Monday, May 24, 2010

The first cuts are the shallowest

Goodbye, Child Trust Funds; adios, the Future Jobs Fund; toodle pip, 10,000 university places… I warn you not to be young?

But Kinnockisms aside, let nobody say that these are just ‘cutting waste’ or ‘efficiency savings’. These are real things that the government does for people. Sorry, used to do. (In fact, the line between ‘bureaucracy’ and ‘front-line services’ is often pretty vague, contrary to the pretence of all parties.)

True, plenty of the £6 billion does fall under the ‘efficiency’ heading, but on closer examination a lot of this comes down to cutting local authorities’ budgets and telling them to either reduce waste or take the blame themselves.

But this sum isn’t vast compared with the size of the economy; it’s smaller even than the margin of error in deficit forecasts. The economy (touch wood) does seem to be strengthening to the point at which cuts on this scale aren’t likely to cause a relapse. They won’t be good for the unemployment figures, though.

If you’re not happy with these cuts, brace yourself; if you do like them, start salivating: there’s much, much more to come.

No comments: