Firefighters need more money from the government – FBU responds to Parliamentary report

The FBU has said firefighters need more money to keep the public safe.

The union was responding to a report released yesterday by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee criticising the government’s slashing of local government funding. The report, Local government finance and the 2019 Spending Review, said councils need a real-terms increase in spending power to continue providing the services expected of them.

FBU assistant general secretary Andy Dark said: “This report echoes what we have been saying for years – cuts to local government have gone too far. Firefighters, like all those dependent on this funding, are at breaking point and urgently need more money to keep the public safe.

“Tory governments inflicted a near 30% real-terms funding cut on fire and rescue services between 2010 and 2015. They’ve pushed through another 15% cut since 2016/17 – and there’s still no word of funding for the next financial year.

“Pressures on firefighters are increasing, as climate change makes both fires and flooding more likely. There are huge looming budgetary pressures from the important recommendations of the Hackitt review and the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, but where will this money come from?

“Boris Johnson talks big when it comes to police and the NHS, but he’s treating the fire and rescue service as an afterthought. Local government funding has a direct impact on life-saving public services. As things stand, the fire and rescue service is hanging by a thread.”

UNISON yesterday called on the government to give councils more resources.

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