Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tories Should Not Be Defensive About Spending Restraint

Public spending will be a key issue in the next few months. I expect it to be one of the main battlegrounds of the next election campaign. And it is a fight the Conservatives should not shy away from. We know what the Labour attack will be - Tory cuts. It was an effective weapon in 2001 and 2005, but its potency has withered in the fallout from the recession. People recognise that the good times are over and belts need to be tightened. But they need to be tightened across government, not just in selected departments. So I viewed Andrew Lansley's pronouncements yesterday with some concern. He said that in order for spending on Health, Schools and International Development to continue to grow, spending across other departments would have to be cut by 10%. I'd like to have been a fly on Liam Fox's wall when he heard what Lansley had said.

The promise to keep growing expenditure on those areas was made in different economic times, and it needs to be scrapped, and scrapped quickly. Each and every government department needs to cut its spending -without exception. No department is operating at optimum efficiency. No government department has programmes which cannot be reduced in size or abolished. Every government department has some fat to trim, and those that say they don't need to get in some new management.

ConHome says that Labour's attack on supposed Tory cuts yesterday have failed to hit home in the media. That doesn't mean the attacks will stop. If anything they will intensify. But Osborne and Hammond need to stick to their guns and promote a policy of financial stability, reduced borrowing and restraint on spending. They have a persuasive case and they need to make it volubly - but volubly across all government departments, not just those with a black spot at the moment.


tomandclaire said...

Would it be sensible for the Conservatives to keep asking how the £15 billion of "efficiency savings" are progressing, that Darling announced in the last budget?

Blue Eyes said...

OMG Mr Dale you have written, two days in a row, the same point as I have made! Why aren't the Shadow Cabinet listening?

Big Mouth said...

Spending cuts need to be promoted within the context of (a currently lacking) vision from Cameron. If they are promoted as a solution/approach in themselves, Labour will draw blood as they have before.

This sort of thing is all about the effectiveness of communication. Steve Hilton will be the deciding factor here.

Jules said...

And we should be making the case that it is not front line services we are talking about. I know of a senior specialist on a six figure salary retiring at 55 on 100% of salary pension and whose package was deliberately manipulated so the final year salary was sixty thousand pounds higher. How many nurses would that pay for?

pete_s said...

Even the BBC knows that the Lab attack is a con (BBC 4 news 6.00pm). When the propoer calculations are done, Lab are also doing a 10% cut. Broon was doing his normal mentalist crap in the commons.

Adam said...

To really get a grip of this, Cameron needs to be fully upfront with the media/public about this issue...

He should openly admit that spending cuts will be an inevitable, and unavoidable, consequence of the economic turmoil.

I'm pretty sure the public would appreciate this level of honesty right now, and there would be a general concensus that spending cuts would be a necessary evil.

Cameron, please be honest and frank about this. Any attempts at shielding or evasiveness will be met with contempt... just be upfront.

Julian the Wonderhorse said...

Can't someone commission a poll to see what people think about upcoming "cuts" to get us out of this debt crisis?

Question like: do you agree with spending cuts in the next 5 years to help reduce the public debt figures? If so, in what areas should the cuts be?

Politicians have got to be honest, and Cameron continually running away from Brown's ridiculous name calling about Tory cuts against his "investment" (aren't you supposed to get a return on investment?) is misleading the public.

He has to stand up and say "there is no alternative".

Plato said...

I think that the more TV time Hammond does the better.

He is a very reassuring looking finance chappy. I find Osborn a bit schoolboyish.

I hope that Cameron keeps his nerve and plays it straight with the public. The 'taking the public for fools' is a very good and entirely valid point.

And nobody likes to feel they are being lied to - especially by someone who has painted themselves as Honest Gordon.

wonderfulforhisage said...

Dave's was elected to 'decontaminate the brand'. How can he be expected to 'get on with the job' when people like you keeping 'banging on' about cuts and things (EU)?

Anyway, he's frightened of frightened horses.

Anonymous said...

The 'Tory Cuts' attack line is a Labour own-goal, since their own Budget plans already outline the cuts in 'investment' they'll have to make. If they deny these in Parliament or in the media, then they are flat-out l
ying. In Parliament, any minister contrasting 'Tory Cuts' with 'Labour Investment' should be brought back and made to apologise for knowingly misleading the House. Every Tory media head should memorise the Budget numbers and be prepared to 'Tractorstat' them at every useful opportunity. The answer to the 'Tory cuts' attack should be,always and everywhere 'Labour Lies',backed up immediately with detailed proof.

