Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, October 09, 2015

Brutally realistic politics

Anti-government, anti-tax politics raises its head in the UK

Taxpayers' Alliance: Cut pensioner benefits 'immediately'
Ministers should waste no time to make unpopular cuts to pensioner benefits, a think tank director has said.

Many of those hit by a cut to the winter fuel allowance might "not be around" at the next election, said Alex Wild of the Taxpayers' Alliance.

Alex Wild on the right
And others would forget which party had done it, he added…

Mr Wild, who is research director of the think tank which campaigns for lower taxes and highlights examples of Government waste, said the cuts should be made "as soon as possible after an election for two reasons".

"The first of which will sound a little bit morbid - some of the people... won't be around to vote against you in the next election. So that's just a practical point, and the other point is they might have forgotten by then."

He added: "If you did it now, chances are that in 2020 someone who has had their winter fuel cut might be thinking, 'Oh I can't remember, was it this government or was it the last one? I'm not quite sure.' …

[F]ormer defence secretary Liam Fox said… "we can never go back" to the "historically high" levels of public spending seen in recent years and the government's public spending cuts must be "for keeps"…

Now that Labour was not such a "great threat", this was a "great opportunity for us to do some of the more difficult things, however unpalatable they will be in the short term are what we need to do for the country", said the backbencher, a leading voice on the right of the party…

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