These cuts are carefully planned so as not to be noticed by the coalition’s key voters:
The Guardian gives a slice of what this will mean across the country, highlighting a cross-section of 50 services that will shrink or cease to exist from the end of this month. Most are unglamorous, obscure, unfeted projects, staffed by employees who are not very well paid, but hugely committed to what they do. All of these losses come as a result of the government’s decision to cut spending by £95bn over five years.
Their disappearance may not be noticed by anyone with a good income, in secure employment, in sound health, without caring responsibilities – anyone who does not look to the state for support with life’s problems. For the more vulnerable, the decision to close these bodies and cut these jobs will be sharply felt. They will be more acutely obvious beyond the south-east, in areas that are more dependent on government grants. Women, parents, carers, disabled people, teenagers and elderly people are likely to be the most affected.
From a Westminster perspective, they may be easy to ignore. These are not dramatic closures of maternity wards, big events that would inspire fury and noisy protest; instead the process is much smaller, more fragmented in scale, and hardest felt by people who tend not to be particularly powerful or vocal. Mostly, ministers are able to wash their hands of responsibility, dismissing these cuts as local decisions (despite the fact that they originate in central government funding reductions).
Viewed from Downing Street, they probably seem a fractured collection of regrettable but relatively insignificant services, located (conveniently) in greater concentration the further you move from Westminster. But from the service users’ perspective, their disappearance will often be catastrophic.