Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cuts? That's Not A Cut



So Gordo has done a complete U-turn (see here for excellent ConHome vid). He always promised Labour investment, but now he's delivering Labour cuts.

Except that all he actually said was:

"Labour will cut costs, cut inefficiencies, cut unnecessary programmes and cut lower priority budgets. But when our plans are published in the coming months people will see that Labour will not support cuts in the vital frontline services on which people depend."

Hmm.

Costs, inefficencies, and unnecessary programmes - they don't sound much like the kind of the cuts the rest of us are talking about. And they don't sound much like the kind of cuts that would eliminate our £80-£150bn fiscal black hole (eg see this blog).

As all the serious cuts proposals tell us, squeezing the public sector pay bill will be absolutely central to any meaningful programme. But union-funded Labour absolutely cannot undertake such a squeeze. Period.

We are right back to 1979. Labour cannot confront the public sector unions, and the public sector unions - entirely understandably- will not accept a serious squeeze on their members.

At least we only have another 260 days to go.

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