The biggest UK spending cuts since World War Two - £81 billion over four years. Guiding principles (according to George Osborne) – fairness, reform and growth.
My view – too fast, too soon, directed at the wrong targets, and leading to unfairness, hardship and possibly economic collapse: driven, not by economics or rational thought, but an atavistic Tory instinct to destroy the public sector.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS): “With the exception of 2% of the richest households, it is a budget that hits the poor and families worst …”
£3.3 billion will be cut from Scotland’s current £29.2 billion budget for 2010-2011 in the period up to 2014-2015. (£13.8 billion in 1999 to the current level).
Bear in mind that this is against the fact that Scotland’s budget has been rising steadily over the years - in common with every other area of the UK - because of inflation and increasing pressure on resources, a significant proportion of it directly due the problems relating to the abuse of alcohol – pressures on medical services, attendance at work and the police, pressure that the Scottish Government has been ruthlessly and cynically blocked from addressing by The Three Stooges – Gray, Goldie and Scott – and their politically-motivated hostility to minimum pricing for alcohol.
Who is doing this to Scotland? The Tories and the LibDems, in their expedient, power-hungry and now notorious coalition, the ConLibs – the LibDems conned by the Tories into becoming their fall guys for the destruction of a caring society, fronted by George Osborne’s hapless puppet, Danny Alexander – a Scot.
Who was responsible for the economic shambles that led to this? Labour, under the Blair, Brown, Mandelson gang, later metamorphosed into the Brown, Darling, Murphy gang. An Englishman, three Scots and a half-Scot, Blair, never quite sure what nationality he was, someone whom a prestigious Scottish college, Fettes, probably wishes it could airbrush out of their distinguished alumni – or maybe they don’t …
Labour, now protesting the economic vandalism for which they created the raison d'être, pleads a global financial meltdown as their excuse, suffering collective amnesia over the fact that the UK economy, under their disastrous 13-year stewardship, was uniquely unprepared to meet the global threat.