Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No party has come clean on scale of cuts – thinktank.

A leading think tank has accused Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems of failing to come clean with the public on the scale of the tax rises and welfare cuts which will be necessary should they be elected to deal with the deficit.

In an attack on the "vague" plans sketched out by Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, the Institute for Fiscal Studies also claimed the Tories were planning the sharpest spending cuts since the second world war, while the Labour and Lib Dem spending slowdowns amounted to the biggest retrenchment since the IMF crisis in the mid-1970s.

The IFS said that no party had gone "anywhere near identifying" the cuts they will need to meet their various deficit reduction timetables.

I know that there is no easy way to run for office whilst telling people which services one wants to take away, as that rarely makes one popular with the electorate. But the failure of all three parties to face up to this actually suits the Tories best of all as their cuts are likely to be the most savage and the most unfair.

They have already hinted several times at just how severe their cuts are going to be, only to reverse their stance when the public reacted in the polls.

Compare and contrast what Cameron and Osborne were saying in October of last year with what they are saying now:
George Osborne today warned that the Tories would have to find much more brutal cuts on top of the 'austerity' package he unveiled yesterday if they are to fill the huge black hole in Britain's public finances.

The Shadow Chancellor shrugged off suggestions that his bleak plans for a public sector pay freeze, cuts to middle-class benefits and a huge contraction in Whitehall were a massive electoral gamble.

He insisted any party that wins the next election will have to adopt similar swingeing measures to balance the books.

And rather than rowing back, he went even further by admitting his plans were just the tip of the iceberg of what would have to be a massive billion-pound savings mission to reduce the £175billion deficit left behind by Labour.
And it wasn't just Osborne saying this, Cameron also piled in:
David Cameron declared that there was no point trying to win an election without telling voters what the Tories would do if they did take power - although the Tory leader candidly admitted his party's plans would hardly have people 'crying with delight'. 'I don't see the point in trying to win an election without telling people about some of the difficult things that have to be done afterwards. We have to take the country with us. To pretend you can just drift through this and then win an election and tell people afterwards, I think is thoroughly irresponsible,' he said.
And yet, that is exactly the course that the Tories have now embarked on.

I know neither party wants to run on an austerity package, but the public have a right to know what exactly is going to be done by each party so that they can make their choice.

I simply know that I would prefer the choices made by a progressive party as their values will be the same as my own. The Tories, I fear, will simply punish the poor for mistakes made by rich bankers.

But, at the moment, the Tories are getting a free ride as neither of the other two parties wants to discuss what they will have to do once elected.


Here's a contrast of what the three parties are proposing:
The IFS, which is independent of political influence, says that the as-yet unspecified cuts in spending amount to some £52.5bn in the case of the Conservatives, £44.1bn for Labour and £34.4bn for the Liberal Democrats – which are the sums each party will have to find if they are to meet their stated aims for deficit reduction.

They imply deep cuts in almost every public service. The Conservative Party figure is larger than those for the other two parties because it has said it wants to cut public borrowing sooner and faster, and that it would put less emphasis on tax rises.
The Tories will be much more savage than either Labour or the Lib Dems. Perhaps people would agree that they need to be more savage, but at least tell them what it is that you are planning to do.

At the moment we are being told precious little...

Click here for full article.

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