The new coalition government in the UK is settling in, and the lean years of thousand cuts are coming. Their contours are becoming more clearly defined, and people will be starting to feel them quite soon.
Many politicians have promised to save the front-line staff from the inevitable cuts. That may be true for things the central government pays for, such as the NHS and education, but the situation is different for other things that many people need and depend on, because they are funded by local authorities. Libraries and many forms of social care fall under this category.
Cuts at the local level will also happen. The local authorities depend on central government funding to carry out their business, and in an age of austerity there will be less money flowing to the council coffers. The Council Tax most people love to hate does not provide the councils will sufficient funding. Therefore the unenviable and difficult task of cutting local services that will affect a large number of people will probably be carried out by the local authorities, with the central government washing its hand.
It would be a sad day, if for example my local library were to shut, because of funding shortfall.