Margaret Greenwood MP highlights impact on Merseyside of continuing cuts to public services
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29 Nov 2017
In the debate in Parliament on the Budget, Margaret Greenwood MP highlighted the implications for Merseyside of the failure of the Budget to provide any new funding for vital public services that are facing severe cuts to their budgets.
Margaret Greenwood MP said:
“The first duty of any Government is to keep their people safe. Yet we have seen cuts to police funding yet again this year. In some parts of Wirral West people have raised issues of anti-social behaviour with me directly.
“Merseyside Police has lost 1,000 officers since 2010, having seen its funding from central government fall by over £26 million, or 10%, in that period.
“Funding for fire services from central government is being cut each year up to 2020. As a result, firefighters are not being replaced as they retire, putting more pressure on the service and those who work in it.
“We have already seen the closure of the fire station at West Kirby, leaving just the Upton station still in operation in Wirral West. This means longer response times to some parts of the constituency than the average for Merseyside.
“The Chancellor announced £1.6 billion in additional funding for the NHS. This falls far short of the £4 billion that the chief executive of NHS England has called for. There was nothing to address the crisis in social care either, despite the fact that there are 1 million people not having their needs met.
“There was little new money for schools in the budget, apart from some extra funding for maths and IT.
“I am very concerned about the effect that the funding squeeze is having on teacher morale, the numbers of teachers leaving the profession and on the breadth of subjects available to pupils.
“Schools in Wirral are facing a fall in funding of nearly £4.8 million between 2015/2016 and 2019/20 and a loss in funding of 2% or £111 per pupil. The National Education Union predicts that as a result schools in Wirral will have lost over 100 teachers by 2020.
“An educated society with the skills that our economy needs and communities that are safe are not luxuries, but essential to our well-being.
“We are all the poorer if public services are not funded properly.”