Insights from the UK and beyond
Where would you cut public spending?
Vows by Labour and the Conservatives to protect the NHS from spending cuts will require tax hikes or cuts to other areas, a new report shows.
Promises to “ring-fence” health spending in the lead-up to the next election — to be held before June — might lead to cuts of about 8 percent in other departments over the next six years, say researchers at the King’s Fund and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Alternatively, sizeable tax hikes could be in store as the next government tries to tackle the largest public deficit since the Second World War.
The deficit, forecast to rise to 175 billion pounds this year, has put public spending at the forefront of political debate.
In its equation, researchers posit that the government would have to raise the equivalent of 340 pounds for each family in the country if it were to restrict spending cuts to other departments to 2 percent, while freezing the NHS budget.
Despite being in the midst of a deep recession, the two main political parties have said they will “ring-fence” most spending.
Does this make sense in the current economic climate? From which departmental budget would you cut public spending?