John said...

The lie is that there is an automatic direct relationship between cost and output - spend more get more, thus the reverse. Anyone who has been in business will know this is not true, and efficiency - that is : maximum effect at minimum cost - applied and managed properly, maintains or increases output whilst reducing cost.

The biggest controllable cost to any organisation is the payroll.

If the Conservatives had any guts they would sell off the assets and provision of healthcare and education whilst still finding it by public subscription. This would get a substantial number of people off the State payroll.

The target should be a 40% reduction in government spending.

The same target should be set for local government (such as it is). What do ratepayers really need with foreign policy advisers, diversity officers, press officers, outreach officers, etc and glossy colour magazines?

Conservatives : stop politicking; start managing.

Anonymous said...

I think Labour started to come unstuck yesterday when the media got their teeth into this story. If Labour argue that they will be able to keep spending as now then that's patent nonsense. We're staring at a trillion pounds worth of debt! All parties need to be honest about this and the debate should centre on how each promises to address it.

Stronghold Barricades said...

With one exception I agree

The MoD is currently killing our boys because of the restrictive practices of this government and its inability to properly fund its operations

Scott said...

Couldn't agree more Iain.

The negative press reaction is seriously bad news for Labour. Without the ability to frame the election around the issue of Tory cuts they really are done for.

If their spending argument fails to resonate, their whole election strategy falls apart. Their ability to paint Cameron as public relations gloss masking the same old nasty party turns on public support for more spending. This is a gross miscalculation. It plays to a neuralgic fear of swingeing Tory cuts that is simply no longer there. The public know the state of the finances, they know year-on-year increases cannot continue and are ready to listen to an argument for restraint. The public mood has shifted on this issue and Labour simply haven't caught up.

Whatever their internal polling is telling them, cries of ‘Tory Cuts!’ do not play as well as Labour strategists think they do. People just do not buy it. And so the Tories really need to get out in front on this issue. The public are already there. They are braced for spending reductions and want a party that gives it to them straight.

The stifling consensus on public spending that has sustained Labour’s appeal over the last decade is crumbling before our eyes. What we need now is for the Tories to make the argument for spending restraint often, openly, WITH conviction and WITHOUT apology.

Blue Eyes said...

What we need now is for the Tories to make the argument for spending restraint often, openly, WITH conviction and WITHOUT apology.

Could not agree more!

Why is Cameron so scared of Tory convictions? Is he so intent on power that he would be happy to discard his principles? Or does he think the electorate is too stupid to understand so he must slime his way into power as Blair did?

Boo said...

Spending Cuts will happen, (or we will go bankrupt)

Now DC has the choice.

He can make it clear that Gordon's missmanagement has bought us to this point. That like all household round the country dificult decisions will have to be made. He will get a mandate.

Alternative he can avoid the topic. He will be forced into making cuts and the people will go "OMG you never told us about this when we voted for yo." They will go running back to the people that brought us to ruin and I will consider the idoicy of mankind.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Sorry to be a lone voice in the wilderness, but I want cuts. I would vote for a spending cut party - especially one who owns up to that intention. Perhaps it's just me, but I feel we are overgoverned and over taxed.

Daily Referendum said...

Thank God Brown stayed! He has made a right tit of himself again by lying to us about spending.

If Brown jumped out of a burning boat, the idiot would probably miss the water.

Thank you Labour for keeping him.

Nigel said...

It's right that this should be discussed rather than glossed over (which seems to be the current Tory approach).

A little honesty would go a long way with the electorate.

Why Cameron didn't use this week's ONS report on the decline in public sector productivity over the last decade to respond to Brown's 'cuts' smears at PMQs puzzles me.

Conand said...

Oh great Iain, somebody else missing the point entirely,

'ConHome says that Labour's attack on supposed Tory cuts yesterday have failed to hit home in the media.'

These are Labour's proposed cuts, adjusted to protect the NHS budget (protection which Labour refuses to promise).

