I want to believe. No, I’m not talking about the X-Files movie from 2008. I’m referring to the BBC’s report that the U.K. government will cut spending and eliminate 500,000 government positions. Unfortunately, I can’t accept this story at face value. As I’ve noted before, the United Kingdom has the same dishonest fiscal system we have in America, where politicians claim they are cutting spending when spending actually in increasing. They get away with this scam by comparing how much spending is growing to an imaginary baseline showing even faster growth. So while I hope this story is true, I won’t be surprised if the number of bureaucrats in 2015 is not substantially different than it is today.
Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled the biggest UK spending cuts since World War II, with welfare, councils and police budgets all hit.
The pension age will rise sooner than expected, some incapacity benefits will be time limited and other money clawed back through changes to tax credits and housing benefit.
A new bank levy will also be brought in – with full details due on Thursday.
…shadow chancellor Alan Johnson, for Labour, called the review a “reckless gamble with people’s livelihoods” which risked “stifling the fragile recovery” – a message echoed by the SNP, despite smaller than expected cuts in Scotland.
Mr Osborne ended his hour-long Commons statement by claiming the 19% average cuts to departmental budgets were less severe than expected…
Up to 500,000 public sector jobs could go by 2014-15 as a result of the cuts programme, according to the Office for Budgetary Responsibility.
…Labour would also have had to make major cuts if they had won the general election, but the party insists Mr Osborne’s plans were too aggressive and risked tipping the country into a “double dip” recession.
During raucous Commons exchanges, shadow chancellor Alan Johnson accused Tory backbenchers of cheering “the deepest cuts to public spending in living memory”.