LIKE Sir Bill Wiggin, many will welcome the tax cuts in the Autumn Statement.

What he does not mention is the fresh round of austerity projected for the next few years and the consequent further degradation of our public services. If health and education are safeguarded, the police, the courts, the prison service, social care, defence and local government will all suffer cuts of up to a quarter.

Take prisons: already understaffed, there will be more riots and more assaults on police officers and far less rehabilitation. As for social care, the Conservative pledge of £500 million to improve training, recruitment and retention is being halved to £250 million.

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Local government is in deep crisis with several councils going bankrupt. Since 2010 their income has been cut by 27 per cent in real terms, yet the demands, particularly of social care, are growing. Meanwhile, the Government takes to micromanaging instead of making devolution effective and viable. For a London committee to decide on a top-up grant for Herefordshire road repairs may again be welcome but this is no way to run a country.

Perhaps Sir Bill should give us the full story.