John Biggs: Managing downturn will be tough

By Jon Massey on November 10, 2010 5:00 PM |

By John Biggs

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Tackling the economic downturn, while managing the Government's spending cuts, will be a struggle.

We need new jobs to be created, while nationally the cuts mean half a million existing public sector jobs are being deleted. We are being told that new jobs will appear in the private sector.

I would welcome private sector jobs, but I am unclear where they are going to come from.

I predict that there will be a reaction as public services start to disappear.

The Government underestimates just how many of us value and rely on them for our quality of life. I think politicians assume that because they all earn more than £50,000 a year that is the average income.

In fact it is roughly twice the national average income, which is approximately £1,400 per month after deductions. And London's housing costs stretch this budget even more tightly. We need our services.

Poorer areas, like the East End, will tend to suffer the biggest job cuts, and tend to rely more than others on public services.

A lot of my constituents will see their household incomes drastically cut back as benefit cuts bite. We need a more hopeful story.

Rather than focusing on cuts, a brighter future could emerge if we invested in the skills and energy of people. Let's work out how we can do this.

- John Biggs is London Assembly Member, City and East

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