Despite the Chancellor’s opening remarks in his budget that he will not keep anything from the British people, he is doing just that.
A £30bn per year reduction in public spending is announced but no detail of where the axe will fall.
Despite all the pre and post-election rhetoric, schools and education are not protected from the swingeing 25% cut in Departmental budgets over the next four years.
Core services are clearly not safe in the hands of this Government.
An ‘independent’ review of public sector pensions is announced. The Chancellor then states they are ‘unaffordable’, pre-empting and rendering the review pointless. In addition, again pre-empting the review, he imposes an immediate cut by switching from an RPI to CPI index. This will heavily penalise millions of pensioners and their families.
The Chancellor claims that he wants evidence-based policy making, yet he rejects the recommendations of independent pay review bodies, which took into account the economic climate, and imposes a two-year public sector pay freeze.
The Chancellor’s assertion that the public sector has been ‘insulated’ is an insult to all nurses and health service staff, teachers and support staff, police officers, firefighters and other public service workers. During this recession, they have worked tirelessly to deliver an even greater scale of service to the public in order to mitigate against the worst effects of a situation caused by the reckless bankers and financiers who have emerged from this budget unscathed.
In short, this is a dishonest budget on every level, which will have a devastating impact on millions.