This is so true, but to date nothing has been done to reverse cuts, even a proportion of them.
It was wrong then and therefore is still wrong now and even today all Local Authorities (LAs) are having to find savings, for costs and demand for services are forever increasing, while the Government Grant is not in any realistic proportion. In reality there were no savings to be made and this has been proven by COVID in so many ways.
Virtually all LA services are suffering and Social Care was and is decimated. As Polly states the poor, sick and disabled, those who could least afford any cuts to services, were the ones to suffer most, leading in some instances to their deaths, especially when the changes to welfare benefits are taken into account. For to claim welfare benefits the eligibility was tightened and claimants were sanctioned for the least failure to abide by the ongoing stringent conditions related to payments and eligibility to benefits. The loss of a miniscule amount of benefit had enormous consequences for persons on benefits, who were most likely living on a day to day basis from one benefit payment to another. For some, even the benefits they received were insufficient to manage.
But LAs are not the only authorities suffering for Health Authorities are suffering too, for while they have been receiving some increased funding the increases are in no way sufficient to maintain services at a level required. In fact the funding for the UK needs to be seriously looked at and it has to be sufficient for the 21st century and buffers need to be maintained to cater for the unexpected, for COVID will not be the last.
Also, with the state of pay scales in the UK, this left many who are in employment unable to manage. Many jobs have been lost over the last few years and even though other jobs have been created these will, more than likely, be at the lowest rate of pay (National Living Wage or even the Minimum Living Wage for persons under 25 years) and maybe part-time rather than full-time. Whereas the starting point for pay should be the Real Living Wage.
LAs do obtain funding in otherways, one being Business Rates, but these are also decreasing due to the effects of lockdowns and COVID restrictions limiting businesses opening.
The UK has never been good at pay rates for those on the lower levels of pay and George Osborne and his cronies did their utmost to ensure these pay levels were kept low, especially when costs were increasing.
One does not need to be a genius to see that this is wrong and not sustainable for a healthy and prosperous UK and which is equal to all.
Source: George Osborne’s legacy is all around us: his cuts left Britain helpless to resist Covid | Conservatives | The Guardian