Health chiefs, public sector unions and teaching leaders have all expressed horror at the prospect of further austerity under new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. In his first interviews since taking over from Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday, Hunt has promised “very difficult decisions” for government budgets – a clear indication that more cuts are on the way.
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The NHS Confederation, which represents healthcare organisations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, has warned that the prospect of further cuts is “incredibly grim”.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has said that Hunt’s comments are “deeply worrying” for the education system, which is already struggling to cope with years of underfunding.
In addition, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) – which represents civil servants – has accused the government of trying to “balance the books on the backs of public sector workers”.
There is widespread alarm at the prospect of more austerity under the new Chancellor. With hospitals, schools and other vital services already stretched to breaking point, it is hard to see how they can cope with further cuts.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, government spending on public services has been at its lowest since the early 1990s.
If Jeremy Hunt is planning to make further cuts, it is hard to see how vital services will be able to cope.
This is a developing story; we will bring you more updates as they come in.
The new Chancellor is intent on continuing the Tories’ austerity agenda, despite the immense damage it has caused to vital public services and the people who rely on them. This is a deeply worrying development for everyone who cares about the future of our country.
What do you think about Jeremy Hunt’s plans for austerity? Let us know in the comments below.