Where Angles Fear to Tread

May 12, 2010

Enter Stage Left

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics — Tags: — Right Angle @ 11:40 am

A new Prime Minister – David Cameron – is in charge of the country,  just in case you managed to avoid the special broadcasts last night, the breakfast news this morning, the radio, colleagues and the web!

The interesting element is how we came to this, and determining what has been given away by both parties. It appears that the more ‘extreme’ sections of each of the manifestos are being dropped – so no increase in inheritance tax, and no mansion tax – but that some items which were disagreed on will be kept.

20 LibDem MPs are likely to get roles within the government, over one third of the total number of MPs, and giving them yet more power. And a fixed term should hopefully ‘lock’ the parties together. This same fixed term could cause issues though in the event that the parties diverge or some MPs defect to various other parties. Hopefully the legislation will be written in such a way as to allow an election to be held within the 4/5 year period in case of stagnation.

But before any legislation of parliment length, agreement on Trident and reversing the cider tax is begun, there is the painful process of reducing government spending by £6bn in 2010. In my opinion this is vital to the continuing viability of both the government and the country, and large cuts – both to ‘waste’ and actual cuts –  need to be made quickly. This is the area of greatest contention. There can be no ‘safe’ areas. Every section of government needs to feel the ax and quickly.

Areas to cut have to include:

  • Unweildly benefits system
  • Overview panel for MPs (£3m a year to save £1m in 5 years is clearly not a good piece of spending)
  • reduce # MPs and make the boundaries fairer – rural areas should have fewer population per MP than built up areas.
  • reduce local council numbers
  • civil servant / teacher / health workers (etc) pensions to be reduced and/or capped (or better still remove ‘final salary’ which very few people in the private sector have access to
  • break the unions (again). Unions should be used as collective bargaining to improve dangerous or illegal workplaces, not to cripple companies trying to reduce costs and prevent losses
  • high level civil servant salaries to be capped
  • Doctors to be allowed to do private work, in return for lower public service pay for same / similar hours

Importantly, the Con/Lib coalition now has access to the numbers required in order to make bold – but correct – decisions. Now is the time to analyse those numbers and make those decisions.

Right Angle

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