One day we’ll weep for the waste of this generation

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There are many on the right of politics who deny there have been cuts in government spending, saying that totals have been broadly constant. That’s sophistry as the FT shows this morning, reporting:

Several government departments will have lost more than £3 in every £10 they once had available for spending, by the time of the next election, according to Financial Times research.

The Treasury has begun a spending review for 2015-16, the financial year spanning the next poll. Departments, including justice, business, culture and local government face cumulative real-terms cuts of more than 30 per cent since 2010-11.

The defence budget will have fallen more than 20 per cent and faces a cut of nearly £700m, about 2 per cent, in 2015-16 if the chancellor sticks to his plan of maintaining the distribution of pain he imposed in the first spending review in 2010.

Yes, there has been an increase in social security spending. That’s what happens when well over 1 million are forced out of work.

And yes, there has been an increase in interest payments. That’s what happens when a government refuses to address the deficit.

But there have also been deep cuts. And let’s never deny it. And those cuts have a real impact on real people. Those who lost their jobs were first. Then the suppliers. Then the beneficiaries of the spend. Then there was you if you’re not already in that list.

And what is more, none of those cuts have done anything to cut the deficit. All this is utterly in vain. And that’s what is so profoundly annoying. All we have done is dumb down the economy whilst failing to meet real need. And one day we’ll weep for the waste of this generation.