Peter Hoskin

Cameron readies his forces

Cameron readies his forces
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Carry on cutting – and carry on making the case for cuts. That's the message that David Cameron drilled into his ministers during a political session of Cabinet this afternoon. Paul Waugh has a typically precise account of what was said, and the Press Association has a decent round-up, but the key observation is just how forceful Cameron was in making his point. The government, he said, should take on the "vested interests" arguing against cuts – and the Budget was the right action taken at the right time. The PM, you sense, is limbering up for a fight.

As Ben Brogan suggests over at the Telegraph, Cameron is right to hold the line. This is not a time for wavering at the chopping block, even if the public have their qualms about the bloodshed to come. Not only does our debt ridden economy need to start living within its means again – but the coalition would look weak and indecisive were it to start rowing back on spending cuts. The only thing for it is to press ahead, and sell the cuts agenda more persuasively than it has been so far. Already, there are signs that the coalition is getting its head around that particular task.

 

A final point: in pushing ahead with cuts, Cameron can almost certainly rely on the support of key Lib Dems. Nick Clegg, it is thought, genuinely believes in the Budget. And even Vince Cable is more fiscally conservative than many might expect – making the case for further cuts to middle class benefits, among other items. So far, it seems, whatever problems exist are more presentational than philosophical.