Osborne appears to be very exercised by ‘benefit cheats’. He has likened them to muggers, presenting the image not just of theft, but of theft from an individual in a violent/intimidating situation. Images of terrified little old ladies, sheltering in their houses for fear of going out spring to mind. To combat this dreadful spectacle, we will see more staff chasing benefit cheats and targeted drives in hot spot areas!
Meanwhile Jonathan Baume, head of the First Division Association representing senior civil servants, has suggested that the deficit could be paid off by recruiting more civil servants to work at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs gathering money from wealthy tax dodgers. He doesn’t mention violence… Good to see that Sir Humphrey is alive and well – the way to cut spending is to recruit more civil servants!
But the real muggers get away scot free. The Armed Forces have mugged the entire country, threatening us with an angry Hilary Clinton, a renewed threat from Al Qaida and the prospect of being unable to defend remote islands scattered throughout the world.
But we are to believe that none of the spending decisions to be announced this week are political or ideological. They are forced upon an unwilling coalition government….