A Conservative government's first 100 days
- Immediate cuts: As we learnt last week, a Conservative government won't wait until an emergency budget (promised within fifty days) to start reassuring markets that it is serious about cutting the budget deficit. Cuts will be announced immediately.
- Focus on growth: The big message of the first 100 days will be (and should be) growth and jobs. As discussed yesterday, Cameron cannot afford Obama's big mistake. He must deliver a laser-like focus on getting the economy back in the fast lane.
- Education: Schools reform will be the flagship policy. In order for at least 100 new schools to be up and running by the end of the parliament (breaking open the local authority monopoly of state-funded education) there'll need to be immediate enablement of new education providers.
- Welfare: Welfare reform will also get underway. Although progress in getting the unemployed into work will be hard for the paid-by-results contractors the tough inspection regime will force many people who shouldn't be on benefits to stop claiming. Cutting welfare bills is the number three priority of the next generation of Conservative MPs.
- The transparency revolution: There'll be a rapid move to put government spending and contracts online for public inspection. Conservatives believe that this transparency revolution will produce massive downward pressure on budgets as alternative suppliers offer to undercut existing contractural arrangements when they expire and the public identify wasteful and extravagant spending.
- Cheaper politics. The crackdown on the cost of politics will begin. I predict that the expenses issue will be much bigger in the election campaign than many of our politicians are expecting. This will create pressure for a new Conservative government to act quickly and decisively on the number and cost of politicians and ministers.
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