Before the election the Lib Dems were at pains to distance themselves from the Tory enthusiasm for immediate cuts to public spending. According to a report on Channel Four just a few months ago, Nick Clegg said “that ‘merrily slashing now’ would be "an act of economic masochism" as he made it clear that the Lib Dems would not support plans, backed by the Conservatives, for early cuts to public spending’.
That promise lasted less than 24 hours after the Lib Dems became part of the Tory government. They have signed up to £6 billion of cuts in the next 50 days.
With unemployment now hitting levels not seen since the last Tory government in 1994, there is real concern that new government spending cuts will drive unemployment above 3 million and set back the prospect of economic recovery. For areas like Sparkbrook and Springfield wards, where already unemployment is in the region of 18-20%, (the Birmingham average is a just over 8%), the prospect of a generation of lives being thrown on the scrap heap by this Tory government, just as a generation was under the Thatcher government, is very real.