As supposed gaffes go, I think Lansley has made a good gaffe. Telling the truth about Labour's spending plans=Gaffe...Huh? (Telling the truth is good. Newspeak hasn't entirely taken over, despite the Millionth word.)
I don't really understand why Tim M is gunning for him. Lansley's only mistake was including education in the figures: The Fraser Nelson/IFS figures made no mention of the Education budget.

Blue Eyes said...

WW - you are not alone!

Only stupid people think we can go on increasing the size and power of the state without any negative consequences. Gordon Brown is one of these deluded fools.

moorlandhunter said...

I was listening to BBC radio 4 with Humphries this morning. He had on air a Tory (forget who) and Labour muppet, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne. The Tory was up front on the spending to the NHS and that cuts in line with Labour’s figures would have to take place at some time.
Byrne was like a schoolboy pointing to a lad who farted in church about this, but when put under pressure by Humphries, Byrne could not admit that Labour will have to make cuts of a similar percentage. He did not want to have to admit that fact and his twisting and turning in an effort to evade making an answer were truly pathetic. He could not even answer a simple yes or no, and Hump had to leave the listeners to the mirthful conclusion that because Byrne failed to answer, the answer was, 'No, there will be no cuts by Labour which we all know is an out and out lie.
The whole piece made Byrne look very silly indeed and if this is just one of the new movers and shakers of the Brown Cabinet then it will not be too long before Brown is in deep dodo again.

Thats News said...

The Mirror did a typical Mirro story on it. They seem to be stuck in a timewarp, that lot...

Meanwhile... exactly how special can a Labour Minister be?

But surely this is all just waffle and piffle from wee Jimmy Brown, the prime ministerial clown?

rik said...

Will somebody please ask whether the electorate should believe the promise that labour will not cut expenditure in the same way that they believed the promise that labour would not raise Taxes!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting hearing Paddy Ashdown on the daily politics - his quote on gordon brown's fantasy figures at pmqs -

"deliberately calculated to mislead"

spot on. so why aren't the media splashing that about?

Brown said he had changed - laughably - and he falls at the first hurdle.

I truly hope the public see through his deceptions.

resurgemus said...

If Labour are not cutting spending then it must be yet more tax increases to balance he books.

With the return of the Dark Lord the Tories now will have to pump out twice the levels of attack on the Govt.Tax seems a good place to frame the public spending debate.

Lord M will co-ordinate an attack policy over the next 12 months seeing attack as the best form of defence. See recent announcement of constitutional change.

Tories need to keep up the pressure to stop him getting too comfortable. His weakest points are his mega department - so much that can go wrong and in so many places and his love of flirting with the rich and famous as both have brought him down in the past. Nail him and there is no-one left but Gordon Brezhnev the walking corpse.

javelin said...

Tory Cuts != Labour Efficiency

I say we need to reverse the language and say ...

Tory Efficiency != Labour Overspend

In general we need to focus on efficent front line delivery. More Teachers, Nurses, Policemen and Doctors.

Cutting back on the BBC TV licence would be a good headline figure - back to £100 pounds.

Also "cut-the-quangos", "cut-the CEOs", "cut-the-councils", "cut-the-padded-pensions", "cut-the-jobs-for-life", cut-the(PPP)-contracts" would all be well received. Almost as much as cut-Gordons-throat.

I was listening to the NHS NON-POLITICAL strategist on Radio 4 on Wednesday morning saying. The number of NHS doctors being trained has doubled and you can have EITHER more doctors OR less well paid doctors. So their salaries, a lot of which are bonus based, will have to be reduced so that the new doctors can be employed.

So you have to have more doctors or they wil end up working in Homebase, but you have to pay them less.

For policemen, teachers and nurses cut the red-tape. Politicians need to protect them, make them productive and happy in their jobs, not turn our front-line workers into potetial criminals as New Labour has done.

Ali H said...

What worries me is that there is no talk of protecting the one department that needs it more than any other - Defence. Health and Education have been pumped full of cash that has been wasted on Managers and shiny buildings. Meanwhile the MoD budget has been cut to the bone despite our troops fighting in wars all over the World with inadequate equipment.

I am sure savings can be made at the MoD but they will not fully repair the damage Brown has done, and cuts here will put lives at risk

Anonymous said...

Potentially the worst recession in human history - Brown leads us through it.

