According to the polls which modern politicians normally follow slavishly, the public wants a quick 20% off public spending, so we get back to living within our means.
The public are right that that is the order of magnitude if we wish to curb the borrowing. 20% off this year’s spending – or next year’s – would not quite get us into the black, but it would eliminate most of the growth of the national mortgage.
The politicians are still far behind the public. They are unlikely to do this, preferring on this occasion to argue with the public and the polls because they will not like the message.
The politicians are unlikely to come up with anything so radical. The government is still in spend, spend , spend mode. They are still telling us that it is all essential, and that cruel cuts would hurt. Any MP who has the audacity to say to us now that all public spending is necessary should be greeted with a chorus of two words – “MPs expenses”.
MPs expenses are just the visible small top of a massive iceberg of wasteful and needless expenditure. The CEOs of Councils, quangos and Whitehall departments preside without the same scrutiny over collosal self serving and wasteful expenditure of a kind no competitive company would support.
I will be setting out in further “Wasteline” pieces what can be done about this. The first 10% off public spending could be painless for the public and popular. The tragedy is the government still does not get it. They still have not even offered to cut their own MPs expenses, let alone get to grips with the rest of the monumental waste. We need a recovery team to move in, versed in the skills of company turnround, to control spending before we hit national bankruptcy.