EAst End MPs brand cuts “unfair”

Deprived boroughs including Tower Hamlets will have to make tough decisions as they face a cut of 8.9 per cent from the government.

The council has pledged to protect front line services and try to make savings by encouraging early retirement, voluntary redundancy and not filling vacancies but the cuts have been branded unfair by the two MPs representing the East End.

Tower Hamlets and Hackney are two of the 36 boroughs which are taking the maximum cuts announced by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP who represents Poplar and Limehouse said: “It does seem that the Tory authorities have been relatively better treated than the poorer authorities.”

He said the cuts combined with threats to the Education Maintenance Allowance and tuition fees would make a “lose lose situation for young people aged 18 to 24.”

Bethnal Green MP Rushanara Ali said: “What’s going to happen with a borough like Tower Hamlets is completely unacceptable and unfair.”

She added: “It’s absolutely disproportionate. It’s very serious.

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“At a time when the poorest boroughs are being cut there will be a time when it is very difficult to maintain services.”

She said she held a meeting with Business Secretary Vince Cable and will be meeting the Education Secretary Michael Gove to push for a fair deal for students in the constituency.

Tower Hamlets has a very high proportion of young people, with 45,800 under 16.

Ms Ali fears that tuition fees will deter many of them from considering going into further education, particularly those whose families have not done so.