The most damaging political scandal in British history - Brown plots a safe course through it.

The most desperate assault on a sitting prime minister's office in living memory - Brown sails through.

Look forward to another term of New Labour.

Dame Celia Molestrangler said...

Anyone with half a brain can see that an economy where the only market is the 50% that is the public sector, is heading for disaster. Where is the wealth creation to support this carbuncle. And money isn't the only thing that we should worry about. Not only will the cupboard in the Treasury be bare, but also think about where we get our energy from.... not a happy thought.

BeenThere&Dunnit said...

The Civil Service needs to be cut back from the bloat the NuLab created. They need to be strengthened and returned to the respected independent status they had pre-Blair. We should also see some serious investigations of the failed IT projects Brown (with HMT and PM hats on) allowed on his watch. Dave needs to tell it like it is and emphasise the ruin that the lies and deceit of NuLab have done to this country and the ordinary people.

Catosays said...

I've said it time and time again. You can not spend your way out of a recession. It's impossible.
And if you've no money then you're pretty bloody daft if you borrow some.
The great British public will respect Dave if he stands up and tells the unpalatable truth. 'Yes, there will be cuts' goes down a lot better than SFB's lies. (You can work out what SFB means yourself...clue...middle word is 'for'

Anonymous said...

The Tories are onto a winner with this - Labour are not being 'disingenuous', they are being dishonest and that should be exclaimed aloud at every opportunity. The Today programme this morning was good - Liam Byrne was terrible (clearly trying to deceive the public) and poor old Humph (no disrespect to him!!) sounded incredulous (a bit like that Paxman interview with Michael Howard). This has got Labour on the back-foot and Landsley has, perhaps inadvertantly, done a good job (although I agree that no area of public spending should be sacrosanct).
The Tories need to press ahead and make some more public statements which will confuse Labour - for example:
ID cards - waste money in the next 12 months if you want but we will reverse it.
Mr Speaker - select Bercow as part of your 'scorched earth' policy if you wish, but we will get rid of him, showing your 'transparency' for what it really is!!

Man in a Shed said...

Iain, The 10% spending cuts are in Labour's spending plans.

This point has been identified by the right's Fraser Nelson here and the um BBC's Stephanie Flanders here.

The issue is Labour lying straight into the microphone when everyone around them knows they are doing it. They assume that the voters will never be intrested enough to figure it out, but we must hold them to account.

We need to explain about the Debt Labour have run up just for the selfish reason of keeping their jobs and how every day when we don't trim our outgoings to meet income is going to make the ultimate reckoning even worse and to accuse Brown of doing this deliberately to ruin the next government.

Man in a Shed said...

@Anon 12:59: "Landsley has, perhaps inadvertantly, done a good job"

You could well be right here ...

Agree with your comments about the Liam Byrne Today interview ( 2hrs 11 mins into Today prog here is anyone wants to listen to the cruel and dishonest deceit of Labour beign exposed ).

little red rooster said...

Excellent - both the Tories and Labour are finally rumbled as wanting spending cuts.

Dale goes one further and advocates cuts in the NHS budget too. No need for Cameron's cabinet to worry - they can afford to go private.

Squiffy said...

I think you're right Iain. It seems like the public have moved on this issue, they now understand that spending needs to be rained in.

The more that GB bangs on about spending rising from £600 billion (although he kept saying millions yesterday - what a muppet) towards £800 bn the country will think that he's lost the plot. So let him keep bleating away, he's his own worst enemy!

GrassyKnollington said...


I agree with your point that the Torys should not shy away from this debate in terms of cuts. Given the levels of, albeit false, growth we enjoyed over the last decade, the idea of cutting spending was political suicide. Now, however, things have firmly gone tits up and the idea of cutting spending now doesn't worry most of us as much as it used to.

I like to use a small business as a microcosm of the UK- if you are in debt, then make your operation more efficient and cut back where possible. Anything which is unnecessary should be slashed. Although maybe simplistic, I feel this is analogy is largely appropriate.

As much as I like him and find him oddly affable, I don't think Osbourne will slash spending to the required extent in order to bring us closer to a sound financial footing. A real Conservative would love the idea of being Chancellor in this climate, somehow I get the feeling Osbourne and the Torys are dreading it.

Anonymous said...

