Monday, 16 February 2004

The devil's in the detail

Clive Summerfield @ Monday, February 16, 2004
So far it seems to have been a reasonably good day for Oliver Letwin. The general response to his outline of Tory direction on public spending has been if not positive, then merely lukewarm in criticism. In many respects the Tories have been lucky with Sir Peter Gershon's revelations that increasing effeciences could save £10bn to £15bn. This from the the head of the government's efficiency review.

As with all major policy announcements, the devil is in the detail. And the Tories' £35bn saving without cuts to Health and Education does mean that some people are going to feel the pain as budgets are cut elsewhere. One prime area that I forsee being hit is transport, with the axe being taken to many new road schemes (much to the delight of the enviromentalists), and rail subsidies being slashed (much to the consternation of rail travellers).

For now, I'll give cautious acknowledgement that the proposals have some merit, but let's wait until the details are released before getting excited.

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