Severe cuts threaten public services, TUC warns

A report conducted by the Trade Union Congress (TUS), for the Fabian Society, has outlined where public spending cuts have undermined service quality by reducing provision and increasing waiting times for critical services. 

The report entitled ‘Making the case for public spending’, found cuts to adult care services led to local authorities failing to provide care to over half a million adults more adults in 2013 compared to 2009. It claims future growth will also be endangered by further cuts. 

The study reports the number of people waiting for a week or more to see a GP has risen by almost 50 per cent between 2012-14.

Figures also show a decline in the number of Sure Start centres, which has fallen from 3,631 in April 2010, to 3,019 in June 2014. 

The Fabian Society argues restrained spending will hinder recruitment and retention in the public sector, increasing the likelihood of inequality and poverty levels. 

It concludes by advising the government to invest in public money, claiming it will lay the foundation for future growth and prosperity. The study highlights that for every £1 spend on infrastructure, economic activity is boosted by £2.80.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady, commented on the reports findings: “The report highlights once again the importance of protecting and investing in our public services.

“This government's fixation with reducing the size of the state is the wrong political choice. Public spending is essential for sustainable long-term growth and for maintaining a cohesive society. A high productivity recovery needs world-class public services, which means local authorities, hospitals and schools need to be properly funded, not run into the ground.”