Cuts will leave even more people worse off

MP's column
MP's column

LAST week George Osborne made his final Autumn Statement of this Parliament.

With less than six months to go until the end of this Parliament, this was a chance for MPs and the public to see what the Chancellor might have planned if he is still in his job in 2015.

For people who have suffered five years of austerity, the news is not good.

Behind all the headlines and spin, the Chancellor admitted that there would be “very substantial savings in public spending”.

In other words, more cuts.

These will be on an even bigger scale than we have already seen – economists estimate as much as £55bn will be cut across Government.

To put this in perspective, all the hardship of the last five years amounted to £35bn of cuts.

That means that we are less than halfway through the Chancellor’s austerity plans.

What will this mean for our public services?

What will it mean for the social safety net that protects families who fall on hard times?

The Chancellor did not say, but it is impossible to imagine cuts on that scale that don’t transform our society for the worse.

If the Chancellor does what he says, public spending will fall to its lowest level since the 1930s, a time of terrible poverty and inequality none of us want to see again.

In 2010, David Cameron and George Obsorne promised people “an economy where our standard of living rises steadily”.

Five years later, they have broken that promise.

Britain must not make the mistake of believing them again.