Labour can’t lay a finger on the Tories over national insurance. And desperation has morphed into hysteria. Alistair Darling has just told Sky News that David Cameron contradicted George Osborne and that the Tory plan is “unravelling”.
"He is going to have to find deeper cuts, some experts are saying tens of thousands of jobs will go," he said.
"He’s had to go on to say that he’s going to have to cut which will mean job losses."
Now, Cameron said:
"Even after our plans for public sector pay and pensions, benefits, ID cards – yes, it’s still not enough. I accept that.”
But that does not contradict George Osborne, who is clear that pay freezes and low level efficiencies will make only a small impression on Brown and Darling’s mess. There will be public sector ‘job losses’ whoever wins; but, as the business leaders and Peter Gershon point out, making efficiencies (rather than redundancies) now will save jobs in the future. As Cameron told Today, it’s "not about firing people – it’s about not filling vacancies when they arise". Labour’s belief that the public sector is the economy has never been starker or more absurd.