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May 9, 2013

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Review that Reflects Political and Economic Reality

Labour says today's spending review is a reflection of the government's "economic failure". To an important extent, that's true - this is a review Mr Osborne has been forced into by the poor performance of the economy. But, looking at what the chancellor has announced today - and the political environment in which he and everyone else in Westminster is now operating - you would have to say that it is also a reflection of the chancellor's political success. Think about it: he has now laid out the 6th of what is now likely to be a 7, or 8 year austerity programme. That has slashed the size of many Whitehall departments, in a dire economic environment, and put us on a road to a very different kind of public sector despite the continued high level of borrowing. In future, the government will spend quite a lot on social security, health, defence and education - and not very much else. The opposition may continue to protest, but the reality is that a majority of the public has accepted both the direction of change - and the broader argument for the austerity that gave rise to it. And Labour has had to accept those things too. We saw that again when we interviewed Ed Balls today on the special Spending Review programme. He bemoaned the lack of a growth strategy from Mr Osborne. But I did not hear him explicitly reject any of the cuts that have been announced today. Source: The Tyler Group Code 85236931403 uk/news/business-2 3070757  (Jun 28, 2013 | post #1)