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Darling To Cut Public Spending, Admitting Difficult Choices Lie Ahead

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/ju...nding-clampdown

Cabinet ministers were last night served notice by the Treasury of a tough clampdown on public spending as Alistair Darling outlined three key areas for economic policy before the general election.

The chancellor said the government should make health, education, transport and housing its four spending priorities as it seeks to reduce a budget deficit forecast to balloon to a record £175bn this year.

In an interview with the Guardian, the chancellor said: "We are going to be moving into a difficult environment. We have choices to make and some of them will be difficult." Darling declined to be drawn on which spending projects would face the axe, and said a belief in the impact that good public services had on the quality of life helped differentiate Labour from the Conservatives. But he added that every household knew that during tough times having more of one thing meant having less of something else. "Governments face the same challenge."

After being left in his post after last week's Cabinet reshuffle, Darling said he had three aims: to ensure the government delivered on its anti-recession strategy; to put the public finances on a sustainable footing; and to help diversify the economy away from financial services.

The Treasury predicted in April's budget that the economy would contract by 3.5% this year – the biggest annual decline since 1945. But Darling said he was encouraged by some of the recent evidence suggesting that the economy was through the worst of the recession. "I am confident but I am still cautious. A number of indicators are showing confidence is coming back.

"But there are reasons to be cautious. The European economy and some of its member states are being hit a lot harder than was thought."

The chancellor also expressed concern that a rising oil price could choke off recovery.

Darling said the government needed to ensure that pledges by Britain's banks to resume lending to homeowners and businesses should be met in full. He said he wanted the asset protection scheme for toxic loans to be implemented and improvements made to Job Centre Plus, the scheme to help the jobless find work.

"Unemployment will carry on rising this year and next, and we must step up our efforts to get people back into work."

Darling said that borrowing would be allowed to rise in order to soften the impact of the recession, but that action would be needed to make the ­public finances sustainable in the medium and long term.

Darling admits spending cuts, Brown won't like that one bit.

It looks like people may now be standing up to Brown, too late to make any real difference.

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The chancellor said the government should make health, education, transport and housing its four spending priorities as it seeks to reduce a budget deficit forecast to balloon to a record £175bn this year.

In an interview with the Guardian, the chancellor said: "We are going to be moving into a difficult environment. We have choices to make and some of them will be difficult." Darling declined to be drawn on which spending projects would face the axe, and said a belief in the impact that good public services had on the quality of life helped differentiate Labour from the Conservatives. But he added that every household knew that during tough times having more of one thing meant having less of something else. "Governments face the same challenge."

there goes the recovereh ?

I may be wrong on this, but the problem in my head with all this talk of reigning in spending, is that the three areas where politically it's difficult to make a material difference ie policiticians are scared of making cuts [education, health and welfare] take up the lion's share of govt. spending.........and it's not as if reigning in of spending [or effeciiency savings as the tories like to say] can't be made in areas such as education.

it's just politicially more convenient to target other areas because of the PR factor.

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Methinks we will very shortly see Alan Johnson in a popularity boosting scrapping of ID cards on the grounds that they are not one of the spending priorities, and the replacement for Trident is likely to be scrapped to buy off the CND element of the labour backbenches (the missiles shouldn't be worn out anyway; its not as if they are fired off every day and it only seems like 5 minutes ago that they replaced Polaris).

Edit to add once those particular foxes are shot, then the Tories are left with two options; drastic cuts in public sector manpower and/or public sector pay. They will do both. The important thing for them is not to do this at the same time as announcing a tax cut for the very rich. So it looks like 50% will stay (although I expect the high earners pensions nonsense and ees NIC rise will go)

Edited by bagsos

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Guest KingCharles1st

education education education!

-"I thank you" :P

....I'll get me' coat.

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Methinks we will very shortly see Alan Johnson in a popularity boosting scrapping of ID cards on the grounds that they are not one of the spending priorities, and the replacement for Trident is likely to be scrapped to buy off the CND element of the labour backbenches (the missiles shouldn't be worn out anyway; its not as if they are fired off every day and it only seems like 5 minutes ago that they replaced Polaris).

