CSR stems the bleeding, but coalition now needs strategy for growth

Mark Littlewood comments on the Comprehensive Spending Review

In commenting on today's Spending Review, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, calls for more radical reform. He said:

"The Spending Review may have gone some way to stemming the bleeding, but we have not seen the radical rethink of government which was promised in the emergency budget.

"Making our economy sustainable in the long-term requires radical restructuring, not merely cutting back on existing projects. A radical review would have seen some departments abolished altogether, not merely cut by 25% or so – for example the departments of Business, Innovation and Skills, that of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Culture, Media and Sport could all have been subsumed into other areas.

"The review also failed to take on the peripheral hand outs of child benefits for over-16s, free TV licences, winter fuel payments and bus passes for affluent elderly people.

"With the public sector job losses this review implies the challenge now is how to grow the private sector – an absurdly long tax code, maternity leave entitlements, collective pay bargaining and the minimum wage must go."

To arrange an interview with Mark Littlewood, IEA Director General, please contact Ruth Porter, Communications Manager, 077 5171 7781, 020 7799 8900, rporter@iea.org.uk.