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Exploring Pressure And Contention Related To Cuts Essay

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Exploring pressure and contention related to cuts to public sector budgets

In the light of recent cuts in the public sector budgets in the United Kingdom, there has been a surge in pressure group activity and contention. with the cuts promising to effect all areas of society, as the chancellor of the Exchequer declared, “we're all in this together” different organisations have sought to influence the various Whitehall departments before decisions have been finalised on where and how deep to cut. the TUC for example has recently been vocal in raising their concerns on proposed cuts to public sector pay with the general secretary Brendan Barber critiquing the big society, the title given to the political philosophy behind the current administration, for looking more and more like a “big con.” this statement was coupled with an organised strike rally on the 30th of June where 500,000 people took to the streets across the United Kingdom to protest against government public sector cuts. Despite the attempts of the TUC to act as a unifying body of all trade unions it is evident that within the organization there are apparent and obvious contentions between groups, examples include Unison and the RMT, each group claiming to represent the rights and interests of its members. Therefore, it is necessary to isolate these groups and place them in a wider economic and social context as we explore pressure and contention related to public sector cuts.

Firstly we must explore and understand the wider context. Why are we having these cuts in the first place? The economist Warwick Lightfoot explores this issue by painting a rather gloomy but realistic image of the British Economy in his book “Sorry, we have no money.” In the book Lightfoot investigates the relationship between government spending on the public sector and GDP. Currently the government debt as a percentage of GDP amounts to around 80% and its net borrowing is around 149 billion pounds which is equivalent to 10...

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