Peter Hoskin

Mission accomplished for Cameron’s cost-cutting speech

Mission accomplished for Cameron's cost-cutting speech
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So what has David Cameron achieved with his speech on "cutting the cost of politics" yesterday?  Quite a lot, judging by this morning's papers.  The coverage it receives ranges from wholehearted scepticism in the Guardian to front-page celebration in the Daily Mail, but - more importantly, from a Tory perspective - it steals the thunder from Alistair Darling's public spending speech.  The Chancellor's innuendo about "nasty Tory cuts" is much less resonant when juxtaposed against the Tory leader calling for cuts in MPs' perks, whether those cuts are regarded as populist or not.

What's more, Cameron has drawn quotes from Labour and the Lib Dems that may look a little silly in time.  Darling himself claimed that "putting up the price of beer" does not "add up to sensible fiscal policy," while the Lib Dems contrasted an "increase in the price of salads" with their policy of not renenwing Trident.  You can see where they're coming from: Cameron himself admitted that his measures are "trifling" in comparison to the overall debt burden, and you hope and expect that he has more substantive plans to cut the deficit.  But you still wouldn't be surpised if they eventually follow Cameron's lead on this one.