By Charlie Elphicke MP.
Rather than the predicted carnage, today’s comprehensive spending review will seek to protect public services. As best possible in the current difficult circumstances.
The numbers indicate that we see a real terms cut of 10% over the course of this Parliament. Yes, public spending will continue to rise each year in straight cash terms – see graph below for how things are expected to shake out. Yet in real terms, spending will reduce 2% or so a year over the Parliament.
What makes a great difference is the spiralling debt and debt interest payments. The Chancellor is moving at speed to eliminate the borrowing that is due to Labour’s fiscal incontinence rather than the recession. Even so, it will take the current Parliament to achieve and debt interest payments will still rise from £43Bn this year to £67Bn a year by the end of the Parliament.
It’s worth reflecting that we would likely have seen real public spending rises over this Parliament had it not been for the excessive borrowing and interest bill left to us by Labour overspending that has nothing to do with the recession. This reality is small comfort to the Dover border guardian who keeps the nation safe, whose job is under threat. Likewise, the Kent rail commuter facing fare rises, the person on benefits who will be under greater pressure or the middle class couple who will lose child benefit. That’s why we must at every turn hammer home the message that these are Labour’s cuts. And why Labour should take responsibility and say sorry.