Comment from Boris Johnson: Whose jobs could we do without? … the legions of officials whose responsibilities have been generated by the cascade of bad law from Whitehall and Brussels and all the other officals whose non-job is to service them
Cuts! We’re gonna have cuts! All three parties are now engaged in a competitive slash-fest. David Cameron was the first to level with the public, pointing out that the state of public finances made retrenchment inevitable. After weeks of weedy wibbling about efficiencies and economies, Gordon Brown has at last allowed the Old English word to pass his lips – short, sharp and honest.
And now dear Nick Clegg has staggered wild-eyed before us, waving his chainsaw (not a literal one!) above his head and demanding “deep and savage” cuts in spending.
The electorate understands the need for cuts. The politicians claim to be determined to deliver. But what shall they cut? Well, there are the usual suspects: ID cards and the odd warship, and our old friend “waste”. But those savings will be nothing like enough, and in any case they have long since been discounted in the arithmetic. The obvious answer is to look at the armies of public-sector officials, whose salaries make up 85 per cent of government spending.
Whose jobs could we do without? Hmm? I know what you are thinking. Since 1997, the ranks of the public sector have been swelled with what the TaxPayers’ Alliance would call the politically correct non-job.
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Boris is taking part tonight in the Any Questions topical radio debate chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby at Kings College, London. Regular listeners know this is usually a lively show and the line-up tonight includes not only Mayor of London Boris Johnson, but Minister of State for Employment and Minister for London Tony McNulty (educated in UK and US, former lecturer in organisational behaviour) , director of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and historian Professor Lisa Jardine and the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali. It is on Radio 4 at 8pm (FM only) and can be heard again tomorrow lunchtime on all Radio 4 channels at 1.10 pm.