Public Spending Cuts

I just watched Newsnight talking about whether Labour or the Tories were telling the truth about cuts in spending on public services.

As always, the answer is to listen to the exact form of words used. When someone talks about "no cuts in public spending" they might just be right ... since public spending includes spending on benefits for those thrown out of work and interest payments on the loans that the UK Government has taken out to rescue the banking system, and had previously taken out to fund tax cuts. Spending on both will increase dramatically.

This is very different from "no cuts in spending on vital public services" ... because if much more money is spent on servicing the UK's debt and supporting an increased number out of work, there will—unless taxes rise—be correspondingly less for vital public services such as health and education.

There's nothing new about such "sleight of tongue". A few years ago New Labour were in fact right when they said they wouldn't put up the rate of Income Tax ... Gordon Brown just put up the rate of National Insurance instead. A perfect example of not actually telling a lie, but completely failing to be honest.

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I suppose such bickering is par for the course for these two parties as an election approaches. Given the financial mess that we've been landed in, cuts in services are inevitable because a considerable proportion of taxpayers' money is going to have to pay for these other things. So don't be fooled by either Labour or the Tories, each are as good as the other at trying to convey an impression of truthfulness while at the same time blaming the other for untruthfulness.

Thankfully, people in Wales can vote for a better party at the next election.

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