the Blog rss Title underline

The 2020 Public Services Trust Blog

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More Debate on Spending Cuts

By Henry Kippin

Last week I posted a blog based on a Telegraph poll, which showed a majority in favour of cuts to public services. My observation at the time was that we seem to want it all – less debt, better services; pared-back government, with high standards. As it happened, the poll pointed towards a public thirst for less administrative costs – rather than cuts to the services themselves.

What is fascinating in all this is the extent to which the public feel that cutting red tape will eat into our national debt. Labour maintain that Tory cuts would go deeper than simply admin. The Tories themselves seem to be preparing the ground for some pruning….but we still dont really know of what, and where. Admin savings may be possible, but the consensus is that more serious surgery may be planned.

Last Wednesday the Spectator added their opinion to the debate – based on a recently commissioned PoliticsHome poll. ‘As no party formally proposes spending cuts’, they argued, ‘the issue tends not to be raised in opinion polls – so The Spectator decided to make its own inquiries’. They found a public seriously worried about debt, and sceptical about the government’s ability to spend its way out of the downturn.

So does this represent a new phase in the debate? Not really. Taking a look at the questions (participants were asked whether ‘borrowing yet more for giveaways with limited impact is simply reckless’, for example) shows an inherent bias, as even the most enthusiastic public spender would presumably argue that recklessness is a bad thing.

The piece still shows us something though – that even as a soft landing is being prepared for spending cuts, we are still alluding to a false choice. Recklessness versus parsimony? The reality will be much more difficult than that.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted by Henry Kippin at 8:55 pm
divider « Newer Posts

To subscribe to email updates of this blog, enter your email address below:

Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Recent posts
  • Archive