Three reflections on the Budget.
One is that the 25 per cent cut in non-health, non-DfID departmental spending, which as the Institute for Fiscal Studies pointed out today is going to be more in some departments because George Osborne said it will be less in education and defence, is not going to happen.
Another is that Alastair [...]
I can’t bear it when someone describes themselves, or what they’re about to do, as “tough but fair”. Or, for that matter, “hard but fair”, or “brutal but tender,” or “sadistic but benevolent”. It’s scary. And, despite the fact that “tough but fair” is usually uttered in a benign, almost reassuring manner, it’s supposed to [...]
Prospect represents public sector professionals – and today our members are angry that they are being made scapegoats for last year’s financial crisis. On pay, pensions and jobs, the Chancellor has taken direct aim at the living standards of workers who did nothing to create the economic deficit he is attempting to reverse.
A two-year pay [...]
In the days after the general election, a former Labour minister said to me that it was “the perfectly wrong result”. By which he meant that it could not have been designed better by the gods to frustrate Labour’s hopes. Whereas a Lib-Con arrangement would deliver a solid parliamentary majority, any attempt at a Labour-led [...]
In tomorrow’s Emergency Budget, the Tax Payers’ Alliance is convinced that Government must take serious action to cut spending. Addressing the crisis in the public finances cannot be delayed any longer. The mountain of public sector debt continues to grow; tomorrow it will be illustrated by the return of our giant Debt Clock, which has [...]
With so many elements of their employment package potentially under attack in tomorrow’s Budget, these are deeply unsettling times for every public servant and their families.
It is important that ministers recognise that while savage cuts in public spending will make for easy headlines, the proper delivery of the coalition agreement will fundamentally depend on the [...]
By now, to tell the truth, I’m actually getting a bit bored with budget speculation and want Osborne to “bring it on”. There will be blood, to be sure, but a couple of points on that are worth mentioning.
One, there is now a danger that unless the chancellor really does go for it and raises [...]
What’s the difference between the Labour and Conservative parties? About £8billion, if you believe the Institute for Fiscal Studies, who can be trusted on such matters. That is the sum they reckon now separates the public borrowing/spending/tax plans of the two main parties. It sounds like a lot of money – but in the scheme [...]
I oughtn't admit this, but in some ways the election fills me with dread. The European Commission are the latest body to call on Alistair Darling to be "more ambitious" in cutting the budget deficit, but there is no chance that any of the main parties will come up with such plans before election day. [...]
He might be a bully and he might lack many of the qualities of leadership, bit even his worst enemies – plenty of em – would have to agree that Gordon Brown did call much of the financial crisis right. And, sadly, the Tories called much of it wrong. At this distance the recapitalisation of [...]
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