United Kingdom is back in recession !?
Is the United Kingdom on the verge of another ? The recession of 2008 was hard enough, but already, there are signs of another economic crisis in the UK, especially in smaller cities such as Newcastle. Newcastle is one of the cities in the country that is witnessing social unrest because of massive spending cuts by the government, which could make many public services impossible to carry out. A local Newcastle city administrator, Nick Forbes says: “You can see the embers of unrest starting to smoulder. “My very real concern is that … well, if this level of cuts continue, even our statutory responsibilities, like children’s social care, will be affected. What frustrates me like nothing else is how deaf government is to this argument,” Forbes added.
Forbes criticized his national Labour Party leaders, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, for failing to grasp the seriousness of the situation: “I think it is, but his view was: ‘We can’t all move at the same speed, and therefore we’ve got to move at the speed of the slowest’ – to paraphrase. I was irritated, because it reinforced the Westminster-centric mentality: the idea that you get into power, to pull levers to make lives better for people. But I think that experience has shown that they’re rubber levers. People pull them but nothing happens. It makes our politics look even more hollow.” Forbes warned of dire consequences to the Labour party’s prospects “unless there is urgent and fundamental reform of local government finance within the first year of a Labour government, we will have Labour councils falling over, financially. The seeds have been sown over the last five years for that to happen, and the crisis is likely to hit in the next couple of years.”
Defending her party, the Labour Part’s shadow local government secretart, Hilary Benn said that Labour was “committed to a fairer funding formula and longer term budgets to help councils plan ahead in the very difficult circumstances they face. As everyone knows, David Cameron has hit certain communities really hard by unfairly taking most money away from the most deprived areas. Chi Onwurah, the Labour MP from Newcastle upon Tyne Central, said the situation was grim, abd what could happen in Newcastle could happen in the rest of the country as well. She spoke about problems with basic public services such as bin collection. She said, “It’s certainly the case there are groups seeking to exploit divisions, that are consequences of these cuts.There are groups blaming litter on certain ethnic groups. Of course, that’s going to cause divisions and lay the foundations for unrest. That is a very clear example of where funding cuts have caused increased divisions in communities you would hope to be cohesive.”
Nick Brown, another MP from Newcastle said all was not lost yet, “Newcastle is a great place to work and live. We need to strengthen and broaden the private sector employment base to end once and for all the scourge of long term unemployment,” he said.