I think what is clear is that the media are seeing right through this, and challenging Labour MPs who cannot do anything other than squirm. This is proof that Labour is ****** for an election strategy. Crying 'Tory cuts' just won't wash because they HAVE to cut too. Brown needs to change the broken record. The question is: can he?

Anonymous said...

The problem is always to get these biog issues down to "man-in-the-street" levels.

Someone on the Speccie website yesterday pointed out that for every £3 you give to this Labour government, they spend it all, then stick another quid on the credit card.

Bill Quango MP said...

You all seem to be missing the danger. It is just too easy to give Labour the argument they want.
Any sensible person realises that the budget deficit cannot continue.
You cannot spend, as currently, £4 of tax for every £3 that is raised.
But where, specifically, do these cuts come from?

its all very well to say from administrators, managers, etc but labour politicians will ask the question Who will do this work? They will argue any cuts come from front line staff, and the unions will back that prediction, exactly as they did in the 80's.

So before long people are hearing that there will be no free ambulances.No free eye tests. Many cleaners will go. Fire services will be more libraries, schools must raise class sizes to 50 pupils. etc etc.

This is the argument that Labour want. An argument where any wild claim will receive publicity, any outrageous falsehood can be parroted and where they can portray themselves as the only true guardians of the nation.
At any time labour can claim a 98% tax on fat cat bankers and execs will balance the books - Corporation tax to 29% - stamp duty to 15% for £300,000+.

It doesn't matter that it doesn't make sense, doesn't balance, doesn't work. Enough people will think it does.

That is the danger. Dave is right to avoid talking about cuts UNTIL Labour's own cuts are clear to everyone, without the spin and the outright lies attached. Then he just announces he will do whatever Labour do.

It isn't brave, but it is clever. Never give your opponent the argument he would pick for himself if he was given the choice.

John M Ward said...

I am reminded of the boy who cried "wolf!" when it comes to Labour's smears of "Tory cuts".

I am pleased that the mainstream media appear to have woken up to this rather obvious lie, especially bearing in mind (and other commenters have mentioned) Labour's own budget. However they try to camouflage their own cuts, they remain cuts.

One vast difference between the political Left and Right is that the Left are obsessed with inputs — spending everyone else's money as an end in and of itself.

Conservatives, with their typically vastly greater real-world knowledge and experience, understand the difference between inputs and outcomes, and aim to maximise the latter at the least (reasonable) cost.

They can be effective managers of an economy, whereas the Left never can be — their narrow-minded and blinkered ideology makes it near-enough impossible.

Anonymous said...

There's a secondary issue with the Tory spending plans which I'm more than a little surprised hasn't received wider attention; of the three "ringfenced" areas, one is international aid.

Forgive me if this seems callous, but in light of the extent of public debt, and the obvious need for reform of British public services, why is a superfluous area of spending such as international aid not the first area of retrenchment?

If people choose to spend such money as Gordon leaves them on charity, so be it, however, I fail to see how government has the moral legitimacy to presuppose that any of us necessarily and automatically want to be charitable, and the in the ways they see fit.

Steve_Roberts said...

Hearing the PM go on at his press conference about how he was planning to go on increasing public expenditure, regardless of the colossal deficit, I was struck by how far removed from reality he is. I am sure I am not alone in beleiving that you can't spend your way out of debt.

Anonymous said...

There will have to be spending cuts after the election - either by the Goverment after they realise there are no more pockets to tax or by the citizen, due to the need to raise taxes to pay back the borrowing. Brown's boast of not reducing spending means is a policy of ever increasing taxes.

Why does Cameron also not emphasise the national security implications of the huge debt burden? We owe this money to someone/something. When you are in debt, you are under their control. This is especially disconcerting if the lender is another country.

Ray Griffin

Siberian Tory said...

Today's media covergae has been very favourable and people aren't being fooled by the Labour party.

I want us to be upfront and clear on this the public deserve not to be treated as fools. I don't want to campaign by hoodwinking

We are in deep crap, Gordon Brown was deliberatly misleading at PMQs and if anything we should be using this as a platform for much needed public sector reform.

Listen up Cameron; the cats out the bag but the public don't care. Let's get on with it.

Anonymous said...

hammond seems to have done well on the tv,we dont want them nutters kavanagh and fraser on, they make the torys look weird

Anonymous said...