Edit to add once those particular foxes are shot, then the Tories are left with two options; drastic cuts in public sector manpower and/or public sector pay. They will do both. The important thing for them is not to do this at the same time as announcing a tax cut for the very rich. So it looks like 50% will stay (although I expect the high earners pensions nonsense and ees NIC rise will go)

Spending priorites = areas that will be cut.

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(the missiles shouldn't be worn out anyway; its not as if they are fired off every day and it only seems like 5 minutes ago that they replaced Polaris).

The issue with Trident is we share our missiles with the Septics, so if they replace theirs, we're in a tight spot.

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Start by cutting benefits.

If you lose your job and can't get another for 10 years (likely) will you be happy for them to do that?

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If you lose your job and can't get another for 10 years (likely) will you be happy for them to do that?

YES> been there before.

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Darling admits spending cuts, Brown won't like that one bit.

It looks like people may now be standing up to Brown, too late to make any real difference.

It's all to late the Labour party will become extinct, Labour voters want cheap house prices it's

middle class Tories that want high house prices.

Labour are finished.

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If you lose your job and can't get another for 10 years (likely) will you be happy for them to do that?

If everyone was out of work for 10 years, I think we'd have a lot more to worry about than a weekly benefit payment. :ph34r:

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So are they just getting in ahead of the Tories with the required medicine? Or is it just more talk and bluster?

Precisely.

Why vote Tory when Labour (who have just saved the world banking system and the economy) are making cuts. That will be the line. Gordon can't do a thing about it now Darling can't be sacked.

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Because Brown is so weak that he couldn't replace them, Darling and Milliband will do what they want now.

If Brown tries to stop them then Johnson is in place to take over.

Brown survives but in a much weaker position - he is finished.

The worry for the Tories is that without "mad" Brown's autocratic style and energy spent on undermining colleagues, Labour might actually talk about problems and manage things a bit better.

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So are they just getting in ahead of the Tories with the required medicine? Or is it just more talk and bluster?

I doubt they'll actually want to deliver the medicine since it'll be unpopular - they'll leave that to the Tories. They'll make noises about cuts, but dare not cut where it hurts (and is necessary). They've only got a year at the most to hold out.

When the Tories get in and make the necessary cuts, then Labour's message will be simple: "the Tories are the party of spending cuts and incapable of doing anything, while only Labour is progressive enough to invest in all our futures". Of course by that time nobody will be listening to them.

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Spin,spin,spin, people are sick to effing death of spin and LIARS, just get on , roll your sleeves up and do the f_cking job you bunch of lame tw@ts.

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Scrap unemployment benefit after 3 months-if you can't find work by then, you are probably just a lazy dullard in need of motivation.

Scrap incapacity benefit and return to disability compensation rooted in reality

Scrap child allowance-if you need it, you shouldn't have them.

Secondary education should be subject to an annual payment of say £1000- anything free generally has no regard and would assist in combating truancy.

Scrap redundant Departments such as Communities, Education and Culture.

Pull out of Afghanistan and advise NATO/ UN our contribution will henceforth be commensurate with our standing i.e. on par with the Germans or Spanish.

Scrap the NHS.

Frankly saving taxpayers from socialist follies is not really that difficult.

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I doubt they'll actually want to deliver the medicine since it'll be unpopular - they'll leave that to the Tories. They'll make noises about cuts, but dare not cut where it hurts (and is necessary). They've only got a year at the most to hold out.

When the Tories get in and make the necessary cuts, then Labour's message will be simple: "the Tories are the party of spending cuts and incapable of doing anything, while only Labour is progressive enough to invest in all our futures". Of course by that time nobody will be listening to them.

Spot on. The whole of Labour's agenda over the last year has been aimed at one date - spring '10 General Election - with no planning for what comes afterwards. What does this tell us? They don't think they're going to win it, so it's worth the risk on their part as a win with a ******ed economy is better than losing. They're basically risking the UK for the sake of a five year extension to couple of hundred political careers.

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If everyone was out of work for 10 years, I think we'd have a lot more to worry about than a weekly benefit payment. :ph34r:

I'd be fine, financially at least. I will survive, hey, hey.

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