CHANCELLOR’S SPENDING REVIEW IS SMOKE AND MIRRORS

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have attacked the Chancellor’s spending review “good news” claiming that his promises are just smoke and mirrors.

They claim hard working families, the elderly and the vulnerable will suffer from George Osborne’s hollow promises.

On the face of the Chancellor’s announcement it appeared local authorities across the country providing social care and health would be two per cent better off.

But closer scrutiny of the detail shows that public health services are actually facing a 3.9 per cent cut every year for the next five years.

Back in the summer, the Chancellor announced a rise in the living wage – potentially good news for those workers across Cambridgeshire among the lowest earners.

But now families fear that any increase could be eroded by changes to their tax credits – taken away in a dramatic U-turn this week, but not scrapped only postponed.

Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrat Leader, Lucy Nethsingha said: “The Chancellor is a master of political spin and can’t be trusted on his hollow promises.

“A cut to the public health budget will hit crucial services hard. David Cameron made headlines promising an increase in the numbers of health visitors, but that’s not going to be possible with this kind of cut.

“The numbers of health visitors and school nurses will be at high risk at a time when there is massive concern over the health of our children.

“There is also grave concern that there is no mention of funding for councils for the costs of the national living wage.  The cost of the increase is calculated at £6 million for Cambridgeshire County Council, far more than the Chancellor is offering in additional money for social care costs.

“The Chancellor has delivered a spending review which doesn’t add up and the losers will be hard working families, the elderly and the vulnerable across Cambridgeshire.”

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