From the TUC

Budget cuts? Spell out what you really mean

24 Mar 2010, by Guest in Public services

My last minute plea to the politicians debating the Budget today is that if they call for cuts in spending they should spell out exactly what they mean and not hide behind phrases such as ‘efficiency savings’ and ‘protecting frontline services’.

Genuine efficiency savings should always be part of managing the public sector. But offering spending cuts and refusing to say what services will be cut gives efficiency a bad name.

Nor should we have any pretence that front-line services can be preserved by hitting the back-office. If you cut the support for public servants who work with the public, they will have to do the back-up work instead. That means doctors, nurses, police officers spending too much of their time doing admin tasks that, while necessary, could be done by support staff.

Public services provide a vital function and are popular with voters. The size of the public sector will be a crucial issue during the election. But we need an honest debate about it, not smokescreens and euphemisms.

4 Responses to Budget cuts? Spell out what you really mean

  1. Tweets that mention Budget cuts? Spell out what you really mean | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC —
    Mar 24th 2010, 12:54 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ToUChstone blog, TIGMOO. TIGMOO said: ToUChstone blog: Budget cuts? Spell out what you really mean […]

  2. Robert
    Mar 25th 2010, 7:52 am

    I cannot wait to see how Darling is going to save £355 million from sickness in the NHS. Last night he said if people are sick all the time well obviously an idea is to move them out. What does he mean move them out, I though companies now had to help those who went sick not move them out. The NHS is the biggest employer of disabled people, I wonder is it his idea to remove these because we know many disabled have been employed and yet cannot do a days work.

    I think cuts are coming massive major cut, from a Labour party who have no idea of what they are going to do, I believe they will tell people like the NHS we are going to cut this money and then leave it to the NHS to come up with cuts, this will be the closure of Wards the sacking of nurses, yet not a manager will be moved sacked .

    Labour took us into this mess, brown took away any protection that stopped the banks going crazy he has blamed everyone from the American to welfare to people being ill. sorry but I cannot vote for these Pratt’s, even if I’m a socialist there comes a time when you have to ask are these people able to do the job and obviously new Labour are not

  3. Robert
    Apr 14th 2010, 9:12 am

    Seeing again as nobody bothers answerring, what about this….

    Works and bebefits site.

    Thousands will lose benefits as harsher medical approved
    Tens of thousands of claimants facing losing their benefit on review, or on being transferred from incapacity benefit, as plans to make the employment and support allowance (ESA) medical much harder to pass are approved by the secretary of state for work and pensions, Yvette Cooper.

    The shock plans for ‘simplifying’ the work capability assessment, drawn up by a DWP working group, include docking points from amputees who can lift and carry with their stumps. Claimants with speech problems who can write a sign saying, for example, ‘The office is on fire!’ will score no points for speech and deaf claimants who can read the sign will lose all their points for hearing.

    Meanwhile, for ‘health and safety reasons’ all points scored for problems with bending and kneeling are to be abolished and claimants who have difficulty walking can be assessed using imaginary wheelchairs.

    Claimants who have difficulty standing for any length of time will, under the plans, also have to show they have equal difficulty sitting, and vice versa, in order to score any points. And no matter how bad their problems with standing and sitting, they will not score enough points to be awarded ESA.

    In addition, almost half of the 41 mental health descriptors for which points can be scored are being removed from the new ‘simpler’ test, greatly reducing the chances of being found incapable of work due to such things as poor memory, confusion, depression and anxiety.

    There are some improvements to the test under the plans, including exemptions for people likely to be starting chemotherapy and more mental health grounds for being admitted to the support group. But the changes are overwhelmingly about pushing tens of thousands more people onto JSA.

    If all this sounds like a sick and rather belated April Fools joke to you, we’re not surprised. But the proposals are genuine and have already been officially agreed by Yvette Cooper, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

  4. Robert
    Apr 15th 2010, 11:06 am

    Hello any one reading looking or bothering nope thought not