OPINION: When will the cuts end?

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Most people would understand that when the government embarked on its austerity programme, cuts in certain areas were sensible savings of tax payers money.

The country was in effect ‘maxing’ out its credit card and needed to rein in its spending. That being said, the question now is how much longer and further – how much deeper –will the cuts go?

At some point, and it has happened already in many services, the cuts will go beyond efficiencies and belt-tightening and seriously make a detrimental difference to vulnerable people’s lives.

Today we report the warning which is being given by the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation.

They say budget cuts will mean 600 police officer jobs will have been axed in the last eight years.

And by 2020 police chiefs estimate there will only be 2,000 officers – 1,300 less than in 2007. There are 2,620 officers now with 30 due to retire before the end of March.

The numbers speak for themselves. Yes, throwing money at something doesn’t necessarily make it better.

But surely, with the economy booming according to the government, the handcuffs must be loosened on spending soon.