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Cuts, cuts and more cuts

Public services are disappearing before our very eyes!


Just over a fortnight ago the chancellor George Osborne gave details of his Autumn Statement. The tabloid press regaled us with catchy headlines about a new property boom, propelled by changes in stamp duty on property transactions. What Mr Osborne didn’t say, and what came out in the Office of Budgetary Responsibility statement shortly after, was that after May’s election, cuts to public services would be so severe that State spending would be return to the level of the hungry 1930s.

    After the 2010 election George Osborne told us that he would cut the deficit and drastically reduce the debt by 2015. In fact; the national debt has grown from £1 trillion then to over £1.43 trillion now. He has missed his target by miles and it is the poor citizen that has to suffer the pain of further spending cuts that will continue for at least four further years, and transform our country for the worse.

    Devon County Council has had to make substantial cuts in recent years, reflected in the closure of many services including residential care homes for the elderly, privatising children’s services, reducing road maintenance and cuts in public transport. From April 2015 the county will have to find a further £50 million in cuts, which means the closure of major services: the end of gritting on other than "A" roads, and villagers having to repair their potholes etc. By the end of the next parliament, if the Tories are returned, local  government service will be virtually non-existent. So tax cut bribes today, will result in the end of public services that we rely on.

Don’t fool yourself that UKIP (an even more extreme Tory party) will be any better. Nigel Farage often boasts that UKIP will carry on from where  Margaret Thatcher left off.

    Of course budgets must be brought into balance, but if cut too early, this results in reduction in tax revenues, which makes the situation even worse, resulting in yet further cuts. The vicious spiral goes on, of course hurting those most vulnerable, the need for food banks grows, as does the gap between rich and poor. Ponder on this in the run up to next May’s election.


Justin Beament


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