Have to agree - why is international aid ringfenced? Especially as we give money to India - who spend it on a space programme, nuclear weapons, and encouraging IT companies to set up there and steal our jobs.

GrassyKnollington said...

Anonymous said...
hammond seems to have done well on the tv,we dont want them nutters kavanagh and fraser on, they make the torys look weird

June 11, 2009 2:52 PM

Agree. Had some concerns about him a few months ago when he and McFall (my MP incidentally) appeared following their showdown with the RBS and BOS honchos. I thought he struggled a bit in terms of his points and appared a bit nervous when being interviewed, however that appears to have subsided and his performance on Newsnight last night was pretty good. He would have looked better if it wasn't for Denham, it appears when Labour are in trouble they call in Denham or Mandelson and as a result, appear less hopeless and come away from the situation fairly unscathed.

Anonymous said...

i thought denham was near hysterical on newsnight - the way he used totally exaggerated language over and over again - like "deep" and "harsh". Hammond was cool, calm, conscise, and most of all, genuine. Denham looked desperate to me - because Labour were exposed fairly rapidly as being deceitful.

Labour are finished - cuts, no cuts, deep cuts, shallow cuts, whatever - they are gone at the next election. The public have had enough of them - no amount of Mandelson's spin will change that.

Siberian Tory said...

"Have to agree - why is international aid ringfenced?"

Honest answer? It's a small amount of money going to a cause the left and the Guardian would quickly attack on.

Tories don't care etc.

Anonymous said...

It's high time the Tories made the case for major and lasting cuts in government spending.

The NHS is a bloated Soviet-style bureaucracy from the 1940s that needs to be scrapped. It doesn't work properly and it never will do. Why should it be a sacred cow?

And as for foreign aid, why not scrap it altogether - and let all countries freely export their goods to the UK? They wouldn't need the aid then.

Come on Mr Cameron, let's have some leadership. Cut spending and taxes - and let people decide for themselves how to spend their money.

Martin said...

The Tory figures are just Government figures. Brown is a lying twat. He lied at the press conference last week when asked about his proposed buts AND he lied in the Commons yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Siberian Tory wote:

"Have to agree - why is international aid ringfenced?"

Honest answer? It's a small amount of money going to a cause the left and the Guardian would quickly attack on.

Tories don't care etc."

June 11, 2009 3:36 PM

They can attack all they want,I really don't see the public giving a hoot frankly. It is plainly indefensible that Overseas Development, of all things, should be immune to cuts in spending given the absolutely dire state of the economy. Our first duty is to our own people and no one else.

neil craig said...

While it would make it more difficult to exploit what I regard as a foolish Labour mistake I have to agree with Iain.

The mistake is for Labour to attack a 10% cut which effectively leaves Labour promising that they will not cut spending at all - ever. This is clearly impossible when we are already borrowing 12.5% of GNP. Labour are very obviously either lying or insane.

The Tory problem is that 10% isn't much more sensible & would certainly mean tax rises & a choking off of growth. The way out is to make no bones about growth being the overriding objective & that this will require much less spending on quangos, nanny statism, windmillery & the rest. They should make the non-productive parts of government the sacrificial lamb & winn by forming what Reagan called "a conspiracy by the bosses & the workers against the rest". They can win with every single government employee voting against them as long as they get a swing among all those who don't like government meddling.

Simon The Bluesman said...

It really is quite simple: When your income has been reduced your mortgage and other financial commitments still have to be paid. What do you do? You reduce your spending on non-essential purchases in order to balance your monthly outgoings. But what do I know, I'm just a businessman who runs a small company and one who is taxed to point where my pips are squeaking.

Roger Thornhill said...

I still cannot understand why the Tories still have their panties in a bunch over this.

Unless state spending is cut DRASTICALLY and the tax burden reduced, we will be sat with a high "friction", bloated State and massive debts that still cannot be repaid. The State is the economy's "dimmer switch" - heat and no light.

I bet we need to cut spending by 10% just to service the new debts incurred in a falling revenue environment, I should not wonder. To increase debt just to "pay the bills" is madness.

As others have said, we have to balance the books and the way to do that is to cut outgoings and make efficiencies where we do spend.

Q: The best people to know how to spend tax revenues are?
A: The taxpayers who earned it.

