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Farron Criticises Police Funding U-Turn

December 18, 2015 4:38 PM

Tim Farron MP has criticised the government for cutting funding to Cumbria Police, accusing the government of "smoke and mirrors" after they had previously promised to protect police budgets.

The Chancellor George Osborne had announced in the Autumn Statement at the end of November that "now is not the time for further police cuts", adding "I am today announcing that there will be no cuts in the police budget at all, there will be real terms protection for police funding."

However, documents released on the final day of parliamentary business before Christmas undermine this claim.

Research from the independent House of Commons Library shows that, once inflation is taken into account, Cumbria Police is in fact in line for a 1.9% real terms cut.

Tim said: "Just weeks ago, residents across Cumbria were relieved to hear that George Osborne's plans for severe cuts to police budgets had been shelved, as he announced in the Autumn Statement police budgets would be protected.

However, George Osborne has now gone back on that promise, as he plays smoke and mirrors with the budgets in order to cut funding for Cumbria Police. George Osborne needs to be straight with the police, to enable them to plan ahead. It is utterly wrong for the Chancellor to backtrack like this, just weeks after telling the public that the police would be protected."