Labour: CSR is a 'reckless gamble'
Published 20/10/2010 | 14:02
Shadow chancellor Alan Johnson has said that making the deepest cuts to public spending in living memory was what many Conservative MPs "came into politics for".
Mr Johnson accused the Government of taking a "reckless gamble with people's livelihoods" which could wreck the economic recovery.
Amid noisy scenes in the Commons he declared: "We've seen people cheering the deepest cuts to public spending in living memory.
"For some members opposite this is their ideological objective ... this is what they came into politics for."
The shadow chancellor acknowledged the "deficit has to be paid down" but said: "Today's reckless gamble with people's livelihoods runs the risk of stifling the fragile recovery."
Labour's concerns about the effects of the cuts were echoed by the trades unions.
Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB, said: "After this review, the broadest shoulders will still have the fattest wallets. The price for George Osborne's day of reckoning will be paid by the economy, in the public and private sectors, and those unemployed, for a decade to come.
"In a well leaked, well crafted ideological speech, arrogantly delivered, the demise of public services and the welfare state was laid out in front of us. As this plan unfolds and its impact is felt in homes and communities up and down the country, the Tory/Liberal authors will find life increasingly difficult at the ballot box."
Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union, said: "These cuts represent the most brutal assault on public services, jobs and living standards since the 1930s and show that the ConDem government are prepared to force working people to carry the can for an economic crisis cooked up in the boardrooms and on the trading floors.
"This is all-out class war with its roots firmly planted in the playing fields of Eton."