Tuesday, May 25, 2010

First cuts mark end of coalition honeymoon and a taste of bitter things to come.

The Con-Dem coalition has announced the first of it's cuts, promising that this was "only the start".

George Osborne, the Chancellor, and his Liberal Democrat deputy, David Laws, put the emphasis on cutting Whitehall waste and omitted some sensitive areas at a Treasury press conference. It emerged later that the savings would include £130m from police administrative costs; cuts in low carbon projects; a £100m reduction for Network Rail; £108m for London's transport network; £5m for the Arts Council and £266m for regional development agencies.

Other measures include: axing 10,000 planned extra university places; scrapping offers of temporary jobs under the young person's guarantee scheme to save £290m; ending child trust funds, designed to provide a "nest egg" for young people when they reach the age of 18; a £1.16bn squeeze on local government; a £150m reduction in the housing budget; saving £1.7bn from delaying and renegotiating contracts and halting projects; £95m from IT schemes and £600m from cutting the costs of quangos.

There will be an immediate freeze on civil service recruitment to save £120m and on "unnecessary spending" on outside consultancy, advertising and computer contracts; ministers will share drivers or use public transport to cut the cost of the government car service by a third, and ministers and officials will normally travel second class to cut the £45m-a-year bill for first-class trips.
There's going to be lots more of this to come, this really is going to be the government which says no. Of course, the Con-Dems hope that we will one day thank them for their ruthlessness. Conservatives imagine that the country will, one day, see them as modern Thatcherites, doling out much needed - even if it is foul tasting - medicine.

The danger to what they are doing is that they might threaten the recovery and bring about a double dip recession. But they are doing it anyway...

It's like 1979 all over again. And we all know what that was like.

Click here for full article.

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