Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

TUC joins forces with voluntary sector in bid to halt 'savage' cuts

Unions and voluntary groups will join forces today to campaign against the Government's spending cuts, arguing that they make a "mockery" of the Government's Big Society.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber accused ministers of driving through "savage" cuts which he said will impact hardest on the poorest, most vulnerable communities.

The union organisation said the voluntary sector was set to lose around £4.5bn because of the Government's austerity measures. Mr Barber said: "This unnecessary and economically damaging austerity will make Britain a meaner, nastier, more unequal place to live, so we're bringing together unions and voluntary sector organisations to defend our civil society from attack and campaign against these cuts to vital support services.

"The TUC is keen to build the widest possible coalition against the cuts, involving unions, charities, community groups and faith organisations."

Belinda Pratten, of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: "We hear every day from organisations that are fearful for their future, and public spending cuts are having a severe impact on charities' ability to deliver vital services."

Neil Cleeveley, of the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action, said: "Local grants budgets are being slashed and neighbourhood services face cuts at a time when people are turning to local charities for help.

"It's a double whammy - squeezing them just as demand is rising. This will cause real damage to many communities."

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