Mark Littlewood: 'Easy targets for spending reductions were missed'
The coalition is on the way to getting the public finances under some kind of control. Intriguingly, though, the pledged spending increases are detailed and specific, while the targeted spending reductions remain rather aspirational. The deficit needs to be tackled not just on a spreadsheet in Whitehall but in the real world. Ensuring the pledged cuts actually happen is an administrative, not merely, a political challenge.
Some easy targets for spending reductions were missed. Ending child benefits for over-16s and stopping elderly, affluent people from receiving free bus passes, winter fuel payments and free TV licences would