This may hurt a little

June 8, 2010

Britons are being prepared for the hardest of hard times. Prime Minister David Cameron has warned the public that they will feel the impact of deficit-cutting decisions for years and maybe even decades. Cameron justifies the pain by saying that doing nothing about debt would be disastrous and that Britain will come out of the other side as a stronger country.

His finance minister George Osborne and LibDem sidekick Danny Alexander were setting out plans on Tuesday for how to conduct this year’s spending review, with  unions, the public and the private sector asked to contribute ideas.

Former Canadian finance minister Paul Martin told Reuters that the key to his country’s 1990s deficit cuts was being honest with people about what was to go.

The problem Cameron and his coalition may face is that spending cuts seem justified — as long as it’s someone else’s benefits or perks that are being pruned.

Where would you swing the axe to help cut the budget deficit?

4 comments

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drop the axe on benefits, I accept people have to eat but give them food vouchers not cash and certainly not valid for alcohol, cigarettes & petrol. Why should people live a better life churning out kids and drawing the dole than those who have to work for living.
In government it would appear that bureaucracy is the source of overspending – do away with the paperwork and the people who generate it when it doesn’t add value to the project.
Finally make Britain less attractive to economic migrants.

Posted by Sligoboy | Report as abusive

Overseas aid is the area that must be cut back…even though it is supposedly ringfenced. We have been pumping money into emerging economies since WWII. It has to stope.

Posted by ToryNeil | Report as abusive

Sligoboy seeks, rightly, to do away with bureaucracy that fails to add value.
One reason why bureaucracy has mushroomed is because so much of daily life has become so absurdly complicated.
If daily life, for everyone, were drastically simplified, so much of the bureaucracy could be done way with. and most of us would feel a lot better for it.
VAT is a good example. The cost to taxpayers of charging and controlling five different categories of VAT is enormous. A single rate on everything would be easy to understand for everybody and economical to charge and control.
Everyone knows the arguments for variable rates. They don’t hold up when deficit reduction is the imperative. My guess, pure guess, is that a blanket VAT rate of 12%, on EVERYthing, would punch a significant hole in the deficit without crippling aggregate demand. Now that would be a big help!

Posted by guykguard | Report as abusive

cuts could be made in the following areas, Child benefit limited to say 2 children/pregnancys. Child trust funds abolished, normal families encourage saving anyway and the rest of them spend it on cigarettes and alcohol. Abolish EMA. I work for the NHS and the list of savings there is emense, eg community loans, its diecusting all the equipment we are telling patients to put on the tip when they have finished with it, comodes, zimmer frames, walking sticks etc. also dressings that now can not be re-used, so thousands of pounds worth of unused dressings that get thrown away,cuts could also be made in management positions and trust re designs. The benefit system needs a complete overhall and I am sure if you asked for a small donation of every person employed and unemployed that would generate some much needed income if it meant the country was going to get back on track. Well done the goverment for asking the people that how we feel cuts could be made rather than leaving it completely to people that have not got a clue whats going on in our lives

Posted by rie3303 | Report as abusive