Government due to announce major cuts in public spending

THE most vulnerable people in society could be hardest hit today when as Chancellor George Osborne prepares to announce the deepest cutbacks in public spending since the Second World War.

People from all sections of society are likely to be affected by the cuts which will target families, job seekers, public sector workers, transport, justice and health.

Poor families are facing housing cuts in housing association budgets and permanent council tenancies.

Met police job cuts are on the cards and there are plans to slash prison sentences in favour of community penalties and to close 104 magistrates courts including Barking Court.

London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, the driving force behind the 10,000-home Barking Riverside development and Barking Town Centre revamp, is expected to go as part of the “bonfire of the quangos”.

The University of East London campus at Barking Learning Centre could also put up tuition fees.

Union leaders warned Chancellor Osborne’s spending review could “irreparably damage our social fabric” and risked plunging the country back into recession.

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Public sector union Unison yesterday issued a call to arms in a last-ditch bid to protect families by leading a Barking and Dagenham lobby of Parliament to fight the cuts. Branch secretary David Clarke said: “For decades, we had universal benefits. The government have been doing their sums.

“Cameron’s vision was an inclusive society but it’s becoming an exclusive society. It’s very worrying.”

Labour council chief Liam Smith said: “Taking a knife to everything without thinking about the consequences could have terrible repercussions for local residents.

“It is vital that we protect frontline services, protect jobs, and support those in need during this difficult period. This is exactly the opposite that the coalition government is doing.”