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Are these the Coalition's five biggest policy troubles?

Tim Montgomerie

Screen shot 2011-01-23 at 16.28.43 In my Sunday Telegraph column I highlight the five biggest problems for Andy Coulson's successor:

  1. Cuts: "Contrary to what you might think, spending is still going up – by 3 per cent more than inflation in the past year. For all the frenzied talk of cuts, none have yet bitten."
  2. Strikes: "As the cuts bite, the strikes will start – but such disruption should worry Ed Miliband as much as David Cameron. The Labour leader has warned union barons to remember the 1980s, when the likes of Arthur Scargill reinforced Margaret Thatcher’s Iron Lady status. Tory MPs and commentators, often diffident about Cameron, will rally to his side if he equalises the pay, pensions and job security of the public and private sectors. That would be easier if the Coalition had modernised trade union laws: Cameron and Boris Johnson have complained that it’s too easy to authorise strikes."
  3. Inflation: "Whether it’s a can of petrol or the veg for Sunday lunch, nearly everything is getting more expensive. Interest rates of 2.5 per cent are probably necessary to control inflation, but that would torpedo the finances of three million over-borrowed Britons."
  4. Health reforms: "The Coalition has rightly decided that the NHS must become more efficient, but every failure will now be blamed on Andrew Lansley’s reforms."
  5. Police and prison numbers: "The Justice Secretary’s attempts to revolutionise rehabilitation programmes are essential, but he doesn’t understand the public anger at the failure to jail repeat offenders. If his community sentences fail, the tabloids will be unforgiving."

Read the full column.

Have I got the right list?

Most importantly though for Mr Coulson's successor is what I say at the end of the column:

"There’s nothing he (or she) can do to change the fact that the Coalition will be very unpopular for at least two years. Success will consist of keeping the two parties together during bad times. MPs and journalists will be loyal and enthusiastic if they see skilful implementation of a long-term plan. But what is that long-term plan? Answering that is priority number one."


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