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Abolish the post of Executive Mayor which will not only save councils money but also amount to a restoration of democracy.

Abolish Regional Development Agencies and cut Corporation Tax instead. Let's cut business taxes and race our competitors to the bottom. Better to get 10% of something than 30% of nothing.

imagine in we got 50.1+% of the vote. mandate mandate and more mandate. here's hoping.

A large Conservative majority should be seen as a green light. This should be made clear then voters can make a clear distinction between borrowing to extend the life of bad government debt, or a new start and an attempt to claw the debt back and eventually bring the burden of taxation down.

Retain and enhance the role of executive mayors, which will not only save taxpayer money, but also restore faith in local democracy. . . .

I agree that a large majority should be taken as a green light to make bold reforms that this country needs. Of course we need to do what's best for the UK, regardless of what that course of action is.

Raj.That large majority is I fear just an illusion. I think the race is tighter than many think and that of all possibilities a hung parliament is the most likely.

"George Osborne wants mandate from voters for specific spending cuts"

Ok, George now it is time to set out your to do list. Specific means clearly named. We need to know were the axe is going to fall. The ID cards is a good start, What about Euro-fighter? Is that to go the way of TSR2?
The Scottish and Welsh assemblies (please).
Can we cut the pay of the labour opposition? After all they will certainly deserve it.
All those .gov Quangos and organisations.
Public sector pensions? The new deal? There is quite a list before anyone who knows the price of eggs will even start to wince. How much has Labours attempt to make a majority dependant on them., been a factor in the disproportionate growth of the public sector.
How big is the Welfare state really? not the fiddled figures but the whole darn lot the disabled the working poor on tax credits., the National Health which is awful now thanks to Labour. Can the disabled please have the option to buy privately? George its time to set out your stall, even if that means scaring a few folk.

Abolish the Learning and Skills Council(LSC) and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS)
Reduce both The NHS budget and Education Budget BUT no front line staff to be made redundant. Force cuts amongst the countless advisers,co-ordnators,programme directors etc etc

"Abolish the post of Executive Mayor which will not only save councils money but also amount to a restoration of democracy."

Of course - what could be more undemocratic than electing the head of your local authority? Would you be a councillor by any chance?

Robert @ 18:46 - I'm not a councillor. Dogshit and wheelie bins? No thanks.

I am however a resident of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Lewisham and am subject to the benign dictatorship of executive mayor Sir Steve (seven figure salary and gold-plated pension) Bolluck.

My understanding is that generations of rules/laws developed over the ages to make council meetings open (and accountable) to the public were destroyed in moments when that transparency was replaced by opaque 'cabinet' local authority government.

Without accountability, discussion of anything else is pointless.

Jack Stone -
"Raj.That large majority is I fear just an illusion. I think the race is tighter than many think and that of all possibilities a hung parliament is the most likely."

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Even if Labour win this election (which I seriously doubt. A hung parliament is possible but I really don't see it), then another 5 years will result in nothing more than five further years of decay and stagnation, with nothing more than Gordon Brown and his current array of misfits. No new ideas, nothing.
The election AFTER those five years would be a wipeout.
I think even you can (and should) acknowledge that staying in power too long is a political death sentence. You should be welcoming a Labour defeat so that their process of renewal can begin.
Even if you don't agree with me now, I think you will in the future.

"George Osborne wants mandate from voters for specific spending cuts"

So specify George, lets please have an end to speeches long on rhetoric and short on detail.

I got the very strong impression both Osbourne and Cameron were considering cancelling Trident II and the new Aircraft Carrier orders.

A very serious mistake.

Osbourne mentioned "Reconsidering Procurement" and there was some very uncomfortable nods, smiles and body-language between Cameron and Fox during the main speech.

Doing so would save less than £1 billion a year for trident and the Aircraft Carriers are a one-off cost of £2 billion each - and will not need replacing for 20 years.

Without it, our fleet has no air cover and is practically defenceless. The Navy has contracted by over 50% in the last 12 years and is barely able to function at all. There are more mothballed ships in Portsmouth Harbour now than commissioned ones.