Solution- cut out the middleman (the state). Reduce then eliminate taxation on employment and keep it on consumption.

The Purpleline said...

I have advised Cameron to make a statement to nail Gordon’s election propaganda attack and cut it to the quick.

The statement should say.

We in the conservative party will match the 7% cuts in public spending from 2011 of the Labour government. If elected sooner, we will forensically examine the Treasury books and publicly show the electorate black holes that may require even more surgery.

We will also hold to account any Treasury official, who has fallen down on the job. And expose the failings of the government ministers responsible

The Purpleline

Anonymous said...

What the Conservatives have to do is take the spending restraint agenda to Labour and expose their lies about having no cuts or spending restraint.

The issue about who is going to cut what and the Conservative party must aggressively challenge Labour to say where they will make cuts and attack them for lying when they say they aren't.

Channel 4 has Labour bang to right on lying about cuts.

C 4 Fact Check

Flemingcrag said...

Labour have friends in very strange places as they continue with their lie to the British people that an ever increasing deficit in the Nation's budget will not mean spending cuts across the Public services.

It is said that Paul Dacre spends a lot of time in the company of Gordon Brown and his Editorial comments generally always find a way to strike a supportive note to New Labour and Gordon in particular.

This is an amended headline from the Mail today; "Labour hints at tax rise if it wins election as Tories let slip plans to slash spending by 10%". The original headline made no mention of Labour thoughts about raising taxes, just Tory cuts. This story has been updated over the course of the day but, carries no signature just attributed to a Mail Reporter. My thoughts are because no self- respecting Reporter would want to be associated with the Editor's desire to push Labour propaganda.

The Mail is not the only newspaper which puts out Government propaganda and in almost all cases the anonymous Reporter is the outlet.

Armchair said...

Using the word restraint would seem to be defensive Iian

Anonymous said...

The problem with Tory cuts is that Cameron is too weak-kneed to cut deep enough. We spend more on providing dole to chavs, housing benefit to Somalis and pensions to public-sector employees with sociology degrees than we do on education, defence and health combined.

To the best and brightest young people, we say "Up yours. Pay for your own education - and if you can't afford it, tough titty". To the scum of the earth, the unemployables, the "asylum seeking" benefit tourists, we say "Please take all our money! And our houses! And all our available resources!".

My gay friend recently asked why I hadn't had children. It seemed to him a commonplace that us heteros should breed. I had to explain that my wife and I can't afford children - we're too busy paying for everyone else's!

neil craig said...

A recent poll on my blog showed the majority of people want a public sector of under 20% of GNP. This ties in well with a Times poll saying only 7% wanted more spending (there are about 6% who simply want the USSR & can never be placated). Currently it is just over 50%. That means if the Conservatives were to frame this in an aspiration to get it down to say 35% Labour couldn't offer anything. Just every time they say "we can't cut nurses" ask them to name a % of GNP they want to spend.

Anonymous said...

I've spoken to a lot of people over the last 2 days about this and the Tories do not need to be apologetic about saying they intend to "balance the books". The public are crying out for politicians who will be responsible with our money and responsible about not lumbering our kids with an impossible mountain of debt.

This is not about "cuts" as part of some political dogma to roll back the frontiers of the State. This is simply about managing within a budget to get us out of debt - this is about spending only what you can afford to. I know we've had a decade of easy credit and living within your means hasn't been "fashionable", but I think we've all been brought crashing down to reality...all of us that is apart from Crash Gordon.

Dave shouldn't castigate his team for telling the truth about the mess we are in and the consequences. The public respect honesty and realism. Gordon Brown is clearly delusional and believes that if he keeps on saying that black is white, eventually the public will believe him. He is wrong - we've seen through him.

The Tories should not apologise or go defensive about being prudent - they should shout it from the rooftops and make it a key plank of their manifesto going forward - it is clearly a huge dividing line between Labour and Conservatives...but if they wobble on this they will lose votes as we need to believe that they know what they are going to do with the economy.

Anonymous said...

Flemincrag -

I agree with the comments made about the Daily Mail editorials. Over a considerable period of time, they have avoided direct criticism of Gordon Brown, and have always painted him as some kind of an honourable victim of circumstance.

The editorial has become a written apologist for Brown, but not necessarily the Labour party.

