This recent TUC press release more or less sums up the dire situation:
“2011 is going to be a horrible year.
Unemployment will increase as thousands of public servants get made redundant. Just as many – if not more – private sector jobs will go, both as a direct result of the cuts and through the knock-on effects of reduced economic activity.
Benefit cuts will kick in, and thousands of some of the poorest and most vulnerable people will see real cuts in their living standards.
It's hard to pick out the unkindest cut of all, but a top contender must be the ten per cent cut in housing benefit that kicks in after someone has been unemployed for more than a year.
With long term unemployment already rising sharply, the government cannot get away with labelling the long-term unemployed as scroungers when there are more than five jobless chasing every vacancy"