Cuts cuts cuts. Suddenly everyone is talking about the need to hack billions off public spending in order to balance the national books, currently deeper in the red than ever before, to the tune of over £800bn. Even the LibDems, who don’t usually worry too much about the PSBR, have got in on the act. Their ‘high profile’ leader Nick Clegg (who?) is calling for ‘savage’ cuts in the national budget to pay for all those bank bailouts, public sector paydeals and the ongoing programme of quantitative easing.
But whichever party wins the next election, it is going to have to make some hefty reductions in public expenditure, and do so quickly. That’s the sort of thing which calls for some genuinely smart thinking, much smarter than we are used to seeing from our politicians these days unfortunately.
Who better to rise to this crucial challenge than MT’s erudite, experienced and pragmatic readers? We want you to tell us what would you do, and where and how you would wield the knife. There’s a bottle of fizz for the best – and the funniest - ideas.
Would you painstakingly pare away with the deftness of a surgeon to limit collateral damage? Or does the scale of the problem – we are borrowing £500m a day at the last count - call for emergency amputation of entire limbs, with no time to give the patient anything more than a stick to bite on to quell the trauma?
There’s a rich vein of potential candidates for the chop of course – just pick up a copy of the Daily Mail for plenty of tips on freeloading teachers, bone-idle firemen who spend hardly any time actually fighting fires, and sponging benefits cheats playing football while signed off with a bad back.
And don’t get us started on Quango’s or all those incredible £100,000 a year council jobs with incomprehensibly-PC job titles. The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham is currently advertising for a Divisional Director of Safeguarding & Rights, and if you know what that means you could do worse than apply – they’ll pay up to £108,861 pa for the right person. A good use of taxpayers money?
How about a public sector pay freeze for starters? Or an immediate ban on tea and biscuits in council meetings? Post your suggstions below - both funny and serious - or Email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of this week (Fri Sep 24). There’s a bottle of (privately-funded) champagne on offer for the best serious suggestion, and another for the funniest. Get your thinking caps on…
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