Children and Young People Now reports that the opposition Labour Party has warned the British Government that an unsustainable situation is arising with demand for children’s services continuing to rise while funding cuts severely afflict local authorities.
There are no surprises in Labour’s report, which coincides with the Shadow Chancellor’s call today for the Government to ‘wake up’ to the severe impact of its austerity policies. The dark and depressing picture the report paints is broadly true. Many local authorities are in deep financial trouble.
A dictionary definition of ‘austerity’ is: “difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce public expenditure”. Perhaps we need to start using a new word to capture the true circumstances of local authority services? ‘Penury’, ‘Destitution’ and “Impoverishment’ are some worthy candidates.