Government agrees further increase in public spending for 2015-16


              I do wish people would report the public spending discussion accurately. In the last Red Book the government  planned current spending of  £694.2 bn in 2015-16  compared to £672.9 bn this year. Now they plan to make the 2015-16 figure £682.7bn. This is still  an increase of £9.8bn over this year, though a smaller increase than the previous plan.  

        Capital spending was already planned to increase from £47.2bn to £50.4bn, and is apparently to increase by more under the revised  plans.  Endless media discussion of cuts of 10% are very misleading in the overall context of these figures and the large borrowings needed to sustain them.

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  1. Javelin
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Oh please don’t. So even the 10% cuts mean we are increasing public spending?

    Please stop overpaid and corrupt public sector management from overspending and covering it up.

    • Disaffected
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      The government is responsible for the misinformation. It might have slowed the increase to public spending, but it has not made the cuts it claims. The fault rests with Cameron, he is in charge and he knows what is going on. They have the political pain of being responsible for cuts without any significant inroad. Osborne claimed to have a balanced budget, to reduce the debt etc. Another U turn or when is he going to make a start? Three years in office I cannot see he will do anything by 2015. It appears to me this is not about national interest or the budget, this is about the Tories not letting Labour benefit from their time in office come 2015. Let us hope neither of these parties will get the opportunity to deceive us again.

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        Indeed, leave a mess for Miliband and get a new EU or similar job seems to be the Cameron plan. They will though, apparently, give £150 back to married couples just before the election.

        How very generous of them, they will surely be out of office for several terms.

        • Hope
          Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

          But to make the cuts needed to really help the country’s economy would likely to lead to being out of office for a generation as King predicted before the 2010 election. What they failed to recognise is that most sensible people expected and wanted those cuts to get back to normal quickly. Now it is prolonged for the foreseeable centuries.

          It still pays not to work, economy is in a worse position, unnecessary wars, international health service still a disgrace despite Olympic farcical message, draining EU dragging the UK further down, BBC still a disgrace that should be privatised to save all money no just pensioners and MPs still living in a corrupt bubble without the early promised action by Clegg and Cameron. Three years in, no improvements to date. Time for a complete change in 2015.

  2. Jerry
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    But John a cut is a cut is a cut, especially when politicains take to Twitter.Inc to announce they have secured such cuts, can’t blame the media for reporting what the Minister has Tweeted about after all! Also just because spending somewhere else is being increased doesn’t change the headlines if it is the service you need or it is your job on the line – for example do those MOD personal who got their redundancy notices last week feel better for knowing that the 2015/16 MOD budget is (perhaps) increasing, I somehow doubt it…

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Jerry–Talk about life’s a bitch and then you die! So some areas show cuts but overall there are increases. Is that so difficult to understand or so surprising? How else exactly did you expect an attempt at some sort of much needed control to be re-imposed? All in all the Government is just moderating the rate of increase. “Too far and too fast” is an insane description of what’s going on. Maybe an across the board cut in everything would have been best after all thus disallowing the present (negative) cherrypicking of the bits to moan about. At least then it would be one thing or the other.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        Leslie Singleton: Don’t shoot the messenger(s)! I was replying to what John said (and I actually agree with what he said and what I suspect is the basis of his concerns) I was commenting on how the governments PR differs and thus one can’t complain about what the media reports if the Governments PR has begged the media to report on “£11.5bn of cuts”.

  3. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I always find that people do not represent things accurately . Many have very large beautiful houses and are called “well off ” yet if the size of the mortgage is seen and the hours which are slaved for to buy a house , the scene changes. The money owed in borrowings establishes them as being truly in considerable debt, not well off.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      You need to be “well off” to afford such a mortgage, and those who have paid off their mortgage are well off if they were to cash-in, next you’ll be calling those who rent a two-up, two-down in a depressed area as well off because they don’t have a mortgage – me thinks you might be confusing “Well Off” with being Comfortably Off, anyone short of living in a leaking slum can be the latter.

