Another 24 hours, and another twist in the tale of the Tories’ spending cuts plans. It appeared to be the clearest point of policy difference between Labour and The Conservatives in the pre-election chatter, a useful way to know what, as a voter, you’re actually aligning with, in the short term anyway. Vote Conservatives; and watch public spending decrease in real terms, and vote Labour to see a public spending freeze, which would essentially be a reduction, albeit far smaller and over a longer period of time.
But then figures were released showing that Britain had barely limped over the recession finishing line, the economy growing by a meagre 0.1% last quarter and Cameron it appears was encouraged to reign in the party’s aggressive stance on making significant in-roads to the deficit. Some people were saying that Tory-spending cuts might risk the economic recovery. ‘Great’ I thought, ‘I need a new and decisive reason to vote the way I’m planning to vote.’
But I needn’t have worried as shadow Chancellor George Osborne has come out fighting, defending their aggression as the only way to successfully reduce the size of the deficit. Instead of just starving it of food, kind of like Labour are proposing, the Conservatives would actually lop off a few big branches, stand back and watch the thing wilt – and they’re planning on doing this as soon as the financial year starting April 2011, according to some reports. So whether you see cuts as a positive action, or potentially disastrous, at least there seems to remain a significant policy gap between the parties and come election day that can only be a good thing.