Defence is the first priority of any government. Attack MoD largesse and waste in Whitehall; not the frontline defence of our islands.

If Cameron goes ahead with this he will suffer a rebellion which will make the Grammar Schools fiasco look like a picnic.

Ross - this is what David Cameron had to say:-

"Ever since I became leader of this Party in 2005, people have been asking me to tell them, not in general terms but in specific detail what a new Conservative government would do on tax and spending in a Budget in 2010.

George and I have resisted that pressure and I believe experience shows we’re right.

Detailed plans or shadow budgets would become quickly out of date.

But in the weeks and months ahead, the Shadow Cabinet will redouble its efforts to identify wasteful and unnecessary public spending.

Make no mistake: I am very clear about how much more work there is still to be done in order to identify significant future savings.

We will carry out this work.

We will do so responsibly.

And in time, we will set out the hard choices that lie ahead."

Neither DC or GO are going to be pressured by the media or by other voices to reveal specifics before it is time to do so - and the time to do so is when we are asking the British People to give us a mandate to govern.

"reveal specifics before it is time to do so"
I take it the time to do so is going to be long before the election (at least the principles). It is frustrating talking to people who agree that we need change. Agree even that there will have to be cuts but who are reluctant to support the Conservative party without specifics. People are rightly scared of what is coming. If the truth is we do not know yet, might I suggest they talk to Mark Harper MP who has been very carefully obtaining all the relevant details, most especially those for and regarding Welfare. We are starting to see the overall picture and its not pretty. I can understand the reluctance to commit to cuts but the time is fast coming when if we do not give some detail the people will drift towards the Liberals or worse back to Labour. I want us to win.

No mandate should be sought for spending cuts; instead, from a blank sheet, a mandate should be sought for each specific area of spending.

When dealing with the public sector, the private sector is paid with its own money - this isn't sustainable - even at 40%.

A big public sector competes (unfairly) with the private sector - damaging the very businesses that pay for it.

No public sector spending should be authorised without a documented mechanism to ensure its efficiency, and measure its efficiency.

Labour's lagacy of despair must be overcome before the country truly collapses.The country is in a financial chasm of despair with every man, woman and child saddled with a debt of over £20,000+ of Government debt. This is greater than the debts accumulated after fighting two world wars; a truly staggering sum. They have virtually bankrupted the country. They have ruined our pensions, ruined our savings, jobs and businesses. The country has been mismanaged by a dysfunctional PM and his dysfunctional, greedy, sleazy and dishonest Government. The country is now facing the debtors register in the international financial world and must repay this debt. If we fail our country will be turned into a wasteland with no ability to support its population. No wonder Labour membership has collapsed; they are running away from their embarrassing leadership.
Better that David, George and the team keep their solutions, policies and powder dry, ready for a time nearer a General Election. As this Government has demonstrated complete and utter lack of understanding of financial aspects and consequences, better to keep Labour waiting as they would wrongly interpret solutions and make matters worse.
The whole country realises these massive debts are a legacy from Brown's dysfunctional Government and will turn once again to the Tories in the sincere hope they can salvage our finances. They know, like before, Labour has run out of ideas, credibility and OTHER people's money.

As the whole country staggers under the colossal weight of Labour's debt, it would be very sensible to ask what and where Labour would make cuts. Which services would they cut? They must answer if they expect to survive in office. They keep goading D.C and G.O. but,.. where would Brown and Darling make cuts in the public sector. Where and by how much would their cuts be?

this is pathetic , more and more i think osbourne is a political lightweight , we seem to be not a government in waiting , rather an opposition with no ideas of it's own.

how about some ideas where you could cut spending - too many parliamentarians . Too many managers in the NHS, trident , quangos , 8 out of the 9 regional assemblies which aren't elected. Civil service pensions.


That's a good point. Labour will certainly have to find savings after the next General Election. By pressing home this line of questioning we will be able time and time again to put the blame for the coming cuts where it belongs.

Of course G.O. is very reluctant to earmark anything right now. We have to shift the debate to Labour cuts before we will be in a strong position to show our hand.

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