Tory minister: We’re making cuts Thatcher “could only have dreamt of”

Climate change minister Greg Barker has said the government is making cuts that "Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s could only have dreamt of".

Climate change minister Greg Barker has said the government is making cuts that “Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s could only have dreamt of”. He made the comments on a visit to the Darla Moore School of Business in South Carolina.

Local newspaper The Daily Gamecock reports:

Barker began his speech by outlining Britain’s budget crisis and expressing the Conservative commitment to austere measures as a solution, saying his colleagues plan to cut spending by 75 percent.

“We are making cuts that Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s could only have dreamt of,” Barker said.

Barker’s comments, as well as letting the cat out of the bag on the true scale of cuts – 75 (seventy five) per cent – also further undermine the claims of some right wing commentators, like Toby Young, that there will be next to no cuts.

As Nicola Smith wrote on these pages last week:

‘Cuts, what cuts?’ asks Young – all of those worried about the devastating impacts these negligible spending reductions will have (and our polling shows it’s not just half a million marchers but over half the country) are simply ‘useful idiots’.

It is tempting to suggest that there is only one idiot here. Denying that Britain is about to face the sharpest cuts in public spending in decades is simply wrong…

The IFS, hardly known for being producers of misleading propaganda, have stated that:

“The cuts to total public spending… are, after economy-wide inflation, set to be the deepest since World War II and the cuts to spending on public services will be the deepest since the four years beginning in April 1975.”

Reducing spending, while the population and its needs continue to grow, will have real impacts. The poorest will be hit hardest, unemployment will rise and services will suffer. And it won’t only be the public sector that is hit – with 38p in the pound of public spending going directly to private sector companies workers and businesses across the economy will, as the FT sets out, feel the impact.

Last year, Wikileaks cables revealed foreign secretary William Hague’s description of himself, David Cameron and George Osborne as “children of Thatcher”. Today’s revelations will reinforce that perception.

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