27 Apr 2010

Revealed: the eye-watering spending cuts to come

At the IFS briefing on what the parties are NOT telling you about their cuts plans.

Here in percentage terms (after factoring in fixed costs and manifesto pledges) are the degree to which the IFS thinks you are in the dark: you don’t know 87 per cent of the cuts Labour would have to make if they stuck to their election promises, 82 per cent of the Tory cuts that would come your way, 74 per cent of the cuts the Lib Dems would have to make.

And this was meant to be the election for reconnecting with the voters and rebuilding trust. What does it say about the mandates parties have to inflict pain and the issues of social solidarity?

Earlier at Labour’s press conference, Sky’s Adam Boulton pretty well exploded at the party representatives – Peter Mandelson, Yvette Cooper and Ed Balls – over this and you have to wonder how many voters might do the same if they knew how much they’re being kept in the dark.

But the politicians will tell you privately that the Tory candour at their party conference last October about where some of the cuts would fall and their talk then of the age of austerity ahead appears to have driven quite a few voters away.

The IFS parks the biggest blame for this secrecy on the government for not going ahead with a full spending round which other parties would then have had to follow. But no one comes out smelling very good from this seminal brieifing on the pain the other side of the election curtain.

Tweets by @garygibbonblog

16 reader comments

  1. badger says:

    And you the media have gone along with this – reporting without challenge the rubbish that has been spouted by all parties. Only today 9 days before an election do some of your colleagues wake up and start telling the government that this is woefully inadequate.

  2. Simon says:

    The Conservatives bottled it when their “age of austerity” message hit their lead in the polls. This has made it impossible for them to nail Gordon Brown on the origins and consequences of the deficit (and the untruth of “continued Labour investment”.

    At this stage, it is in no party’s interest to be first to tell the truth about the cuts.

    Interesting to see if the media can get any of them to crack before polling day?

  3. adrian clarke says:

    The problem is that everyone knows there have to be cuts, but not in their back yard .The politicians dare not spell it out for fear of losing votes .It is a bit like telling an addict he needs to stop.They normally agree in their moments of lucidity and then buck the suggestion at the earliest opportunity by taking the easy way out and failing .
    From the IFS figures it looks as if the Conservatives come closest to trying to do something and the Liberals are in denial

  4. Jayceeyoukay says:

    The voters need the media to seriously challenge all three main parties on this and prevent an apparent conspiracy to deny the electorate an informed choice. Well done Channel Four News, keep it up!

  5. Y.S. says:

    “Grease is the word.
    It’s got groove, it’s got meaning
    Grease is the time, is the place, is the motion
    Grease is the way we are feeling ”
    Sorry wrong GREECE.

    1. adrian clarke says:

      YS i agree .They too lived in a profligate world of spend now pay tomorrow ans as always it has caught up .L

    2. adrian clarke says:

      YS i agree .They too lived in a profligate world of spend now pay tomorrow and as always it has caught up .We will quickly follow suit

  6. adrian clarke says:

    Gary of course the parties dare not tell the truth .The electrate is not ready for truth .They only want to know that a party promises something good for them , like the Liberals tax free £10,000 .It doesn’t matter to most how it is going to be paid for.That is for another day .That is how Labour got away with 13 years of waste .Even now they have a hard core of supporters who will vote for them irrespective of the damage they have done and the damage to come. Unfortunately the cuts when they come will fall on the public sector , because though needed they are the unproductive sector that takes government money i.e taxes.The sector that is productive, the private sector, can not sustain such a large public sector and OAP’s like myself .Or at least not on the current levels of expenditure.Any offerings or incentives have to be aimed at the private sector and wealth creation.The public sees this as making the rich get richer yet who will they blame when they are jobless and forced to take menial low paid work because there is nothing there to pay benefits .
    It is time to take off the rose coloured glasses and get real.

  7. Saltaire Sam says:

    I agree, it is time to get real. But there is an alternative to cuts – taxes. The speculators who created this mess have walked away with millions – get it back.

