Osborne cuts ‘extreme and risky’

Published: Monday 9th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Austerity measures planned under George Osborne will mean “extreme, risky and unprecedented” cuts to policing and social care, Ed Balls will claim today.

The shadow chancellor will say that, if the Tories remain in power, the next four years will see deeper cuts than those implemented since 2010.

Ahead of next week’s Budget, Mr Balls will warn the Chancellor’s plans involve spending cuts “larger than any time in post-war history”.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts indicating a £23 billion surplus in 2019-20 would require a Tory administration to make deep cuts in areas of unprotected spending, Mr Balls will say.

The Opposition analysis indicates Tory plans c ould mean the equivalent of 260,000 fewer older people receiving social care and the loss of 30,000 police officers.

In a speech in London Mr Balls will say: ” The Chancellor announced plans in last year’s Budget – reconfirmed in the Autumn Statement – which go way beyond balancing the books and aim for an overall budget surplus of £23 billion by 2019/20.

“And to deliver this goal, the Chancellor set out tax and spending plans in that Autumn Statement – the defining fiscal moment of this Parliament – which aim to take public spending back to 35% of GDP.

“This is a share of national income last seen in the 1930s, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility – a time before there was an NHS.

“The scale of these cuts is unprecedented. The analysis we are publishing today shows Tory plans mean spending cuts larger in the next four years than in the last five years. We are not even half way through the cuts the Tories are planning.

“Spending cuts which are larger than any time in post-war history – a bigger fall in spending as a share of GDP in any four year period since demobilisation at the end of the Second World War.

“Spending cuts which are larger than any other advanced economy in the world.

“More extreme than in this Parliament, the most extreme in post-war history and the most extreme internationally.”

Mr Balls will say the cuts would mean the equivalent to over a third of the older people in social care losing their entitlement to it.

“This would mean eligibility to care services further restricted, meaning hundreds of thousands of vulnerable older people missing out,” he will claim.

“It would mean even more elderly people trapped in expensive hospital beds when they don’t need to be. And it would mean even more elderly people turning to A&E because they are unable to access the care and support they need.

“At a time when the terror threat is increasing and child protection under great pressure, these plans would also mean huge cuts in the Home Office budget – the equivalent of another 29,900 police officers and 6,700 PCSOs lost.

“Under these deeply risky plans the Tories would have cut police numbers by a third since 2010. It would take the overall numbers of police below 100,000 – well below the smallest force since comparable records began.”

He will say: “These are extreme, risky and unprecedented cuts to policing and social care which many will see as totally undeliverable, even by this Chancellor.”

Mr Balls will claim Labour will offer a “tough, but balanced and fair plan” to improve living standards while getting the deficit down, while the Tories will ” cause huge damage to our vital public services”.

Published: Monday 9th March 2015 by The News Editor

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