Cuts are now hitting the front line, government minister says

Juan Watterson MHK

Juan Watterson MHK

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Cuts made to the government department that runs the police, the fire service and the prison are how hitting front-line services.

The Department of Home Affairs today issued its annual report outlining the progress it has made in slashing its budget to achieve savings after the Manx government lost one third of its income when the UK rewrote the VAT-sharing agreement.

As we reported last week, the police have announced a redesign of their services. The fire service is also set to outline a reorganisation of its management structure and functions.

The department’s report says it has made savings of more than £4 million (12 per cent) over the past four years, and £8 million (21 per cent) since its budget peaked in 2007-08. This has largely been achieved by reducing spending, rather than raising revenue.

Home Affairs says it provides the police, fire service, prison and probation service, emergency communications and emergency planning for less than £1 per person per day.

Minister Juan Watterson MHK said: ‘We are now down to the essentials. The year 2013-14 was our sixth consecutive year of budget reductions and for the first time we now have to cut into front-line services.’

The Department of Home Affairs’ annual report can be viewed on the government website here

More on this story in the Manx Independent on Thursday morning.

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