Cameron attacked for cuts plans
By politics.co.uk staff
David Cameron has come under attack from his opponents over a pledge to reduce the size of the state in a number of regions.
Speaking to Jeremy Paxman on the BBC yesterday, the Conservative leader was quizzed over his party’s desire to cut the size of the public sector in the north of England and Northern Ireland.
He said: “In Northern Ireland it is quite clear – and almost every party accepts this -that the size of the state has got too big.
“We need a bigger private sector. There are other parts of the country, including in the north-east. The aim has got to be to get the private sector, to get the commercial sector going.”
Labour politicians were quick to attack the Tory leader. Liam Byrne, chief secretary to the Treasury said: “Alarmingly for regions outside London, he claimed investment in the regions like the North East was unsustainable, while at the same time saying that tax cuts for millionaires were sustainable.¿¿
“With every passing day David Cameron’s big society sounds more and more like the same old Tories – tax cuts for the few at the expense of cuts to essential services and to our regions.”
In the Conservative manifesto, different regions of the country were shown according to their contribution to the economy; Northern Ireland, which accounts for 2% of the economy, was tiny on the map. The north-east of England, which contributes 3%, was also small.
The theme of cutting government spending was one to which Mr Cameron returned during his interview.
He told Mr Paxman: “I do think some programmes in government have got out of control. There are things that government does, like ID cards like some of the IT schemes, that I think government shouldn’t do. I would like to see those reduced.”