James Forsyth

A cutting intervention

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Paul Waugh has a phenomenally important mini-scoop on his blog. He reports that last night, the chief executive of the Audit Commission Steve Bundred said:

“Both political parties have pledged that whatever happens they will protect health and education.

“I think that’s a big mistake. Health and education are the two services that have been most generously funded over the past decade but they are among the most inefficient services.”

Bundred is almost certainly right: you can protect frontline services without ring-fencing the entire budget. Sadly, though, no major politician is prepared to risk the inevitable charge of wanting to shut down hospitals, sack nurses etc that would come from talking about cuts in the NHS budget.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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