PM tells trade unionists expenditure will be reduced on 'unnecessary programmes' and 'lower priority budgets'
Fears about the decline in public spending were solidified yesterday after Gordon Brown finally admitted there would have to be “cuts”.
The prime minister has studiously avoided using the word “cut” since the start of the recession. But yesterday, addressing the TUC congress, he used it five times in two sentences.
He said his party would reduce spending on “unnecessary programmes” and cut out inefficiencies. However, he echoed business secretary Peter Mandelson's message from Monday that frontline services would be protected.
Brown said: “Labour will cut costs, cut inefficiencies, cut unnecessary programmes and cut lower priority budgets. But when our plans are published in the coming months people will see that Labour will not support cuts in vital frontline services.”
He also said it would be a mistake to reduce spending immediately to deal with the country's debt: “People's livelihoods and homes and savings are still hanging in the balance, and so today I say to the British people: don't allow anyone to put the recovery at risk,” said Brown.