The Staggers 17 June 2010 Cutting with care? The coalition’s decision to cut support for the unemployed is deeply irresponsible. Print HTML "Good luck, carry on cutting with care," read David Laws's note to his successor, Danny Alexander. Sound advice, but if only Laws had followed it himself. By scrapping child trust funds and cutting 10,000 university places, the coalition did anything but cut with care. Now the new axeman, Alexander, has announced the cancellation of 12 projects worth £2bn and the suspension of 12 projects worth £8.5bn. These include the two-year Jobseeker's Guarantee, the Young Person's Guarantee and an £80m loan to Sheffield Forgemasters. At first glance, the decision to reduce support to the unemployed seems deeply irresponsible. Unemployment is now certain to pass three million, with youth unemployment rising to one million. Elsewhere, the decision to axe £80m from Sheffield Forgemasters, a company that employs 800 staff and is involved in building new nuclear power plants, is, as Ed Miliband remarked today, "self-defeating short-termism". The coalition has damaged manufacturing and the transition to a low-carbon economy by withdrawing a loan that would, after all, have been paid back. Alexander's claim that the cupboard is bare does not bear scrutiny. Only this week, new figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility showed that the Budget deficit is now £155bn. That's £12bn less than the £167bn predicted at the last Budget and a whole £23bn less than the original forecast of £178bn. As Fraser Nelson pointed out in a fine piece for the Telegraph, "embarrassingly, the economy is not playing along. Things just keep getting better." The suspicion that these cuts are driven not by necessity, but by ideology, persists. Here's a full list of the projects axed by the coalition: Stonehenge Visitor Centre: £25m Local Authority Leader Boards: £16m Sheffield Forgemasters International Limited: £80m Rollout of the Future Jobs Fund: £290m (previously announced) Six month offer recruitment subsidies: £30m (previously announced) Extension of Young Person's Guarantee to 2011/12: £450m Two-year Jobseeker's Guarantee: £515m Active Challenge Routes - Walk England: £2m County Sports Partnerships : £6m North Tees and Hartlepool hospital: £450m Local Authority Business Growth Initiative: £50m (previously announced) Outukumpu: £13m Total: £1.9bn (£370m previously announced) Special subscription offer: Get 12 issues for £12 plus a free copy of Andy Beckett's "When the Lights Went Out". › Lived resistance George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. From only £1 per week Subscribe More Related articles The Fire Brigades Union reaffiliates to Labour - what does it mean? John Gray on the future of the state on the NS Podcast Could Labour lose the Oldham by-election?