30 Sep 2009

Counting the cost of Brown’s spending promises

The IFS has helped me out with a bit of rough, heavily caveated number-crunching based on what Gordon Brown said yesterday about cuts.

Yes, he didn’t say much, but he did say he wanted to protect rises in the minimum wage, rises in child tax credits, hospitals, schools and police numbers. And he said he would get the international aid budget to the target of 0.7 per cent of GDP.

Just factor in a few of those commitments – freezing the schools and NHS budgets (the closest we can get to¬† a “hospitals” budget), growing the aid budget – and other budgets would have to be squeezed by something like 6 per cent a year or nearly 18 per cent over three years.

That excludes the cost of freezing the credits, the cost of the minimum wage and freezing the police budget. So it is a bit rough and ready and, of course, Gordon Brown didn’t give concrete commitments yesterday.

But it gives you an idea of the pain that is squeezed elsewhere even when you so much as freeze one part of spending.

Related: Did Brown’s speech make a big enough bang?
Spending promises from Brown

Tweets by @garygibbonblog

5 reader comments

  1. margaret brandreth- jones says:

    When I return to work I will miss all this blogging….it fills me with a sense of importance which my own career has been unable to do this last 40 years.

    Where is Cathy Newman’s blog site though, we can’t reply and Jon must be fed up with us imbeciles giving our opinions in the lowest style prose around.

    Just to say though ,They are CHUMPS Peter. So what Cathy ?

  2. wilma miller says:

    It’s funny that they weren’t ‘chumps’ when they backed Labour. See A Campbell’s diaries.

  3. margaret brandreth- jones says:

    I think Wilma it is not the dissapointment of the withdrawal of backing, it is the timing of that withdrawal of support which is overtly ‘dirty tactics’ but I am British and still cannot understand in my naiveity why fair play isn’t ever present.

  4. wilma miller says:

    I honestly don’t believe for a moment that either Gordon Brown or Alistair Campbell would have the slightest compunction in ‘doing the dirty’ in a way that might advantage them. I am Scottish and was a comprehensive school teacher in Glasgow for about 30 years. I know Scottish Labour and what they do and have done for many years up here- my disappointment is of long standing.

  5. j hill says:

    Everone knows that whoever gets in next time, there will be tough times ahead. Everyone it seems except Gordon Brown. He seems to be pushing ahead on “crisis, what crisis” mode, while the media is criticising the tories already, (who haven`t been in power since 1997…unlike Labour). Hopefully the Gen electio will be a re-run of the EU and local elections, with Labour coming in last!!!
    Get `em out is my motto. It is time for fixed terms, a written British Constitution, and legal accountability of politicians, with a repael of all the draconian so called terror laws which prevent parents looking sfter their neighbours` children without being on a snoopers database.
    Labour are still in the 19th Century. Communism died in 1989, somebody tell Gordon Brown!!!

Comments are closed.