The comprehensive spending review delivered by the Chancellor George Osborne was a big gamble with the economy, at a time when we are witnessing more than just green shoots of recovery. GDP figures just released show a 0.8% rise in the third quarter. Although less than the 1.2% rise in GDP in Q2, it is still very positive news. The question therefore is whether it is right to unleash such massive cuts to public spending when sustained economic growth is already uncertain with many commentators even predicting a double dip recession.
The argument of the coalition government is that there is an urgent need to start reducing the huge debt that the UK has and that failure to do so may jeorpadise the AAA credit rating of the country. The UK already has a massive interest bill which is greater than the GDP of many developing countries. Whilst the cuts seem to vindicate the decision of the chancellor in that Standard and Poor ,the credit rating agency responded by upgrading the view on the UK economy.
The Prime minister, David Cameron has always spoken about his idea of the “big society” well before he came into power. This seems to suggest that the cuts may just be ideological. It gives the right wing Tories just the perfect excuse to slash the size of the state. It is true that there was a lot of waste in government but reform to the welfare system may have far reaching consequences. The slashing of housing benefit whilst sensible in some cases, because of the outrageous amounts of benefit some families receive is still very contentious. The poorest people may be forced to move out of inner city areas in London for example . This is likely to cause Ghettos where the poorest people can afford . At a time where unemployment is rising, the social consequences could be disastrous.