From the TUC: There is an alternative to the current mania for public spending cuts.
The coalition Government has said that reducing the deficit in the public finances is “the most urgent issue facing Britain”. To do this, they want to cut spending by at least £60 billion (around 10%). Some think the cuts could well be considerably higher.
There will be some tax rises to help pay off the Government’s debts but the great bulk of the savings are to come from cuts.
Already we’ve seen heavy spending reductions in areas such as support for unemployed young people, universities, youth services, legal aid and the Child Trust Fund.
The Government argues that the cuts are unavoidable. They also argue that they can be made without damaging services or the wider economy or hurting the most vulnerable – that these will be “fair” and “progressive” cuts.
This is fundamentally wrong.
Looking at the historical experience of cuts in previous recessions, you can see that spending cuts will:
- damage the quality of public services
- damage the wider economy and jobs
- hurt the most vulnerable.
But most fundamentally, the cuts won’t actually reduce the deficit. Because spending reductions will hurt the economy and create unemployment, tax incomes will actually decline. This actually means the deficit is likely to get worse.
In short, the Coalition Government will impose a great deal of pain on the British people for no gain.
We want to help make the case that there is an alternative to cuts – a better way to reduce the deficit.
Read our report, All Pain No Gain: The Case Against Cuts to find out more.