A bunch of cuts

Today's the day. The day when, regardless of how glorious it might look out of the window, the weather is going to get a lot worse for certain people.

Storm clouds are forming, and a chill wind is going to blow through Whitehall, and through the sumptuously appointed offices of Quangos up and down the land.

Yes, today's the day that the Boy George Osborne, and his sidekick David Laws, will pick up their axes, check the blades for sharpness, and begin to whirl them around their heads. Let the cuts begin.

Naturally, the bleating from the Unions and from their wholly owned political party NextLabour, or whatever they're called this week, has already begun: Liam Byrne, he of the hilarious 'no money left' joke, frets:

"Our fear is that the coalition has embarked on the wrong way to bring [the deficit] down by cutting back too early and taking a risk with the economy, but second by hitting the investment that business needs to shift into manufacturing and train local workers for new jobs."

Way to go Liam! You got just about every buzzword going into that little sound bite. 'risk with the economy', 'investment', 'local workers', 'new jobs'. You missed out 'hardworking families', but otherwise, a good solid soundbite.

But anyway, Liam, do fuck off. What the fuck do you know about it? If you knew what should be done, why didn't you do it? Or if you did do it, it clearly wasn't the right thing to do, was it?

So, what are these cuts, these cuts that even Cleggy admits will be "unpopular and controversial"?

Well there's a recruitment freeze for civil servants. Well, duh. Next?

Savings from discretionary spending, which includes consultancy, travel, office furnishing and advertising, are expected to reach more than £1bn. Excellent.

Consultancy we don't need to pay for, and CF will be glad if he never, ever sees or hears another Government - or rather, taxpayer - funded advertisement again. What else?

According to The Tories, quango spending has risen by nearly £10bn - ten fucking billion - in the past few years. Bonfire of the quangos! Bring it on.

So budgets for quangos are set to fall by more than £500m, with bodies such as the 'Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency' - which oversees the national curriculum - and the 'Young Persons Learning Agency' facing big cutbacks or even closure. And will we miss 'em? Will we fuck. Keep it coming..

The budget of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is set to fall by £700m, with "significant cuts" to regional development agencies in the south of England. Bravo. Never understood what the fucking useless things were for in the first place. Shut 'em down completely, we won't even notice.

And there's more: spending across Whitehall on travel, equipment and consultancy services is likely to be slashed, IT projects put on hold, procurement contracts re-negotiated and government buildings rationalised. Great. Get on with it then.

It's tempting to call this a good start, until you do a bit of the maths: cuts of £6bn, drastic through they sound, amount to  a 0.8% reduction in overall government expenditure

What? 0.8%? Less than 1% 'slashed' from Government expenditure?

Oh, for fucks sake, that's not enough. Pick those axes up again, boys.



JuliaM said...

"Bonfire of the quangos! Bring it on."

Yes! Yes, oh, yes!

Caratacus said...

Was only remarking last night to Mrs.C that we haven't heard much from Gordo since he was prised out of No.10. I am a simple soul and I would just like to see the silly bastard brought to account for all the money he wasted. And as for Byrne, he's got the sort of face you just can't stop hitting once you've started. It's that smirk that does it.

Captain Haddock said...

Let it rip George ..

Abolish ACPO, the CPS, PCSO's and anything containing the words "Outreach", "Tsar" or "Co-ordinator" ..

Jill said...

Hum. I'd agree today's £6bn is tiny and won't make a real difference to anything other than providing a signal to "the markets" which might buy us some time if things go tits up in Europe. I'd agree the size of state in the economy is too big thanks to New Labour. But further slash and burn/austerity (delete as appropriate) - I have some sympathy with the delay position.

Too much austerity/cutting and we face a cycle of neverending recession as we'll depress demand by too much. Not enough and we'll spook the financial terrorists and end up in an equally shitty position.

It doesn't really matter that the public sector is too big and too wasteful. It doesn't really matter that it's all the previous administration's fault (and it is). The simple fact is that much of that bloated public sector is wages, even if we all agree those wages go to non-jobs. If people don't earn, they don't buy. If people don't buy there's no recovery.

I think we need to scrutinise the Coalition's plans to stimulate private sector jobs NOW, not what cuts they plan to make NOW. It's not a chicken and egg situation. Private sector jobs need to come first.

Jill said...

PS: am repairing to my allotment and chickens. Might become a survivalist. Guffaw!

Lord T said...

Pick up the axe again..... They were using nail clippers.

There are many areas just ripe for the axe and yet they have not touched them at all.

personally I think it's because they don't want to reduce the state at all and are just tweaking it to the way they want it to be. Hoping that the tax reductions they are making to companies will grow them out of the recession. They don't want to fix it too fast as in the past when they have the stupid electorate vote Labour in again.

However, I'm not surprised. When this coalition falls apart and we go back for another election and Labour get back in, and I'm not joking, then we will see the axe waved around and it won't be by Labour either.

