Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Policy decisions

The new government in the UK promised to drastically reduce deficit spending. The process has begun. One of the interesting things to watch will be the feedback the government gets, politically and economically. It's possible to predict what political feedback the government will get. But, will the economy improve?

Britain Reels as Austerity Cuts Begin
Like a shipwrecked sailor on a starvation diet, the new British coalition government is preparing to shrink down to its bare bones as it cuts expenditures by $130 billion over the next five years…

And as the government begins its abrupt retrenchment, the implications, complications and confusions in the process are beginning to emerge…

In June, the government announced its first round of cuts, removing about $10 billion from the current year’s budget.

While that is a drop in the bucket compared to the final goal, the reduction measures have already had severe consequences. Public sector workers across the country, except for the lowest paid, will have their salaries frozen for the next two years…

But far worse cuts await in October, when the government issues its long-term budget plans... Analysts have estimated that about 600,000 public-sector jobs could be lost nationwide…

George Osborne, the chancellor of the Exchequer, and Prime Minister David Cameron have said that almost every function of government will be up for grabs, and that cabinet members will have to make a case for every expenditure. That has prompted a huge round of maneuvering and lobbying from groups that will be affected — just about every group in the country…

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