Monday, May 24, 2010
The first cuts aren't the deepest
Posted by David Smith at 01:00 PM
Category: Thoughts and responses

In opposition the Conservatives promised to find 12 billion of efficiency savings in the first year, plough half of them back into "frontline" services and end up with a net 6 billion of cuts. In the event, the coalition has found savings of 6.2 billion, ploughed 500m back, to be left with a net 5.7 billion.

Are they efficiency savings? The Treasury's press notice calls them waste, but is a freeze on most civil service recruitment cutting waste, or just cutting numbers? Most of the rest appear to be cuts in programmes or contracts. That's no bad thing, but it is sensible to be honest about this from the start. These cuts won't derail the recovery, though using them to defer planned tax increases next year means the upcoming spending review has to work that much harder. More details here.