Spending cuts

Labour leader Ed Miliband takes part in a special BBC Question Time programme with the three main party leaders appearing separately, at Leeds Town Hall on April 30, 2015 in Leeds, England.

Ed Miliband’s refusal to admit that Labour overspent could cost him dear

30 April 2015 23:02

Tonight’s Question Time special with Cameron, Miliband and Clegg provided the best television of this campaign so far. A well-informed audience relentlessly pressed the three leaders on their weakest points.… Continue reading

U.K. Chancellor Of The Exchequer George Osborne Delivers Autumn Budget Statement

The Tories aren’t planning to run a £23 billion surplus in 2019/20

7 December 2014 13:35

All the talk about the ‘colossal’ cuts to come if the Tories win re-election has been predicated on the assumption that the Tories are committed to running a £23 billion… Continue reading

Nurses of Whipps Cross Hospital, in London, singing Christmas carols to a patient in December 1952 (Photo: Monty Fresco/Getty Images)

How do you solve a problem like the NHS? The Spectator asks the experts

30 October 2014 12:14

So ingrained is the NHS as part of British life that it’s hard to imagine it disappearing. But it can’t go on as it is: its budget is being squeezed… Continue reading

An ambulance man in Hampshire on January 6, 2010.  (Photo: AFP/Getty)

NHS ambulance trouble is more complex than miserly Tories and NHS privatisation

23 October 2014 16:52

English NHS ambulance services are spending twice as much on private ambulances than they were in 2012, according to Labour, while response-times have lengthened and ambulance staff appear increasingly disgruntled. So… Continue reading

Campaign poster from November 1922  (Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Three reasons why Ukip would benefit from a Labour win in 2015

16 October 2014 16:27

What result at the next election would most suit Ukip? There is little doubt that the party would most benefit from a Labour victory in 2015, which I discussed in… Continue reading

Danny Alexander's call for the abolition of higher-rate relief on pension contributions has received the backing of the Centre for Policy Studies. Picture: Getty

Danny Alexander indicates that the Lib Dems wants £5 billion in tax rises

6 October 2014 20:37

In a sign of his enhanced status in the party, Danny Alexander has been one of the main attractions on the conference fringe this year. This evening, it was standing… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron Visits Wormwood Scrubs Prison And Makes A Speech On Criminal Justice

Labour should stop whipping up fears about our prisons. They created Britain’s only recent prison crisis

1 August 2014 17:56

Sadiq Khan, the Shadow Justice Secretary, took to these pages earlier to claim that ‘This Government’s disastrous prisons policy is putting the public at risk.’ He’s been trying to claim… Continue reading


The NHS’s sympathy deficit

1 August 2014 9:52

Sometimes I have a quiet time as a voluntary hospital visitor. But recently I’ve witnessed a lot of distress from people of all ages and types. The other week I… Continue reading

The Chancellor George Osborne Prepares To Give His Budget To Parliament

George Osborne readies his tax dividing line

16 March 2014 11:08

George Osborne was on Andrew Marr this morning announcing support for a new garden city at Ebbsfleet in Kent and the extension of Help to Buy on new build homes… Continue reading

Is it all over between Francois Hollande and Ed Miliband? (LEFTERIS PITARAKIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Does Ed Miliband feel betrayed by Francois Hollande?

15 January 2014 10:44

President Hollande’s private life continues to fascinate the whole world (other than the French press pack, obviously); but it is worth noting that the embattled president signalled a major shift… Continue reading

Is Boris Johnson on side with George Osborne over spending cuts? Photo: PA.

Boris Johnson sides with George Osborne over more cuts…or does he?

7 January 2014 17:14

George Osborne’s speech on the need for £25 billion more cuts has opened up some strange dividing lines in Westminster. Labour has done exactly what the Chancellor wanted and questioned… Continue reading


Will George Osborne play Santa next week?

