By Max Clarke
The government’s cuts policy is disproportionately affecting the North of England, prompting union commentators to label the Coalition ‘anti Northern’.
Extensive cuts to the public sector have blighted the region where, before the coalition rose to power, as many as 50% of the workforce were employed by government. This compares to a national average of 20% and, in the cast of Kensington and Chelsea and South Buckinghamshire, the figure is below 10%.
Kevin Rowan, regional secretary of the Northern Trades Union Congress has voiced his anger over what he considers an unjust, southern dominated government.
"Forget the hollow government rhetoric about being 'all in this together'. You only have to look at the very telling figures to see that this is a profoundly anti-Northern Government. The cuts are only just beginning to bite but we already know they will be far, far deeper in the North East than in the South of England."
Specific grievances cited by the Northern TUC include: the abolition of the One North East regional development agency and the selling of its assets to fund government; failure to match public sector job losses with investment in business; and a fall in adult social care spending.
The result, Rowan asserts, is that the cuts will affect northern wards 10 times as much as those in the south.
“It's vital we all pull together as a region to do the very best we can to chart out an alternative to the government's austerity measures. There is little confidence in the North East that this Government is on our side. Instead of continuing the destruction of the North East economy through devastating public spending cuts the government should concentrate on investing in growth,” concluded Rowan.