New book on the key debate of the election: 'How to Cut Public Spending (and Still Win an Election)’

March 26, 2010 9:22 AM

HTCPS “The pressing need to cut public spending will be an overriding theme of the coming election campaign. The promptness, extent and nature of the savings made will be the defining issue for the incoming government. This timely book provides some useful pointers.”

- Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer

“The British economy has a problem of too much public spending not too little taxation. Public spending can be cut and this book shows how. A cracking read on how the fiscal landscape could yet be transformed. We ignore it at our peril.”

-       Graeme Leach, Chief Economist & Director of Policy, Institute of Directors

“An indispensable guide to the kind of steps we need to take to get to grips with excessive public spending, the biggest economic challenge facing Britain today. This book is a must for anyone who wants to understand how the next government could tackle the fiscal crisis.”

-       Allister Heath, Editor, City A.M.

In How to cut public spending, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) – Britain’s independent campaign for lower taxes and better public services – presents the most thorough investigation yet of this vital issue and a plan to turn things around. If there’s one book people should read before the election, it’s this one on the key political debate of the year.

Edited by Matthew Sinclair, TPA Research Director, it includes a detailed examination of the records of the major parties and sets out a detailed programme of £50 billion of potential cuts and essential reforms to ensure taxpayers get better value for money. Expert authors from around the world set out their experience of what it takes to successfully get a country’s public finances in order.

The Government is spending more than £5 for every £4 it raises in taxes, racking up hundreds of billions in new debts. The recession has exposed the parlous state of the public finances. Politicians’ irresponsible borrowing threatens to create a new economic crisis, driven by excessive, wasteful spending. If serious cuts aren’t made then Britons face years of tax hikes and economic decline. All the major parties are planning to cut spending but none of them have set out a credible programme to make the tens of billions of cuts needed.

To summarise some of the key new research findings in the report, the TPA has produced three research notes:


  • 2010 to 2020: the £573 billion budget crunch sets out the cumulative burden that is set to be imposed by the combination of a necessary fiscal adjustment and government policies requiring expensive investments which will push up bills.  Download the research note here.

  • The fiscal and economic case for localism provides new estimates from Mike Denham, TPA Research Fellow and former Treasury and City economist, of the potential improvement in public sector efficiency – saving as much as £70 billion – and economic growth – a boost of 0.5 per cent each year – from fiscal decentralisation.  Download the research note here.

  • Identifying Organisations to Cut sets out a list of organisations that could be abolished entirely under the TPA’s recommendations to cut spending and get the public finances under control.  Download the research note here.


Matthew Sinclair, Research Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance and editor of the book, said:

“Irresponsible government borrowing is threatening to cause a new economic crisis and taxpayers are already struggling after a decade of tax hikes. Spending needs to be cut but politicians but have been slow to face up to the scale of the crisis and outline a credible plan to get the public finances under control. The new book presents a detailed programme of potential cuts that would save tens of billions while ensuring that essential services could still be provided. It also sets out other reforms that would make it easier to deliver cuts in spending without creating a political crisis.”

Matthew Elliott, Founder and Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:

“The TaxPayers’ Alliance was ahead of the curve on the damage being done by Gordon Brown’s overspending, and we have also led the debate on how government spending can and should be cut after the election. ‘How to cut spending (and still win an election)’ is set to be the most important policy book of the election period. I congratulate Matt, our research team and the outside contributors for their insightful analysis which deserves to be followed by whichever party wins the general election.”

HTCPS “The pressing need to cut public spending will be an overriding theme of the coming election campaign. The promptness, extent and nature of the savings made will be the defining issue for the incoming government. This timely book provides some useful pointers.”

- Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer

“The British economy has a problem of too much public spending not too little taxation. Public spending can be cut and this book shows how. A cracking read on how the fiscal landscape could yet be transformed. We ignore it at our peril.”

-       Graeme Leach, Chief Economist & Director of Policy, Institute of Directors

“An indispensable guide to the kind of steps we need to take to get to grips with excessive public spending, the biggest economic challenge facing Britain today. This book is a must for anyone who wants to understand how the next government could tackle the fiscal crisis.”

-       Allister Heath, Editor, City A.M.

In How to cut public spending, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) – Britain’s independent campaign for lower taxes and better public services – presents the most thorough investigation yet of this vital issue and a plan to turn things around. If there’s one book people should read before the election, it’s this one on the key political debate of the year.

Edited by Matthew Sinclair, TPA Research Director, it includes a detailed examination of the records of the major parties and sets out a detailed programme of £50 billion of potential cuts and essential reforms to ensure taxpayers get better value for money. Expert authors from around the world set out their experience of what it takes to successfully get a country’s public finances in order.

The Government is spending more than £5 for every £4 it raises in taxes, racking up hundreds of billions in new debts. The recession has exposed the parlous state of the public finances. Politicians’ irresponsible borrowing threatens to create a new economic crisis, driven by excessive, wasteful spending. If serious cuts aren’t made then Britons face years of tax hikes and economic decline. All the major parties are planning to cut spending but none of them have set out a credible programme to make the tens of billions of cuts needed.

To summarise some of the key new research findings in the report, the TPA has produced three research notes:


  • 2010 to 2020: the £573 billion budget crunch sets out the cumulative burden that is set to be imposed by the combination of a necessary fiscal adjustment and government policies requiring expensive investments which will push up bills.  Download the research note here.

  • The fiscal and economic case for localism provides new estimates from Mike Denham, TPA Research Fellow and former Treasury and City economist, of the potential improvement in public sector efficiency – saving as much as £70 billion – and economic growth – a boost of 0.5 per cent each year – from fiscal decentralisation.  Download the research note here.

  • Identifying Organisations to Cut sets out a list of organisations that could be abolished entirely under the TPA’s recommendations to cut spending and get the public finances under control.  Download the research note here.


Matthew Sinclair, Research Director at the TaxPayers’ Alliance and editor of the book, said:

“Irresponsible government borrowing is threatening to cause a new economic crisis and taxpayers are already struggling after a decade of tax hikes. Spending needs to be cut but politicians but have been slow to face up to the scale of the crisis and outline a credible plan to get the public finances under control. The new book presents a detailed programme of potential cuts that would save tens of billions while ensuring that essential services could still be provided. It also sets out other reforms that would make it easier to deliver cuts in spending without creating a political crisis.”

Matthew Elliott, Founder and Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:

“The TaxPayers’ Alliance was ahead of the curve on the damage being done by Gordon Brown’s overspending, and we have also led the debate on how government spending can and should be cut after the election. ‘How to cut spending (and still win an election)’ is set to be the most important policy book of the election period. I congratulate Matt, our research team and the outside contributors for their insightful analysis which deserves to be followed by whichever party wins the general election.”

Latest Blogs:

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

The sugar tax and the public finances

6:00 AM 05, Dec 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Working for the taxman

6:00 AM 26, Nov 2016 Harry Fairhead

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Further thoughts on the Autumn Statement

4:56 PM 24, Nov 2016 James Price

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Have we had too much austerity?

10:57 AM 23, Nov 2016 Alex Wild