      • margaret brandreth-j
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        reply to reply ;rubbish! it just a fools game ..expecting that the income will be sustained for 25 years or more. One is not well off until they have ownership and are in the black. The ‘well off’ do not need a mortgage.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          margaret brandreth-j: “The ‘well off’ do not need a mortgage.

          The wealthy do not need a mortgage, but one need to be ‘well off’ to afford a mortgage, how many earning only the NMW can afford the repayments on a mortgage never mind save for the deposit – trying to engineer such mortgages for the low waged is what caused the USA (and UK) sub-prime problems.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      I will make it clear. I will give you either minus £250,000 or £250,000 in your hand . Which do you prefer? who Per Capita has the most money?

  4. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    But the government itself is a source of media misinformation.

    It has gone along with the narrative of swingeing “cuts” to public spending, and only yesterday I saw Osborne being interviewed and he talked about “dealing with the debt” when he is adding to it; then there are little dodges like recycling the “surplus” cash from the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility as if the Treasury had discovered a new source of outside income, and of course the truth about QE has been shrouded in deceit from its start under Darling and that has continued under Osborne.

    • Nick
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      And whilst this is going on, the pensions debt has been going up at 734 bn a year.

      Not even John Redwood will admit to that.

      “It’s not the way it works” is his denial on that debt.

      Still waiting for those accounts that were promised in the election. Lets see what you say come the next hustings.

      Reply:Of course pension debt and obligations are rising, as I have explained, but not at the abusrdly high rate you suggest.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        As you say ‘pension debt and obligations are rising’ – but what are you doing about it?

        And I am not talking about the state pension either. Why is it right that Fred works all his life in the private sector paying his taxes and saving a few percent of his wages into a private pension – whereas Bill, who does exactly the same thing but works in the public sector – retires on 60% of his salary, index linked. Every penny of Bill’s wages and contributions to a pension were provided by Fred – yet Bill retires in luxury and security and Fred has to live on the pittance of a state pension.

        It is not fair and it is time things changed.

        • zorro
          Posted June 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          That’s not altogether true, public servants pay money on top of their national insurance contributions as do some private sector workers or others who contribute into a pension plan. The issue is the destruction of private sector pensions….I.e. Who is responsible for this and what policies? MPs and Police tend to get 60% pensions though they pay sizeable contributions. The important thing about these pensions is that they should not be paid at age 48 for police in some cases and after a ludicrously small term in the case of MPs…..


          • Mike Wilson
            Posted June 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            @zorro ‘ …public servants pay money on top of their national insurance contributions …’

            I am not talking about their NI contributions. I am talking about the fact that public sector worker might contribute 4% of their salary to their pension and their employer (us) contributes 8%.

            So, a total contribution of 12% of their salary merits a 60% of their final salary, index linked pension. So, if they finish up on 30k salary they will get a 18k pension

            Whereas, if I pay 12% of my earnings over my lifetime into a private sector pension fund, I’ll get a pension of next to nothing.

            To get a pension of 18k a year at the moment, index linked, I would need a pension pot of getting on for half a million. Bearing in mind that when I started work I was earning £30 a month, even allowing for the mad inflation of the 1970s and some of the 1980s, there is no way I could ever have saved enough to buy myself a decent pension.

            And, of course, most public sector pensions are unfunded. There is no pension pot. If you started on 10k and finished work 40 years later on 30k – the amount you and your employer will have paid in would be about 96k. Yet this will buy you pension that would cost half a million if you had to have a pension pot.

            And, let us not forget, EVERY PENNY a public sector worker earns – EVERY PENNY they contribute to their pension comes from PRIVATE SECTOR workers’ taxes.

            Sorry, but public sector pension promises need to be halved.

            (individual case removed -ed – making the point someone can get more in pension from the public sector than they earned in their careers)

          • Bob
            Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            We know who wrecked private pensions, and we know who has done nothing to redress the balance.

            Public sector pensions are taxpayer backed, and the bill for poor old private sector workers will continue to rise while their own pensions are at the mercy of the economy, with no guarantees.

          • A different Simon
            Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

            The stock market is and will always be unable to provide for peoples old age – unless you make your living from commissions on pensions contributions .

