David Cameron made an excellent speech yesterday, calling for a new approach to public spending. He called for value for money across all departments. He demanded a culture change at the top, where Ministers are rewarded for spending less, not encouraged to spend more. He wishes to see better schools and hospitals, and to strengthen important public services through more devolution of power and less expensive centralised meddling. He identified several examples of the cuts he wants to see elsewhere- Regional Assemblies, regional Planning quangos, ID cards, national databases, bloated advertising budgets, numbers of Spin doctors. It was on the money and about our money.
Some of his lieutenants then seemed stumped by the media asking the Labour question, What exactly would the Tories cut, as if David had not clearly set out yesterday and elsewhere many of the things he would do without in government. So for those collagues who have missed David’s speeches and statements on this crucial issue, I list below some of them so next time you can get through the interview by answering the question. The media too, might like to read the Conservative work on controlling spending, instead of parroting the new Labour lie that the Conservatives have failed to come up with any proposals.
1. ID cards and the National Identity database
2. New centralised NHS computing schemes
3. Regional assemblies
4. Regional Planning quangos
5. Reduction in the number of Special Advisers
6. Reduction in the number of MPs
7. Reduction in size of civil service through natural wastage
8. Reduction in Tax Credits to higher earners
9. Reform of welfare payments to put more people into work and off benefit
10 Cuts in government advertising budgets
11. Cuts in government purchasing of consultancy services – £4 billion of contracts currently out to tender
12. Cuts in MP expenses by reducing the number of items they can claim for
13 Removal of Learning and Skills Council bureaucracy
14 Removal of £1 billion plus overhead monitoring and interfering with local government from Whitehall
15 Accelerated sale of assets
16 Greater role for private finance in housing
17 Make future public sector pensions more affordable for taxpayers
Whatever we say Labour will both claim Conservatives have no ideas on how to cut spending, and that Conservatives intend to massacre essential services! Same old Labour lies.