Government’s £6bn cuts target vulnerable

| May 25, 2010
Government's £6bn cuts target vulnerable

The coalition government’s spending cuts will hit the vulnerable and needy the hardest, according to a leading social commentator.

Polly Toynbee, columnist at the Guardian newspaper, challenged the “myth” that frontline services will be protected, adding that 100,000 people could lose their jobs as a result of the cuts.

Targets of the cuts include government contributions to Child Trust Funds, the Future Jobs Fund, which was to provide 60,000 young people with jobs and training, and the Every Child Counts scheme, under which six-year-olds falling behind would be taken out of class for intensive help.

“This is no time to be a child, especially a poor child, and this is no time to be young,” Toynbee said.

“While David Cameron preserved every last perk for his over-60s wealthy voters — dukes keep their universal winter fuel payments — the young were the first sacrificial lamb.”

Campaigners for an international tax on financial institutions criticised the spending cuts as a “profound injustice”.

Owen Tudor, spokesperson for the Robin Hood Tax campaign, said: “Those who bear no responsibility for the global recession will have to pay the price, while the financial sector, whose reckless behaviour has largely contributed to the mess which we are in, can continue business as usual.

“Cuts will not only affect a significant portion of public sector workers who will lose their jobs or see their pay frozen, but also the general public who will no longer be able to rely on essential public services.

“One way of avoiding these large-scale cuts would be to introduce a Robin Hood Tax on the financial sector, which would raise at least £20 billion a year in the UK alone.”2

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