            The amount paid out from private sector pensions almost matches the amount off tax relief claimed on contributions during that year . Coincidence or are we all being taken for a ride by the financial services community again ?

            Better for pensions contributions to be ploughed into social housing and infrastructure projects in the UK in order to restore the intergenerational contract .

            Got to be preferable to using PFI financing or paying ever more in housing benefit . No doubt the trustees would be under pressure to spend the money on wind farms rather than nuclear . Perhaps people could be obliged to allocate part of their contributions to a general fund and choose whether to allocate the rest of nuclear or green .

            Coming to think about it why does the Govt and financial services industry feature so prominently in our lives ? It never used to until recently . What an imposition .

        • Jerry
          Posted June 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          @Mike Wilson: Except that without the work that Bill does, Fred would not have his job, after all Fred makes widgets for the MOD!…

          I do wish people would stop thinking that all tax payer funded employment are ‘non jobs’, in fact if you want to carry on with that logic then there are a hell of a lot of private jobs that are actually being funded by the tax payer in one shape or form, more so since competitive tendering and the like, gone are the days when councils had vast workforces, much road repairs, rubbish collection, even security is now contracted to private companies although still funded by the tax payer.

          • Mike Wilson
            Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

            I don’t recall making remarks about public sector ‘non jobs’. Did I?

            I am not stupid. I know we need nurses, doctors, teachers, bin men, policemen, soldiers etc. And I don’t mind paying tax for public services to live in a civilised society.

            For the purposes of this discussion – about pensions – whether a public sector job is a non job or not is irrelevant. The fact is a teacher in the public sector retires on what, for a private sector worker earning the same money throughout their career, would be a FABULOUS pension. A pension that would need a million quid to purchase.

            That said, if a private sector company wants to employ people in non-jobs, that:

            a) is their business
            b) will soon cause them to be uncompetitive

            Whereas, of course, if a council decides that we all need to employ a ‘community and diversity officer’ on 30k a year with a pension pot worth a million pounds at the end of their invaluable career – we, the people who pay the tax and provide the money – can do NOTHING about it.

            Once we gave people the ability to tax us – that was the beginning of the end. Give them an inch and they will take a yard. We are at the point now where many people are getting very resentful of the public sector. If they all did valuable jobs with reasonable pensions no-one would be resentful.

          • TonyT
            Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

            The bottom line here is that the government doesn’t have any money. It takes money off the wealth creators and redistributes it and provides services. Clearly there are some functions that governments need to do but on the whole it would be better if their vast bureaucracy wasn’t involved and the money left in the wealth creating private sector to reinvest etc.

            So what you state is precisely the opposite of the truth, tax payer funded jobs could not exist without the wealth produced by the private sector.

            On a broader note, it used to be the case that the public sector paid lower wages but life was easier and you got a final salary pension. Under the last government, public sector salaries were ramped up to higher than private sector ones as a result of the vast sums of money poured into public services
            whilst private sector pensions were whittled away due to the open ended cost of final salary schemes and we are left with a situation that is not in any equal.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            @Mike Wilson: “we, the people who pay the tax and provide the money – can do NOTHING about it.

            You pay tax, but you have no right to tell government how to spend it, this was proved in law when CND members wanted to stop their taxes being used for nuclear weapons during the 1980s. I want my taxes to pay for new or improved roads, not wind farms etc. and certainly not cycle-ways that don’t then get used, but I can do NOTHING about it either

            As for “non jobs”, true that you didn’t mention them by name but those were the jobs you were describing, perhaps unwittingly.

          • lifelogic
            Posted June 26, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            @Mike Wilson – indeed as you say public sector pension promises need to be halved (at the very least).

            Then they would only be about 4-5 times the size of the pension pots of those of in private sector who have to pay them. If we are all in it together as they keep saying.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 27, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            @TonyT: “So what you state is precisely the opposite of the truth, tax payer funded jobs could not exist without the wealth produced by the private sector.

            No private sector company is going to make anything for a non existent customer – Duh!

