Yesterday I asked Mr Clegg to confirm that current public spending will rise 15% in cash terms this Parliament according to government budget plans. I asked him to confirm that this being so the puloic sector need not cut any important public service. It would be incompetence or perversity if it did make cuts in important public services, given the cash increase in spending.
Mr Clegg did not disagree with this view. The view, of course, was not picked up by the BBC. Clearly the increase in cash current spending by governemnt is an inconvenient truth amidst their narrative of deep and damaging cuts. Their journalists should weave this inconvenient truth into their analysis. I expect government Ministers to start explaining what they are doing on public spending a little more accurately, as the government itself has allowed the myth to grow that there will be deep and immediate cuts in current spending which are just not reflected in the budget figures.
The government challenge to those many well paid public sector managers should be a simple one. We can manage modest increases in cash spending – less growth than you are used to. Can you manage things so we do not need cuts in anything that matters? Private sector companies would avoid service cuts if they were sure of 15% more revenue over the next five years, with cash increases each year.