Brown is at the very dark heart of the rot - PMQs proved that.

Roger said...

I truly despair. The Brown attack on "Tory spending cuts" is based on the Brown assumption that anything spent by Government is good - "scatter seeds on the ground and something will grow". Those of us who have run businesses know that money can be invested for gain, wasted, or (worse) spent on something that reduces value. I know that a large chunk of Govt spending is misspent, but there are no figures to prove it because Govt statistics are useless. A 10% cut in spending is desirable, a larger cut should be the target. The NHS should not be a sacred cow. It is an appalling waste of money. Until people wake up to this fact, it will continue to swallow up a disproportionate amount of the nation's wealth.

Rob said...

But Labour are saying the same about spending restraint and cuts.

The beeb summed it up. The next election will be about Tory cuts versus Labour cuts.

Brown is being dishonest with the people about this.

Dimoto said...

The Tories should probably concentrate on the size of the interest payments on the debt, which would be understood by the public.

The Tory "communications" effort is still light years behind Labour. No Labour Health minister would be allowed to waffle about areas they barely understand, they would just parrot an "authorised formula". Last night Spellman was on QT, up against another solidly Labour packed panel. She is an inadequate, irritating and lightweight spokeswoman at the best of times. I thought Ken Clarke was brought back exactly for his credibility in this type of debate, but Conservative central office just don't seem to get it. They have also singularly failed to influence or open a direct line to ANY newspaper, let alone the broadcast media.
Cameron should stop playing buddies with his communication team and start demanding much more performance on pain of dismissal.

Marian said...

Why oh why doesn't Cameron simply tell the truth which is that in order to balance the UK's books Brown is cynically waiting until after the election to announce either (a) cuts in public spending, or (b) increases in taxes.

neil craig said...

Peter hain got a pretty rough ride from the audience during Question Time when he tried to push the official line that Labour wouldn't have to make cuts.

Dimoto said...

Flemingcrag said...
"Labour have friends in very strange places as they continue with their lie to the British people that an ever increasing deficit in the Nation's budget will not mean spending cuts across the Public services.

It is said that Paul Dacre spends a lot of time in the company of Gordon Brown and his Editorial comments generally always find a way to strike a supportive note to New Labour and Gordon in particular.

My thoughts are because no self- respecting Reporter would want to be associated with the Editor's desire to push Labour propaganda".

He is at it again today, in a long article rubbishing Blears and bigging up the Brownster.

Anonymous said...

Everyone in the country knows we are up to our eyes in debt that will take a generation to pay off. Camerson should be using that to show that we simply cannot afford to keep increasing spending, especially when so much of that spending is on inefficient government bureaucracy and increasing the client state. Labour have managed to persuade people that continued spending increases are acceptable - this is a situation that must be stopped.

TomTom said...

Why don't Tories simply say that we haven't yet paid for the past decade of spending.....and Brown has huge tax increases prepared ....after all VAT will rise before the election.

Even in Germany the DIW Institute is calling for 25% VAT and it was only 16% a year ago

Anonymous said...

"It really is quite simple: When your income has been reduced your mortgage and other financial commitments still have to be paid. What do you do? You reduce your spending on non-essential purchases in order to balance your monthly outgoings."

The problem is that for the country as a whole income and spending are the same thing. As the private sector is already reducing spending, if the public sector does too then the total income goes down, so pushing the end of recession further away.

Once the recession is over, yes, bring the budget back into balance. But trying to balance a budget during a recession is economically illiterate, and would give us a repeat of the 1930s.

Dave S said...

The NHS still remains the great sacred cow, all parties fearful to break ranks and speak of dismantling an organisation that is a byword for waste and inefficiency. When NuLab came to power it cost 40Bn to run, currently heading for 120Bn which is 18% of all government expenditure.

This monolith is the third biggest employer in the world behind the Indian Railways and the Chinese Army, also there is the small matter of the failed 20Bn computer system.

Come on DC, think the unthinkable say the unsayable, we are all grown up boys and girls, we can take it.

Dave S said...

Last year Gordon Brown announced an 'aid' package to India of 825 Million.

Correct me if I am wrong, isn't India a nuclear power, doesn't an Indian firm own Jaguar and Landrover, are we exporting lots of jobs to Indian call centres.

Am I missing something?

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