Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More or Less What We Expected

So, its here. Much of it, however, doesn't feel like news because we've been so well primed.

My biggest disappointment is that we will have to see half a million lost jobs rather than a significantly smaller number coupled with pay reductions and reform of terms and conditions. It is clear from the budget that the civil service would rather see a cull than a drop in its pay and privileges. To me this is crazy. During the private section recession of 2007-09, jobs were saved by short-time working and pay cuts. The trauma of unemployment was spared for millions this way. What's wrong about doing this now?

Otherwise I am pleased to see the end of ring-fencing in local government so that we can become proper grown-ups rather than looking up to the centre all the time for a script - and blaming them when it all goes wrong. Local Government has suddenly got interesting.

As for the VCS and social enterprise sectors, I hear there's some funding for Big Society projects and so on. Let's see what this looks like. The message around Big Society is floundering badly and they need to put someone up to sell this properly to the people - Nick Hurd would be ideal were he more senior, Letwin would be good.
As it is, it is no-one's day job - except the new and relatively unknown Nat Wei - to get this important idea over to people on the GMTV sofa.

Overall though, this is what we all expected, I think.

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