Darling forces ministers to draw up spending hit lists
Spending review begins
Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has asked ministers to start drawing up hit lists to show what their departments will do to slash government spending.
Saddled with massive debt of £178bn and with promises to ringfence spending on education, the NHS, police and overseas development spending, the government needs big cuts from other departments.
In a lengthy interview with the FT Darling would not detail exactly how much he wanted cut from department spending, but neither did he dispute figures from the Institute of Fiscal Studies which suggest cuts of around 16 per cent for non-protected departments.
Ministers are being asked to set targets for 2011 to 2014 and to rank spending priorities. If the Tories win the election, supposedly scheduled for 6 May, they are likely to follow broadly similar cuts, although they have promised to cut deeper and quicker than Darling.
Darling has rejected Tory plans as likely to remove £25bn from the economy while it is still in a fragile state of recovery.
The Chancellor refused to be drawn on whether the UK is out of recession. He said he remained cautious but hopes next week's figures will show continued growth - the Treasury forecast growth of 0.3 per cent for the last quarter of 2009. ®
You understand that the little uptick is not a recovery it's a slowing down of the rate of collapse. Fragile recovery???? Are you shitting me? Did he even say that?
Inflation is above targets and rising. That's because as you print money, the perceived value of sterling drops and so the cost of imports rises which feeds through to prices on an economy that is a net importer like the UK:
You have NOT turned the corner on GDP growth, government does NOT have control over spending and the choices Gordon the Gopher made did NOT get him the blip needed to be elected.
Keynesian economics is incoherent drivel. Print and spend should NEVER have been done. You can magic money out of thin air, but you cannot magic 'value' out of thin air.
1. Bring the troops home from Helmund
2. Scrap the aircraft carrier project. Carriers are to protect surface ships, and we havn't got any.
3. Scrap the arts council. Small beer, I know, but a lot of noise!
4. Scrap the Olympics. I never wanted it anyway
5. Turn remaining RAF camps in Lincolnshire into housing for asylum seekers. Stop paying rent to private landlords for them
6. Scrap the NHS IT & ID card schemes.
7. Double road tax on Lorries, to get goods back on the railways. charge a per-dieum road tax for foriegn lorries while in the country
8. Tear up the treaty of rome and tell the EU to get stuffed for their money
9. Tell the welsh and scots that if they want full independence they can have it, otherwise we are going to shut down their toy parliaments and scrap the barnett formula while we are at it.
10. Charge parents for schooling used as child minding. Stop giving them vouchers.
11. Charge for NHS maternity care. Pregancy is not a disease.
12. Increase unemployment pay but require at least two days a week of community service organised by unemployed managers
13. Tax all bankers at 100% on earnings above 700K
14. Double the road tax for second cars in a household.
15. scrap income tax. Put it /all/ on VAT. Including local VAT for local taxes. You can't have a black economy if people aren't paying income tax.
16. Tax banks on the difference between deposit rates and loan rates
17. All able-bodied adults to be recruited into snow clearing teams in the winter. Each team resonsible for 1 day in 5 of pavement and road clearing using their own shovels. The army to do bits between towns.
18. double VAT on satellite TV subscriptions and films not made in the UK.
19. Legalise and tax all drugs
20. Legalise and tax brothels.
and next week, my plans for invading Mars!
How much money is the government spending...
...on Windows, MS Office and associated licenses? I'd wager a fair packet could be saved by switching to OpenOffice, even if they stick to the same OS. And I'd be a *very* disgruntled tax payer if I learnt my tax cash was being spent on pointless upgrades of XP/Office 2003 to Windows 7/Office 2010!
As has already been pointed out, the ID cards scheme should appear near the top of the scrap heap...