Sunday, 20 September 2009

No slash and burn but planned cuts

Planning to save rather than slash and burn cuts is what Nick Clegg has set out at the Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth. And today it's the turn of the central bureaucracy which is far too top heavy. His proposals include cutting the number of MPs to 500 from 638.

On the wider programme of saving we, all politicians, must not stick our heads in the sand and pretend that life has not changed. The country's debt is rising - fast - and any party that pretends otherwise is not being real.
That's why Nick is right to set out now that cuts - some deep - will be required to make the books balance. By doing it this way, in advance, we can seek the support of those who know best, those who run the services, about ways to reduce spending in an organised and structured way that protects the services that matter most and ditches those that don't make sense.

Too often we make last minute, slash and burn cuts. What Nick has set out is a sensible way to proceed. Of course the Conservatives are wrong to propose cuts now when economic recovery is the priority but cuts will be needed in future as the fruits of that recovery will not be sufficient to cover the debt as Labour pretends.

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