Spending cuts must be more comprehensive

IEA response to George Osborne's speech on the economy

Commenting on George Osborne’s speech on the UK economy, Professor Philip Booth, Editorial Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“George Osborne is right to focus on the need to reduce the level of government spending further. At the end of this parliament, government spending will still be much higher, as a proportion of national income, than the levels we saw at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

“However, it will prove impossible for the government to deliver the necessary spending cuts whilst maintaining its commitment to ring-fencing. David Cameron's promise to increase pensions in real terms, more or less no matter what economic conditions prevail, is irresponsible and completely at odds with the Chancellor’s rhetoric. Areas such as health, schools, foreign aid, HS2, pensions and other benefits for older people should all be considered as areas in which savings can be made.”

“In the context of the long-term fiscal position, the government’s promises are both reckless and inconsistent even with George Osborne's limited ambitions to cut spending.”

Notes to editors:

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In July 2011, the IEA published