Sunday, June 06, 2010

 

Coalition All Over Place on Cuts

How deep with the cuts be? Alistair Darling, during the campaign warned us they would be deeper than under Thatcher; Cameron warned along similar lines and so did Cable. Yet, in an interview for the Observer today, Nick Clegg specifically says cuts will not be as deep as under Thatcher:

It is important that people understand that fiscal retrenchment does not mean a repeat of the 1980s. We're going to do this differently,"

He argues that severe cuts had been carried out in recent years by centre-left governments in Sweden, Canada and under Clinton in the USA. He explains his volte face from before the election when he said a £6bn cuts package threatened recovery in trerms of the crisis in Greece and a conversation with Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England.

Meanwhile the Prime Minister warns the spending cuts will be deeper than expected. So who do we believe? One possible reading of this dissonance is that Clegg is seeking to 'bounce' his 'boss' by denying cuts will be unbearable; another is that he is seeking to maintain a distinct left of centre identity for his party for when voters begin to complain. Either way, it suggests either poor coordiation in the coalition or the beginnings of public dissension.

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