Osborne plans £20bn more cuts

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SEVERE Tory spending cuts are putting the future of local government, children’s services, health care and care for the elderly at risk of collapse, a new TUC report published yesterday has warned.

On Wednesday Tory Chancellor Osborne is unveiling his ‘Five-Year Spending Review’ in which he will outline £20bn worth of further public spending cuts, cuts which will attack services which are already cut to the bone.

Included in the spending review is a savage £12bn cut from the welfare state. The director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) yesterday warned that in the Spending Review Osborne will outline massive cuts to housing benefit, barring many working families from being able to have any help with their rent at all.

To fund the phasing in of the cuts to working tax credits, the IFS warns that Osborne will take away housing benefit, in many cases from the same families which will lose out from the cuts to working tax credits.

The TUC report ‘Making the Case for Public Spending’ details how the cuts that have already come in have devastated families, children and the elderly.

It outlines:

• Funding cuts to elderly care services in England have resulted in local authorities being unable to provide care to over half a million fewer elderly people in 2013 than in 2009.

• Lower health spending growth has resulted in the number of people waiting for a week or more to see a GP rise by almost 50 per cent between 2012 and 2014.

• Local government spending cuts resulted in the number of Sure Start centres for children falling from 3,631 in April 2010 to 3,019 in June 2014.

The report says that further years of pay restraint will make it a struggle for hospitals, schools and other essential services to keep their best and most dedicated staff. The report warns that cuts to services and benefits will drastically increase poverty for families and children.

Meanwhile the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) warns that Scottish councils could face up to half a billion pounds of cuts.