Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

100 Days of the Coalition; It's 100 Days since Conservatives and Liberal Democrats Formed a Coalition Government to Run Our Country. AMY HUNT Looks Back, and Forward, at What It Means for Us

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

100 Days of the Coalition; It's 100 Days since Conservatives and Liberal Democrats Formed a Coalition Government to Run Our Country. AMY HUNT Looks Back, and Forward, at What It Means for Us

Article excerpt

Byline: AMY HUNT

WHETHER you voted red, yellow or blue, "cuts" has been the word of the new Government.

In an effort to slash the UK's deficit, the Tory-Lib Dem coalition has unveiled a radical programme of public spending saving schemes. But amid this, the pounds 350m to upgrade Metro has been approved, while funding has also been confirmed for building new homes in Newcastle.

Still the coalition's cuts, such as the scrapping of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, have come under fire from the region's Labour MPs, who say they are unfairly penalising the poor.

Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell: "All 11 BSF projects were stopped, hitting North Tyneside hard and fulfilling David Cameron's promise to target spending cuts on regions like the North East. This will damage the long-term interests of the children and families in North Tyneside and the regional economy.

"In fairness, the Tories were only doing what they promised and we warned about. What is less explicable is the fact that the Lib Dems are helping them to do what is a major act of educational vandalism."

Guy Opperman, Tory MP for Hexham, disagrees, saying short-term cuts were necessary for longterm gain.

He said: "Put simply, we need to balance the books and get this country back in credit.

"This government should be judged over the period of the Parliament and on whether we can cure some of the terrible problems we have inherited, but I'm more than happy that most of the decisions we have made have been the right ones."

Berwick's Lib Dem MP Sir Alan Beith agreed, saying: "If I was writing the headmaster's report, I would say: 'started well on a difficult course, must keep up commitment and not look for short-term popularity, there's much more at stake'.

"This is a job which is going to take five years - 100 days is only the beginning. …

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