  5. Alte Fritz
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    This is a crucial point. I cannot remember a time when reported cuts actually amounted to real cuts overall. Yet even the normally well balanced and knowledgeable Andrew Neill omitted to state the obvious in the Sunday Politics. Perhaps Labour’s recent moves are against a background of tacit acceptance that cuts really means less accelerated growth?

    • Jerry
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      @Alte Fritz: But what do you expect, both the BBC’s Daily and Sunday Politics programmes are more tabloid than the Daily Sport, designed to entertain rather than impart serious knowledge. 🙁

  6. Ben Kelly
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood

    You criticise MSM for not reporting rises in government spending but is it not the case that cuts is how it is being spun by government briefings?

    If not then why pay media advisors who can not make the media tow the line. If so your ire should be directed at the leadership and not MSM.

    Either way this government spends too much of our money.

  7. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I am baffled. I have known, and made the point, that government spending is going up.

    On this basis one would argue that there are no cuts. Yet I read that hundreds of thousands of jobs have been shed in the public sector. Is this true?

    It is a shame the government does not produce some simple figures for us to ponder. E.g. There are x million people employed in the public sector (with breakdowns by department/service) and they cost x million to employ.

    If the economy is ‘rebalancing’ (less public sector jobs, more private sector jobs) – why is spending going up?

    Interest payments on the debt? Wage rises? Public sector pensions payments? Increases in infrastructure projects. Surely it shouldn’t be that tricky to produce some numbers.

    Reply There have been some job reductions, and a transfer of some people from public to private in the categorisation. Health, welfare, education etc are all increasing in cost.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      The sums spent will inevitably go up if they are linked to inflation.

      Assuming that these are the actual sums to be spent:

      Current spending this year, £672.9 billion.

      Previously planned current spending in 2015-16, £694.2 billion, + 3.2%.

      Presently planned current spending in 2015-16, £682.7 billion, + 1.5%.

      Neither of those percentage increases would be enough to cancel the erosion of purchasing power over two years even if CPI inflation was running at the 2% pa target set by the Chancellor, so while spending would increase in nominal terms it would be slightly cut in real terms.

    • Nick
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      If there are cuts in some areas, and spending is up, the conclusion is that some areas are in clover. Raking it in.

      • zorro
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        That will be the protected departments or departments crucial to our economic well being and success…….like DFID.


        • Bazman
          Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

          Chopping a few quid from the world poorest will make us all rich Huh?

    • Acorn
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      The ONS does not produce some simple figures for us to ponder. .

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Indeed for every four people working in the private sector there is about one in the state sector largely living off them (and paid about 50% more with pensions). Perhaps employed covering up the thousands of pointless NHS deaths or things like the Hillsborough disaster, pushing a big state fake green agenda on the BBC, augmenting the feckless, performing endless enquiries that change almost nothing or ticketing their cars when they are 2 minutes late on the meter.

        Not only that but perhaps one of the four, who are in the private sector, are doing something daft or pointless at the state’s behest – like installing wind turbines or trying to comply with the absurdly complex tax/legal/employment system – this due to the moronic system of grants, regulations and daft laws such as pertain.

        But Cameron, Osborne & Clegg clearly like it just this way.

        • Bazman
          Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          Who in an average job is paid 50% more. Cleaners? Those wild buccaneers holding us all to ransom with their hiding behind employment laws? No mention of the large numbers of highly profitable companies, profitable despite all the rules and regulations being let of from paying tax and scrounging the benefits of being here without paying for them. How feckless is that? and don’t run down the NHS in order to get you elitist privatisation nonsense through. How has privatisation of many of the services helped the average person not top mention the taxpayer? Name a specific position in the state sector who is paid 50% more instead of your usual mindless, ….propaganda (etc ed)

          • lifelogic
            Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            I am including pensions in the remuneration but the figures clearly show that state sector workers on average get 150% of those of private sector workers. They also take more sick leave, work fewer hours and retire earlier for good measure and many do nothing or much use either. Much of it is, I admit, in the pension package but it is still a cost on other many with no pension at all.