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

I hope that Osborne finds more than 6 billion. It's al;ways best to over perform if you want to impress the markets.

I'm sure they could find 50 billion if they tried. Then cut business taxes so that I can spend my own damn money.

There is plenty of room for private sector job creation. Only problem is in the private sector won't employ hundreds of thousands of useless outreach workers and similar parasites who have never had to actually WORK.

David said...

The private sector won't employ anyone unless there's massive tax breaks involved, which is the entire problem.

Witness Samsung, Vesta, Boots the Chemist and the rest. The second the Government cut the tax perks, off go the jobs to Outer Mongolia.

The public sector is far too big, with far too many pointless Quangos, but expecting the private sector to stimulate job creation is delusional. The private sector's role is to get the job done as cheaply as possible for the shareholders- that means moving call centres and factories to India. It doesn't mean replacing civil service jobs in cities such as Newcastle or Preston, which are reliant on civil service jobs after Thatcher cunted up their industrial jobs in the 80s.

A Zimbo said...

Way to go Liam! You got just about every buzzword going into that little sound bite. 'risk with the economy', 'investment', 'local

The fucktard also left out "Low Carbon" and "Digital Britain". Two other favourites from the mouth of the clunking half wit we used to have to tolerate around here.

Jiks said...

If they do an exercise like this every month for the next two years then we might get somewhere.

There's so much pointless and counter-productive crap that is begging to be got rid of it should be an easy enough task.

Good, if small start. Next!

JohnRS said...

Boy George's £6Bn "savage cuts" are actually less than the £7Bn forecasting error in the deficit figures (£163Bn estimated vs £157Bn actual) just released.

If the country/economy can manage not to notice £7Bn underspend then the £6bn "savage cuts" will also be implemented without any major problem to the economy.

It's still little more than a rounding error....when are the real cuts coming?

Anonymous said...

This is what we need ,not cuts but...

Texas chainsaw massacre
They took ma baby away from me
No shee'll never get back alive
No shee'll never get out alive
Ow no ,no nooooo

The Ramones .

Jill said...

So, anyways, someone who places TV advertising quite regularly just said to me "No government ads? ITV might well go skint" - gosharoney, I didn't realise it was that bad there. Apparently, he can place more ads at better times for half the spend of two years ago.

So, in your get-the-state-out-of-everything-cut-it-all world, do you think potential knock ons like that should factor into decisions? Just askin', not criticising - government ads make me weep tears of blood.

Mais c'est vrai - cuts mean jobs. So you can't just cut it all, at least until there are proper/private jobs for people to go to. And for all Osborne's guff, I fail to see where he's enabling the creating of jobs - and in particular non-benefit-dependent, properly paid jobs. If I here one more word about a paltry 1% on the "jobs tax" I might weep more tears of blood.

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

Jill, I pay for a TV licence already. I don't see why ITV should also be supported with my money.

Let it go broke.

Someone will buy the assets and keep broadcasting. Hopefully with a more sensible pay structure which will stop the BBC paying celebs millions just to compete with ITV.

Meanwhile can we get on with the second stage of the recession so that house and commercial property prices come down to something sensible.

Anonymous said...

What the fuck is "The Young Peoples learning agency " ???? In my day we Just had Schools !!!!

Anonymous said...

"Way to go Liam! You got just about every buzzword going into that little sound bite. 'risk with the economy', 'investment', 'local"

Oh do fuck off CF nothing can be considered a proper soundbite these days unles its contains the words "Change" and "Progressive" . Do keep up !

Jill said...

Disenfranchised - you misunderstand me. It's not that I am saying that ITV, or any other business, should be propped up out of pity. It's that I am saying the knock on effect of today's cuts *may* be to push up private sector job losses, which in turn will reduce tax revenues and demand - so making it pointless to have made them in the first place.

All's I'm saying is that it's an unvirtuous circle that Osborne is risking. And his rambling about how this will somehow create an economic compost that will stimulate the growth in private sector employment seems as much like dreamland to me as any of the stupid idiocies perpetrated on us by New Labour.

At the same time, I also understand that any decisions about this have to be taken in the full understanding that there are financial terrorists waiting in the wings who, for some mad reason, want austerity measures instead of employer tax cutting and a propping up of public sector jobs until the tax cutting creates private sector jobs. And these unelected dictators have more influence on government decisions than anyone else.

It's a rock and a hard place, as far as I can see.

Anonymous said...

It's very easy to say get rid of the Quangos. But remember there are lots of ordinary hardworking people working for these places. They aren't in Whitehall and are on very basic wages for the jobs they do. I myself work for the YPLA and can I just say we do alot. Pure ignorance is no reason to get rid of organisations that do make a difference. Just because you don't know what these organisations do is no reason to be so blase. These are real peoples lives. People with mortgages and families. Just remember that. I myself am on £18,000 and I do 3 peoples jobs as 2 of my colleagues were not replaced when they left.