The Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne North, Catherine McKinnell, has launched a passionate defence of the region in the wake of government cuts.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Ms McKinnell stated that it was ludicrous that so little consideration had been given to important regional differences when deciding where the Lib-Con axe would fall.
‘Due to the particular nature of the northeast, we have a population that will be hit disproportionately hard by these cuts. Yes, we have a large public sector but simply making redundancies is not serious economics and clearly shows the contemptuous Lib-Con attitude towards the region.
‘Our public sector is vital. It employs a third of all working people and so along with losing jobs through direct redundancies, the impact upon private firms will also be disastrous as huge amounts of income dries up. By not taking this into account, the Lib-Cons are taking a huge risk with our fragile local economy.
‘This is made worse,’ Ms McKinnell continued, ‘by the way in which the government has slashed work creation and job training schemes, cut tax credits and hiked VAT. These measures were obviously going to be more painful in a region such as ours where unemployment is higher and earnings lower than the respective national averages.
‘By throwing people out of work, cutting benefits and raising taxes, the Lib-Cons have produced a package of measures that could appear almost tailor made to harm our region. The northeast is being repeatedly kicked by this uncaring government and a huge financial weight has been placed upon those least able to bear the strain.’