UK

TUC: Coalition cuts to hit the poor hardest

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Image caption The TUC says making people unemployed now is "callous"

The Trades Union Congress has claimed the UK is at risk of being "irreparably damaged" by government spending cuts which it says will hit the weakest.

Ahead of its annual congress on Monday, the TUC argued British society was in great danger from the "reckless" policy of rapid deficit reduction.

In a statement it said: "The deep cuts in public services are bound to have more impact on low income families."

The Treasury said the poorest would not be unfairly targeted by the cuts.

A Treasury spokesman said: "Fairness is at the heart of the government's approach to the spending review, it is committed to protecting the most vulnerable in society."

The TUC's General Council argued women, disabled people and ethnic minority communities were likely to be amongst the hardest hit by government cuts.

The coalition is trying to reduce a large spending deficit which hit a record £155bn in the 2009-2010 financial year.

It will announce the results of its Comprehensive Spending Review, and give details of which government departments will need to cut their spending, and by how much.

The TUC's statement continued: "The UK's society and economy are in great danger from a reckless policy of rapid deficit reduction.

"Making hundreds of thousands of public servants redundant at any time would cause great stress.

"But to do so when there is little chance of finding other work is callous."

It concluded: "It is likely to do serious and long term damage to the fabric of the UK, as happened in the 1980s."

The Treasury spokesman said: "The TUC's claims ignore the fact that four-fifths of any cuts had been pencilled in the March budget.

"Economic stability depends on a credible plan to deal with the deficit - the biggest in the G20 - and failing to stick to the government's plan would mean higher market interest rates and more taxpayers' money spent on servicing our debts."

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