It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

Mind you don’t cut yourself (2)

Posted by chrisrick13 on March 31, 2010

It is obvious: you can fool most of the people nearly all of the time.

Efficiency savings are an interesting concept.  I am surprised that the Labour party mentions them.  Their line should be that there is a continuing struggle to achieve efficiency but that there is little to be gained here as they have been so good at removing it.  The Conservative party can happily say that things are hideously inefficient due to Labour mismanagement and they are going to make big efficiency savings.  But neither are doing that.

I am constantly reminded of the big debates at PM’s Questions of as little as 6 months ago where Brown was taunting Cameron to mention cuts, which he never did, yet now they are all freely talking of the need for them.  Their inevitability was just as obvious then as now.  All that has changed is that a climate to talk about them has been created.  Is this a conspiracy?  Just prior to that Brown had been loudly trumpeting “boom and bust” and 60+ quarters of continuous growth (that included Conservative years).  Don’t hear much mention of that now either.

The problem with an economy is that cutting expenditure reduces income as that money is spent in the economy where it is taxed.  So cuts pose a danger to the economy recovering (sic) – what recovery?  However efficiency savings are a good thing as money is no longer being wasted.  It took me a while to get there, but one man’s waste is another’s profit.  Cutting involves sacking people and doing as much of the same work as possible with fewer of them, and also not buying so much stuff.  Efficiency savings means doing the same work with fewer people (sacking those not needed?) and buying less stuff.

What is the difference between a cut and an efficiency saving?  Not a great deal.  The only difference could be a policy of only buying British.  But how would we do that, as we don’t make anything anymore.

We can choose to do the reduction in spending (cut or saving) and try to manage the situation or continue feeding the illusion until someone else takes the decision out of our hands.  From the politicians point of view, bringing in the IMF would give the great escape: we are only doing these cuts because the IMF made us.

It is obvious: you can fool most of the people nearly all of the time, and you can often get away with it.

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