Over the last few years, austerity measures across the country have been changing the shape and size of Britain’s public services. National and local government have been forced to make difficult decisions about which services to prioritise and which to re-shape or remove. At the same time, families have been tightening their belts, with the rising costs of fuel and food, the bleak economic outlook and the changing eligibility for various state benefits.
This confluence of events has created an (im)perfect storm for the most vulnerable in society. The bad news is there is still more to come.
The stories in this report cast a light on the day-to-day experience of residents in Camden as they faced the first wave of the cuts. They underline the seriousness of the cuts and the impacts they are already having on family and community life. For both national and local government the challenges ahead are stark: further cost saving measures, more cuts to personal benefits and entitlements for its citizens and no revival in the economy in sight. We believe that doing more to build community resilience is part of the answer, but tough choices lie ahead to ensure the most vulnerable are not left worse off.