Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

50,000 Jobs at Risk as Cuts Bite Deeply; Pounds 2bn Slashed off Economy, Experts Claim

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

50,000 Jobs at Risk as Cuts Bite Deeply; Pounds 2bn Slashed off Economy, Experts Claim

Article excerpt

Byline: Adrian Pearson

ECONOMIC experts have predicted the North East will lose almost 50,000 jobs and see pounds 2bn wiped of its economy as a result of Government cuts.

Development agency One North East has released a report setting out the full impact of the coalition's policies on the region.

Of the 49,000 jobs set to go, 20,000 are in the private sector, many coming from the manufacturing base which has kept the North economy going.

In choosing to publicise the report's findings, One North East chairman Paul Callaghan is putting his agency up against its Government bosses who have insisted the coalition will grow the private sector.

Experts warned that five years from now the region will have much lower household spending. The Mind the Gap report paints a bleak future for the region by an agency which was initially tasked with narrowing the North South divide.

When the coalition Government was formed, Vince Cable's Department for Business bowed to Conservative pressure and announced it would scrap the quango by 2012.

Researchers at Durham University say that by then the "frontloaded" Government cuts will have put thousands of workers on the dole.

Already the region's councils and police forces have announced more than 5,000 job losses, with more to come.

Last night Mr Callaghan said by the time the cuts were implemented it would no longer be the agency's responsibility to look out for those losing their jobs.

"The baton has been passed from us to the Government's Local Enterprise Partnerships and even possibly the North East Economic Partnership.

"We are not telling the Government what to do, just to say honestly what the future job prospects look like and make them aware that the new partnerships will need to be able to cope with this.

"The situation is grim, there is no getting away from this. We have not seen this size of potential losses since the 1990s.

"We are not just seeing people lose their jobs but also a fundamental change in the economy. …

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