georgeosborneFire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack has claimed the Chancellor's announcement of a 7.5% cut to the fire and rescue service budget will lead to a greater loss of life.

Millions of public sector workers face losing automatic annual pay increases as part of an £11.5bn cuts package unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne with Services amongst those worse hit.

Capacity to cope with emergencies under serious threat
"After three years of station closures, 3,600 job losses and a dangerous slowing of response times, these new attacks to fire services will start to cut through bone," Wrack said.

"The UK's capacity to cope with large or concurrent emergencies is under serious threat, and whoever wins the next election must ensure that emergency services are properly funded in order to prevent greater loss of life.

"For this reason, the Labour Party must abandon plans to continue with the current government's spending plans if elected. Labour will not win support from working people by promising to ape the Tories on cutting services."

Fund to promote greater interagency collaboration
Contrasting to the cuts in pay, there will be a £45m capital fund for fire and rescue services and £30m to promote greater collaboration between the three ‘blue light’ services.

However, Wrack said that "no amount of reform will compensate for the damage done to fire and rescue services by the ongoing cuts agenda, and our priority should be protecting services from the knife."