“There is no way of dealing with an 11 per cent budget deficit just by hitting either the rich or the welfare scrounger,” said the Prime Minister in an interview with The Times.
This statement opens the way for massive inroads to be made into the whole public sector. Not just identifying a bit of waste here and there, but also looking at what the public sector does, how it does it, should it do it and how much does it cost?
The Times sees it as a move away from the culture of universal handouts from the state to the people, sometimes even to the wealthier amongst us.
David Cameron said the case for acting quickly and decisively to cut the public sector costs was ‘unanswerable’. It was he said ‘something we have to do for the good of the country’. But he also acknowledged that this was not going to make him or the coalition an icon of popularity for many people for years to come. Before the general election Mervyn King did warn that the next government would become so unpopular due to the cuts it would have to make that it would be unelectable for a generation.
The Prime Minister is also gearing himself, the government and the country up to respond to the reactions of the unions, who have pledged to oppose all cuts.
The Prime Minister was also keen to point out that he was not at war with public sector workers, who he said do a valuable job. It was all about using what we had properly whilst addressing the problem of the deficit.
Cameron’s got a tough task ahead as almost all would agree. Also, because of the size of the public sector, for every cut he makes into the public sector there is a private sector firm providing goods or services to the public sector that will lose out too.