Cabinet reshuffle headaches, the Mark Zuckerberg of central bankers and UKIP do comedyby Prospect Team / September 19, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in October 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
Cut the nonsense
Speaking to the Centre for Policy Studies last month, the Conservative MP David Davis commented that “We have a conspiracy between the two front benches to exaggerate the cuts.” His own party, explained Davis, does this to placate markets, and Labour to raise a sense of grievance. So when the prime minister insists that “we cannot blow the budget on more spending and more debt,” and Ed Miliband calls Cameron the “high priest of austerity,” remember that according to the Office for National Statistics, during July this year, government spending was 5.1 per cent higher than the same month in 2011. In the four months April to July, spending was 3.6 per cent higher.
One to watch following the reshuffle is the relationship between Iain Duncan Smith, George Osborne and David Cameron. IDS famously refused to move from the department of work and pensions to the ministry of justice, and officials already detect tension. The chancellor is said to be sceptical about the universal credit, while the work and pensions secretary was refusing to agree to Treasury demands to find more savings from the benefits bill.