James Forsyth

The plan’s afoot

The plan's afoot
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In the midst of this ongoing row about employment numbers, it is worth noting that the OBR figures released today show that there’ll be 610 thousand fewer public sector jobs at the end of parliament than there are now. But the overall number of jobs in the economy will increase by 1.34 million. This means there’ll be 1.95 million more private sector workers at the time of the next election.

As I wrote in the magazine last week, one of the aims of the Budget was to shift employment from the public sector to the private sector. The OBR’s numbers show that the Budget should do this.

There are, at least, two reasons why Osborne wants to do this. First, the public sector is currently too large — the current tax base is not big enough to support it as the size of the deficit shows. Second, a country with a bigger private sector and smaller public sector is going to be a more hospitable place for a centre-right political party to operate in. Osborne's plan to create a new Tory majority is up and running.