Dismal borrowing figures and repeated U-turns mean cuts are needed elsewhere

Mark Littlewood comments on the latest figures

Commenting on the latest borrowing figures (showing that borrowing in April – May 2011 is £1.5 billion higher than for the same period in 2010), Mark Littlewood, the Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The government’s plans for reducing the deficit are now showing worrying signs of slippage. For all the furore surrounding the proposed cuts, they amount to just a 3p reduction in every £1 the government spends over the next four years.

“With each policy U-turn, the gap between planned and actual savings widens. Government borrowing is now higher than when the Coalition came to office, by an eye-watering £25m a day.

“The abandonment of the proposed changes in sentencing may be a sensible move. But if money is no longer going to be saved in this area, greater savings need to be found elsewhere.

“A reversal of planned savings needs to be matched by a redoubling of efforts to cut costs elsewhere. Without this commitment, the government’s credibility on deficit reduction will seep away d