Magazine article Public Finance

Summit Shares Cost-Cutting Insights

Magazine article Public Finance

Summit Shares Cost-Cutting Insights

Article excerpt

By Public Finance staff

The summit began by examining today's financial climate. "The chancellor is looking at state funding of about 36% of national income," the conference heard. "That will require some really, really tough cuts in spending both in the short and medium term."

The impact of funding reductions is exacerbated because the UK's population is expanding and ageing. "Very soon we'll be in a place where half of all public spending goes on pensions and health," delegates were told. "We are squeezing every other function of government."

The rationale for continuing austerity was also debated. Unlike Greece, the UK is not under significant external pressure to reduce its debt, so the Conservatives could soften their stance before 2020. "One of the things they regret is a lack of emphasis on growth policies in 2010," one speaker noted.

The CFO of a London borough told delegates his how council has built a strategy to cope with austerity. …

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