Britain: Cuts to ‘cost 500,000 jobs’


Economists warned on March 31 that the British government’s public-sector cuts will leave a shortfall of more than half a million jobs.

The New Economics Foundation (NEF) also warned that nowhere in the budget or “plan for growth“ was there “any evidence that the business tax cuts, regulatory tweaks and relatively minor changes to public-sector investment that are promised will deliver major economic transformation”.

Trade Union Congress general secretary Brendan Barber said the findings showed that “in recent years, the market has become the master, not the servant, of society”.

The NEF study drew on research by Manchester Business School that showed that “the British economy is poor at creating new private sector jobs”.

Work by the school suggested that more than half of the 1.3 million new jobs created in the recovery from the last big recession were due to public spending alone.

The NEF report said: “If that pattern is repeated, even the optimistic official growth forecasts imply that only 780,000 new private sector jobs would be created.

“This would leave a shortfall of 520,000 jobs. Unemployment would remain stubbornly high, with poorer areas worse affected.”

[Abridged from .]