaviour that got us all where we are today, ConDem-ed to deep public spending cuts and staring down the barrel of a double-dip […]

Leave a Reply