Our Director John O'Connell had a letter published in yesterday's Evening Standard. He called for politicians to come clean about the scale of spending reductions needed after the Election.
Ed Balls writes that “Osborne thinks he can pull the wool over people’s eyes”. They’re both politicians fighting an election, so neither is coming clean with the public about the steps needed to mend the public finances.
The Office for Budget Responsibility says spending as a share of GDP will come down to 35.2 per cent by 2020. That means spending cuts will have to be made.
But we don’t hear any honesty about how it will be done. The TaxPayers’ Alliance produced a costed spending plan this week with more than 20 policies that would save £50 billion a year by 2020. Some of it would be easy — scrapping HS2, for instance – but some of it, like changes to pensions and benefits, much tougher.
That is the reality of the situation we face: spending is too high. If politicians don’t like our programme then they need to tell the public what they would do instead.