the cuts: so what do we do now?

May 24, 2010

Can I just ask something? Where are people supposed to work, then? You can’t exactly say the private sector is going to be bouncing, if the consumers – that is, the 52 per cent of the UK population who work in the public sector – are either riding out an extremely worried year, no doubt on fixed or lower pay, or are already out of work? Nobody’s going to be spending much.

Your ultra-positive text pixie here has already had her wings severely clipped by all these shenanigans. The news that communications departments up and down the land are about to shrink, along with everything else, is not exactly encouraging.

One more question. In evaluating the savings generated by the cuts, does the government offset gross savings against the cost of jobseekers’ allowance, income support, housing benefit, council tax benefit, free school lunches, dentistry, eye exams, prescriptions etc, which will have to be paid to people who can;t find work? And then arrive at a net savings to the economy, achieved at the paltry cost of people’s lives?

Just asking. This was conceived, after all, as a blog about the pleasure to be had from doing good, professional, creative work (more on “good work” soon), but that pleasure is a bit thin on the ground at the moment.

Paul Waugh at the Standard tweeted earlier today that he can’t see anything in these cuts that would necessarily lead to a “double dip” in the recession. I just hope he was right, because from where I sit all I see is lost jobs. One thing is very clear: we are in the middle of a paradigm shift. Nothing is going to look the same as it did before, and we are going to need to harness all our creativity to get ourselves through! I’d like to see some government vision mapping out what they think we’re all supposed to do now.

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