      • Mark
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        Indeed, I have noticed a tendency towards obfuscation in ONS statistics releases. They seek to put their own spin on numbers, and often don’t release the underlying numbers (e.g. just percentage changes, and only seasonally adjusted by processes that are subject to large revisions) or make it difficult to get at a longer run history that allows a better judgement to be formed. Frequent methodology changes undermine the value of longer run series.

        • lifelogic
          Posted June 24, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          Indeed it is surely all carefully planned and deliberate obfuscation and selective reporting.

          Take crime figures as a good example they often just blatantly record reported mobile phone thefts as losses I understand. I wonder if there are degree courses in deliberate obfuscation with government statistics. Perhaps it is covered in Oxford PPE?

        • Acorn
          Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          Agreed Mark. You need a lot of mouse clicks to get anywhere on the new ONS platform. It is far too difficult to interrogate the basic time series data (CDID) that makes up the Datasets.

          For instance, today the “Public Sector Finances Supplementary Tables, May 2013” were released. ONS identify the data codes in this one and put numbers to them for one period, but you try to draw a graph from several months data.—supplementary-table/may-2013/rft—supplementary.xls .

          I still think the ONS guys are basically honest; but, they are not in the business of appealing to the 99%, just the 1%. The OBR on the other hand is died-in-the-wool Treasury apparatchik. It is difficult to work out who its intended audience is. It certainly isn’t the taxpayers. Also, the BoE is deaf and dumb compared to the US FED for understandable data presentations.

          It’s all our own fault for not demanding better, dumbed down education systems means we have a populace that doesn’t know how or what to demand. Brasil can teach the Brits a few things, I reckon.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply: You are saying some of the job reductions in the public sector are the result of ‘moving’ the job to the private sector? I.e. the same job, but, apparently, done by a private company?

      When we are borrowing 120, thousand, million pounds each year to pay our bills, why are we increasing spending on health, welfare and education? Who told you to do this? We all know the country is broke. Ring fencing cuts is one thing – spending more is another.

      Why doesn’t Cameron go on the box and ‘address the nation’? And spell out the situation we are in. And, for heaven’s sake, start taxing the big on-line corporates who are more competitive than our businesses because they pay no tax here?

      Because, if you start telling the public sector ‘your pay and pensions have to come down because we haven’t got the money’ they, quite rightly, will say ‘well get tax avoiders and evaders to pay their share of tax then’.

      And why not start with reducing the cost of the state with the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It would be a great example if the ludicrously expensive MPs’ pension scheme was dramatically curtailed. If the number of MPs were cut. And a zero hours contract introduced for MPs and Lords.

      Reply Conservatives wanted to start with a cut in the number of MPs, but Labour and Lib dems have blocked that. The MP Pension fund has seen rises in the contribution rate for MPs to pay.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Yes, you did want to cut the number of MPs. I would have liked to see David Cameron on the box, addressing the nation, saying ‘there have to be cuts and we think it is wrong that the House of Commons should be spared them. There are too many MPs and too many Lords and we want to cut the cost by 20%. But Labour and the Liberal Democrats will not let us. We want to prove we are all in this together but we are not allowed to because the other parties have not faced up to the need to make cuts so we don’t borrow so much money that our children will have to pay back.

        The MP pension fund is still way too generous and an MP can do as little as they want once elected. A former Prime Minister is still paid as an MP and rarely attends parliament. Still, that’s okay, plenty of our money to go round eh? We can pay him while he goes on lecture tours (how to base growth on debt) and writes his memoirs (how to stoke a house price boom).

        Reply All MPs are answerable to their electors and their party selectors. The fact that the electors are not complaining suggests the MP is doing the job as required. If the electors did decide to replace some other MP who they thought was lazy, the cost to the taxpayer would remain the same.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          No, the fact that the electors are not complaining is to do with a sense of complete disenchantment with politics and politicians. With the sense that nothing they, as an individual, says or does – makes the slightest bit of difference.

          I don’t know if you, Mr. Redwood, do a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ job. You seem to do something – so I guess that, in itself, is something. But it is not the point. If a lot of us felt that, for example, cutting the number of Lords to 200 and the number of MPs to 400 was a good thing how, exactly, could we achieve that?

