Liverpool Council to cut 1,500 jobs
LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool City Council will cut around 1,500 jobs after the government reduced its funding by 100 million pounds, local politicians said on Thursday.
The council is the latest local authority to reveal job cuts as the coalition scales back grants to help tackle a record budget deficit.
The public sector is expected to be hit hard by government austerity measures and the GMB union says 140,000 jobs are at risk at councils across Britain.
The government says councils can maintain essential services by making savings in back-office administration but Liverpool council deputy leader Paul Brant said reductions in key services could not be avoided.
Brant said a 93 million pound gap in the authority's budget next year meant it would have to cut 1,500 jobs, putting services such as adult social care at risk.
"Our grant settlement from the government (is) significantly slashing the amount of support we can get ... The scale of this is so huge that frontline services will be affected," he told BBC television.
Liverpool council leader Joe Anderson said there would inevitably be cutbacks in children's centres, libraries, and leisure centres.
Brant said the way the government had allocated grant cuts meant the poorest regions were hit hardest.
"Liverpool is ranked by the government itself as the most deprived council in the country and yet we have received the maximum amount of cut," he said.
The council says it needs to find 141 million pounds of savings over the next two years, after the government cut 100 million of grants for the same period.
The government denied its funding allocations were unfair and that, per head, Liverpool was receiving over six times more grant than a prosperous area such as Wokingham in Berkshire.
"If councils share back-office services, join forces to procure, cut out the non-jobs and root out the over-spends then they can protect frontline services," said a spokesman at the Department for Communities and Local Government.
(Editing by Steve Addison)
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