Thursday, March 17, 2016

Translating the "Language of Cuts"

When people start talking about public finance and particularly any attempt to balance the budget, they often start talking in a special language designed to put a particular spin on what is happening.

Sometimes this is designed to defend the indefensible, sometimes the aim is to make something which your political opponents have done or which you want to persuade people to make more generous sound like a programme which could only have been put together by an alliance of Lord Voldemort and Adolf Eichmann.

Discussion today on the measures in the 2016 budget affecting allowances for disabled people has shown many classic example. Here is a handy guide to the terms certain people have used ...


"CUTS"

= spending more public money next year than this year, in real terms as well as money terms, but not quite as much more as would have happened under previous plans.


"DECLARING WAR ON THE DISABLED"

= giving more money to more disabled people, but trying to focus the money more accurately on those disabled people who particularly need it.


"TAKING MONEY AWAY FROM PEOPLE"

= no money will be taken away from anyone other than the taxpayer, but some people who in the future would have been given a grant of taxpayer's money will not now get one.


"GIVING MONEY TO PEOPLE" (referring to tax cuts)

= taking less of a group of taxpayers' own hard-earned money away from them.

1 comment:

Jim said...


The all important question you over look is who makes the cuts, there is the Achilles heel.

5. No taxation or spending without consent:
No tax, charge or levy shall be imposed, nor any public spending authorised, nor any sum borrowed by any national or local government except with the express approval the majority of the people, renewed annually on presentation of a budget which shall first have been approved by their respective legislatures;

solved it.