28 November 2013 21:34

When George Osborne stands up next week to deliver the autumn statement, he’ll have some good news to deliver. Not only is autumn, the dreariest of the British seasons over,… Continue reading

George Osborne Delivers His Autumn Statement On The Economy

Spending review: All departments settle

23 June 2013 22:01

All departments have now reached agreement with the Treasury in the spending review. Vince Cable’s Business Department, which was not expected to settle until the last possible moment, settled earlier… Continue reading

Vince Cable made it clear he objected to some of the language used by George Osborne about benefit claimants. Picture: Getty

Cable talks going to the wire

23 June 2013 12:12

The Treasury is keen to downplay any sense of drama surrounding the spending review. On Marr this morning, George Osborne declared that he was ‘confident’ that he and Vince Cable… Continue reading

Despite what Gordon Brown wants us to think, more spending does not equal better results. Picture: Ben Stansall/PA Wire

The report the Department for Education does NOT want you to read

26 April 2013 11:03

One of the better policies of this government is its offering massive databases up for public scrutiny. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, argues David Cameron, and outsiders can scrutinise what… Continue reading

Maria Miller

Maria Miller tells the luvvies to take their easels off her lawn

24 April 2013 12:40

Something had to give for Culture Secretary Maria Miller. She’s not had an easy time since the Leveson report and the subsequent battle over state regulation of the press. Harangued… Continue reading

Picture: Getty Images

What will Ed Miliband do on spending?

21 April 2013 12:35

The political mood has shifted these past few weeks. There’s now, as the Sunday papers demonstrate, far more focus on Labour than there was a couple of months back, something… Continue reading


6 steps to out-fox local government’s Sir Humphreys

3 April 2013 14:32

Shortly after the 2010 general election I attended an event where mandarins complained of ‘swingeing cuts’. Then one NHS boss admitted that he had so much cash sloshing around he… Continue reading

George Osborne has said that Mick Philpott's lifestyle raises questions about the welfare state. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

George Osborne’s benefits speech – full text

2 April 2013 14:18

George Osborne’s speech is below. As you will see, it is a bold defence of the government’s policies on tax and welfare, including the 50p rate cut. There was a… Continue reading

Community centre Botton village.

Council tax increases, but might councils spend more wisely?

1 April 2013 11:27

One development that IDS and George Osborne did not dwell upon in their Telegraph piece mentioned earlier was council tax, which, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is due to… Continue reading

Philip Hammond was made defence secretary because of his ability to balance the books. Picture: Getty.

The Tory branch of the National Union of Ministers says cut welfare, not our budgets

2 March 2013 13:31

Philip Hammond is a cautious and loyal politician. He is not a boat rocker. This is what makes his interviews in the Telegraph and The Sun today so noteworthy. He… Continue reading

The 'Get Carter' car park is demolished in Gateshead: but will the regeneration provide a long term future? Photo: Craig Allan/Flickr

Austerity hits home in the North East of England

28 December 2012 14:07

Have you personally suffered from George Osborne’s spending cuts? Your answer depends largely on where you live. I’ve witnessed both over the past few days. This Christmas, I’m enjoying my first prolonged… Continue reading

A new poll suggests the Autumn Statement has improved George Osborne's standing with the public. Picture: Getty Images

The public’s verdict on the Autumn Statement

7 December 2012 13:23

We’ve only had two days to digest it, but the early signs from YouGov are that George Osborne’s Autumn Statement has gone down a lot better than his March Budget.… Continue reading

George Osborne and Danny Alexander in Downing Street today. Picture: Getty

Autumn Statement: What Osborne will say

4 December 2012 18:50

Lower growth, bigger deficits, targets missed — that’ll be the backdrop to George Osborne’s Autumn Statement tomorrow. So what medicine will he prescribe to make it all better? As usual, many… Continue reading

Michael Gove was held up as an example at Cabinet today of a minister who was successfully cutting departmental spending. Picture: Getty

Autumn Statement: Michael Gove becomes the poster boy for Whitehall cuts

4 December 2012 12:28

George Osborne briefed the Cabinet this morning on tomorrow’s Autumn Statement, giving ministers some good news and some bad news. The good news is that he is launching £5 billion… Continue reading