    We have footballers in this country who earn almost as much in a day as a nurse earns in a year. Get them taxed.

    People earning over £150,000 a year can afford to pay even more than 50% and still live in luxury compared to most of us. Those earning over a million, can certainly spare a few bob without having to give up their third and fourth homes.

    It’s not about envy it’s about fairness and how we value certain jobs.

    A woman on the radio today complained that she is hard working so why did she have to pay 50%. I notice she didn’t complain that at the moment she pays 0.1% of her weekly wage as VAT on a £20 item while someone working equally hard for £10k pa pays 1.6%. Where’s the fairness in that?

    1. adrian clarke says:

      Saltaire i pity you .You are a true Socialist (i could join you in the belief of fairness).I pity you because you have no real party to vote for.The only way we could get real fairness is in a non corrupt Socialist society, but it will never come. So instead join me and vote Tory as the only chance to get us out of the mess we are in ;)

    2. Saltaire Sam says:

      Kind of you, Adrian. And I’m sure you mean well. Of course you are right – I have been left without a party – if anything the greens come closest but until we get PR, they have no hope.

      As to voting tory – I’d rather stick red hot pins in my eyes. They stand for the privilege and capitalist unfairness that I find compeltely unacceptable.

      They never really change. Currently they are happily talking about cutting social benefits but won’t consider dropping their pledge to give £200,000 to the richest families in the country – including Mr Cameron and Mr Obsborne – on inheritance tax. And that is a benefit on which often no tax has been paid because it is based on the rise in house prices, not any work the family has done.

      They have always been the party of the privileged few and they always will be. The sad thing is that so many decent, hard working people of quite modest means are taken in by them

  8. GARETH says:

    As a severely disabled person I decided seven years ago that I probably would never vote again. The political and economical events of the past two years have consolidated my decision. Is it morally fair and right for people who are genuinely severely disabled from birth and in receipt of means tested benefits, not to be allowed to financially gain from a small inheritance left to them by a family member, solely as a result of the government’s means tested system? I asks this question especially in the light of the MPs. expenses scandal and the effect of the globe’s financial crises will undoubtedly have on our public services for at least another ten years .From Gareth.

    1. adrian clarke says:

      Gareth it is a sad fact , that because you are in a minority , that nothing/or little is done for you.I had a similar problem when my wife was alive , fighting for disablement benefits she was entitled to and for a carers allowance .Sad to say it took five years to achieve and broke her spirits to the extent i believe it bought forward her death.
      I feel there is no party that you can justify voting for on the basis of what will they do for me .My only objection to anyone not voting , is that they then have no right to criticise anything that government does

  9. John says:

    I have always been uncomfortable with the concept of profiting from care. In light of the Ch.4 discussion aired Sunday 2nd May on what we are not being told it appears that funding for care is no doubt vulnerable to cuts. In light of that inevitable fact it seems difficult to envisage any continuing business model seeking to profit from caring for the vulnerable. This sector must evolve to not-for-profit models.

  10. julie p says:

    i am terribly worried about the ramifications of the cuts – my husband and i both work in the public sector, but with mortgage payments and supporting four children life is already a struggle. The public sector isn’t better than the private sector – better pensions but no possibility of bonuses – and who in the private sector wants to employ someone with a disability?. At least the public sector is more accommodating for some minorities. To face the possibility of losing our jobs, and home (which would happen with pay cuts, never mind unemployment), never mind bringing in means testing for child benefit (as we don’t qualify for any other state help). Why can’t political parties be totally honest about what we are facing, so we can face up to what is going to happen and plan..fast.

  11. Ernest Bull says:

    I really do hope for a coalition.

    I am old enough to remember WW2 and its National Government. There was an unshakable determination to win the war, and party politics was put aside while they did it. Churchill assembled a War Cabinet with the people who could do the jobs that needed doing. Ultra right wing tories, centre road liberals and raving red socialists worked together like a Swiss watch they beat the Hun.

    They had to. It was no good coming second.

    The current threat is every bit as big as WW2,

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