There is an Arabian camel anecdote… The owner loaded his camel with as much straw as possible, until the beast was staggering under the load. Adding one last wisp of straw proved too much, and the animal collapsed with a broken back, leaving the owner with no way to deliver his goods to market.
It could be parable for public sector cuts today. Only it’s likely there’s more straw to come, and the camel, though teetering a bit, is still very much up on its legs.
While the war of words and statistics continues, the impact on service users and providers of ongoing cuts goes without question. The Local Government Association (LGA) acknowledges that Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) has listened to some of their concerns, and allowing a number of councils to raise council tax will help, But LGA Chairman, Lord Porter, has stressed that the consequences of the £4.1 billion funding cut over this Spending Review period ‘should not be underestimated’. "Even if councils stopped filling in potholes, maintaining parks, closed all children's centres, libraries, museums, leisure centres and turned off every street light they will not have saved enough money to plug the financial black hole they face by 2020.”
So how does the camel bear up under that much straw?