          • A different Simon
            Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

            Mike ,

            There would be no real saving .

            The establishment would find quango jobs for them .

            I knew a guy who was a trustee of an NHS trust . Goodness knows how he got that job or how anyone could claim he was qualified to do it . Nice “work” if you can get it .

      • Jerry
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        @JR reply: That is a very simplistic way of putting it! Had these cuts in MPs been symmetrical then I doubt that either the Lib-dems nor Lab would have objected but the way the boundary review was being done would have seen an asymmetrical cut, a greater number of LibDem or Lab seats cut than Tory.

        Reply The Boundary Commission is independent. The reason more Lib dem and Labour seats were cut is that they represent fewer people

        • Jerry
          Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          @JR reply: Call me cynical but, like hell it is. Sorry.

          Re Labour/Libdems, so these (and their adjoining) constituencies should be adjusted in size, not abolished!

      • lifelogic
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        To reply “The MPs’ Pension fund has seen rises in the contribution rate for MPs to pay.”

        Well small rises yes but it is still worth nearly £50,000 PA on top of their salary for very little contribution (13.75% of salary about £6000 PA after tax relief for circa £50K of benefit).

        Mind you if they stopped voting for the climate change act (costing the country circa £20B PA), HS2 and got us out of the EU they would be worth 10 times this pension.

      • uanime5
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        I seem to recall Labour and Lib dems wanted to start with a cut in the number of Lords but the Conservatives blocked that.

        Reply Many Conservative MPs would be happy to discuss a retirement age or term limitation on peers or a use it or lose it tenure. Mr Clegg was asked ton try to find a consensus for reform but did not do so.

  8. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Is it not your colleagues in government who are chiefly responsible with their press briefings? Osborne has perpetuated a myth for 3 years that he was cutting government spending when, as you pointed out to us back in 2010, he always planned to increase it overall. In this deceit he has been aided and abetted by Labour for their own party political reasons. The media unfortunately for the public is too lazy to find out and report the real facts.

    • lifelogic
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      The BBC has done its share of perpetuating the “cutting to hard to fast” drivel.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 27, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        @Lifelogic: Oh right so your real complaint about the BBC is that they are being unbiased, reporting all the news and opinion from all sides of the political divide – how are your shares in BSkyB doing? 😛

  9. wab
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The increase from 672.9 to 682.7 is under 1.5%. Inflation is over 2%. Therefore in real terms, rather than meaningless nominal terms, this is a cut.

    The problem is not so much the exact number, though, but what government is and is not spending money on.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      These ‘real terms’ you and others keep mentioning. While wages are static or falling in the real (private sector) economy – any increase is a real terms increase. There is no magic wage inflation getting rid of the debt.

  10. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    “Endless media discussion of cuts of 10%” – very disingenuous John, the spending plans have not been announced yet so where are “the media” getting their information ? From strategic leaks and unattributable briefings from your colleagues in government who are pushing the “10% cuts” line, so blame them, not the media.

    I see Bendict Brogan is suggesting you might be invited to join the government in the next reshuffle – any chance ?

    Reply No 10 rightly never comments on reshuffle stories, so they are all very specualtive and ential moving far more people around than get moved around when there finally is a reshuffle.

    • zorro
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      I somehow doubt it……I bet Cameron would offer John DFID…..


  11. lifelogic
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Well as Cameron has blown the next election, one assume that he is, just as Brown did, deciding how much mess to leave for Labour. We have a government that claims to be making cuts and to be reducing the deficit but is clearly doing nothing.

    Cameron has form on this. He claims to be EU sceptic, to be economically responsible, to be controlling expenditure, to be a champion of in three letters N… H…. S…. and to be “green”.

    Yet he has ratted on the referendum, tax and IHT, has not controlled the deficit, the NHS is killing thousands and covering it all up, and the countryside is being covered in totally pointless, hugely subsidised bat and bird killing eco, crucifix, turbines and PV cells and the largely parasitic sector is still growing in size on the back of yet more state borrowing.

