WHEN it comes to cutting public spending, most people will have an opinion on where and what precisely should and can go.
No-one questions that local government is being asked to significantly rein in its spending and that some cuts are inevitable.
But it is the where and how deeply those incisions are made that is crucial to the future of the community.
Strike in the wrong places or too heavily and the whole balance of our society will be changed and, quite possibly, not for the better.
So it will be disappointing, if not downright worrying, to some to note that among the first of the service cuts to be announced is one that will hit some of our most vulnerable people.
The council’s Labour Cabinet has agreed to a 60% hike in care fees which will basically affect the elderly and those with physical and learning disabilities.
Charity and voluntary groups are, not surprisingly, furious.
They make valid points. Higher charges may well force carers to give up their jobs and care for relatives full-time.
That would be an outcome that no-one would relish because it would have serious social and financial implications.
Carers, unable to work, would potentially need support not just financially but emotionally. And those being cared for may well lose the vital stimulus that they get from being cared for by specialist carers.
Those who cannot cope with taking on a heavier burden may well find that long term residential care is the only sensible route for a loved one. And no-one should face that choice as a result of physical or emotional pressure resulting from financial hardship.