By DeusExMacintosh

The government is listening to the trade unions but will not change its deficit-cutting strategy because of Saturday’s march, Vince Cable has said…

The Trades Union Congress said between 250,000 and 500,000 people attended the march and rally in London against cuts. They condemned violence which followed protests, leading to 201 arrests. All of those arrested were still in custody by Sunday afternoon, the Metropolitan Police said.

The coalition government aims to eliminate the deficit over four years through a combination of spending cuts and tax rises – Labour had planned to halve the deficit within four years, if they had won the election.

Liberal Democrat minister Mr Cable told BBC One’s Politics Show “difficult choices” were having to be made, but the coalition government was “one of the strongest governments which this country has ever had, facing a major financial crisis”.

He said making fewer cuts, or over a longer period would mean the government having to borrow more – something that had become “very difficult” because of what was happening in financial markets and in Europe. He said deficit was being cut on a “sustainable basis”.

“Of course there’s pressure on living standards, the reason for that is we are now a poorer country, the GDP fell by over 5% in the financial crisis, now that was temporarily absorbed by government borrowing, that was not sustainable. It’s now being felt by the public at large – it is painful and it is difficult.”…

Mr Cable said the government was “listening” to the trade unions but added: “We’re not going to change the basic economic strategy.

“No government – coalition, Labour or any other – would change its fundamental economic policy simply in response to a demonstration of that kind.”

He acknowledged that there were disagreements within the coalition on some issues – including, as the Observer reports, unhappiness at some aspects of welfare reform – but such issues were usually dealt with in a “business-like way” through the coalition process.

BBC News

The Muppets in question by the way are the politicians, not the Metropolitan Police who made yesterday such a safe and good natured protest for most of us. I hope you were on overtime. Someone tweeted this on Twit Pics and it was MY experience of the protest also. Personal thanks also to Anne Henderson of the STUC who got myself, the behinderhund and our massive scooter all the way to London and back.

We deaded a dog! =8-)


  1. Posted March 28, 2011 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    “The coalition government aims to eliminate the deficit over four years through a combination of spending cuts and tax rises”

    OK… So the promised one percent corporate tax cut last year, and the two percent corporate tax cut in the UK budget, making corporate lobby groups dance for joy, is consistent with this stated strategy?

    BTW: Glad your day went smoothly.

  2. Patrick
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    DB: yes. Corporate tax is about a lot more than the headline rate and tax is about a lot more corporate tax.

  3. kvd
    Posted March 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Well Dem, it’s always nice to put a face to a name as the saying goes (although you could do a bit more with your hair, if you don’t mind me saying) But more importantly, I really admire your commitment, and am glad the event passed in safety.

  4. Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Eliminating the deficit in four years strikes me as a fairly minimal aim. (This leaves wide open debate about how to achieve said aim.) The notion that appetite for government debt is endless, and that interest costs can continue to increase as a share of expenditure indefinitely, is as bizarre as believing housing prices can rise endlessly.

    Some folk do believe it, apparently. Bob Carr reports:

    I remember the welfare lobby asking me and State Treasurer Michael Egan in our first term – and this was their budget submission- to borrow one billion more in the next financial year for extra ( recurrent ) spending, that is, on welfare. “And in another 12 months ?” we asked. Just borrow another billion, adjusted for inflation – and go on, year after year, spending beyond your means, running up the debt.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, Moody’s have lowered Japan’s debt rating.

  5. Posted March 30, 2011 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    By the time I got home at 3.30am the next morning my hair looked even worse than that, kvd!

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