    They cannot even sort out RBS’s lending even when they own it. Why on earth did he join the Tories, give what he clearly thinks. He would have made a much better, second hand car or photocopy salesman.

    • zorro
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Really, I wouldn’t have bought one off him…..


  12. Antisthenes
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Those of us who said that QE, Bailouts and money printing was a bad idea are slowly being proved right even Peston of the BBC (that Keynesian loving institution; spend not save bit that is) is beginning to see the problems associated with it. Indeed in the short term it has kept standards of living higher than without it would have been the case. However it has only postponed the awful day of reckoning and in the process ensured that that day will be many times worse than it would have been if the interventions had not happened. The current nervousness of markets at even the whiff of central banks reining in on QE has set them on the slide. This says it all really in that as we have said many times before interest rates, bond and stock markets are wildly skewed and do not reflect fundamentals and are under/over priced and will sooner rather than later make the corrections. When that happens there will be dire consequences for public spending and what the coalition have done to date will be seen as too little too late and wrong headed. Expenditure will go into free fall and not rise as it is currently. If this does not occur before 2015 it certainly will immediately afterwards when Labour are back in government as we know their incompetence and crazy ideologies know no bounds and always cause far more harm than good.

    • M.A.N.
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Presumably QE is being used to ‘buy’ the deficit each year, but is not being properly discussed in the main stream media. As you point out what actually happens when the taps are turned off, and more pertinently, and worrying, if the BOE is buying its own debt that would suggest two things: we have too much outstanding gilt debt and/or not enough buyers want our debt. It’s obvious that there is no way out unless we have a public speech like Churchill, stating what will be the plan to get us back on track, in honest, easily understood numbers. Cameron however cannot cross the road without someone holding his hand, oh for a thatcher, someone to tell it like it is. Even state confiscation of wealth won’t work now, because the public hate the government and hate even more the common purpose clones making our lives misery, see recent nhs revelations for this, rinse and repeat across Whitehall, clueless doesn’t come close.

  13. Richard1
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank Goodness you are continuing to post on these matters and do not feel the need for a statement saying how you would have intervened in the Saatchi-Nigella Lawson incident had you been there, like the fatuous Mr Miliband.

    I think we need to refuse to listen to any public spending numbers which are not set out in actual, nominal £s, not in inflation adjusted numbers. If £10 is spent on something one year and £11 the next, that is an increase not a cut, even if the public service in question thought it could do with £12.

  14. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    The corollary is that HM government is now heavily dependent on increased tax revenues from economic growth to reduce the annual fiscal deficit. The religious among you should get out your kneelers and prayer mats. We poor atheists have only Valium and booze to console us.

  15. Iain Gill
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    I was on a government billion pound project for a few months very recently. It was clear to me it was a disaster in the making, and mostly the money is being wasted. Got out as quickly as I could with my dignity intact, would have been a lot more lucrative to have stayed. It amazes me the obvious mistakes made. I’ve been there before too, predicted pretty much exactly what happened serveral times on mega govt projects. If its blindingly obvious to me it cannot be that hard to work out?

    It is clear to me mega bucks could be saved by taking some pretty obvious steps.

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill ,

      Was the money going to the usual big consultancies who specialise in non-delivery and seem to control access to the corridors of power ?

  16. Martin
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I just had a look at the EU comparison figures from Eurostat.

    The UK’s figures don’t look clever – see France and Italy !

  17. David Langley
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Spending plans then revised spending plans, then more borrowing and more borrowings. This is nonsense, the red book is a guesstimate obviously and no problems with that but not a basis for reducing public ie government spending.
    Real savings can be made by stopping for instance health tourists not paying. If its a tourist from a non EU country and cant pay, then invoice the Difid bill if that country gets aid. We dont save but the NHS gets paid more and at private rates please. Send a copy of the invoice to the country concerned marked paid. I bet there will be a lot more inspections at outgoing airports etc when the aid money starts getting a bashing. Tourists get fixed we get the NHS bill paid, and the recipient country gets its citizens healthier. The corrupt recipients get an incentive to sort it out there end.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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