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How will they spend our money? Business leaders demand deep cuts soon

Parties need to come clean on public spending cuts post election

The three main political parties have come under pressure from the Institute of Fiscal Studies and business leaders to explain just how future cuts will be carried out.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies said the parties’ plans were thin on detail. Senior figures from Labour, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats are expected to be questioned on the topic at a conference of the Institute of Directors (IoD) today.

Liberal Democrats Vince Cable has described the deficit as the ‘elephant in the room’ with none of the parties able to specifically say how they will manage the cuts required to meet their deficit-reduction targets over the next four years.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said no party had come  ‘anywhere close’ to making clear where the axe would fall after the general election.

This, it said, was despite the parties’ plans implying the deepest cuts in spending since the 1970s and – in the case of the Conservatives – the biggest one-year reduction in public spending since demobilisation at the end of World War II.

IoD director general, Miles Templeman said that the parties needed to properly explain how they would reduce Britain’s deficit.

Templeman told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “On top of that I think it’s the long-term plans on infrastructure investment, on rebuilding our skills position and on deregulating. All of the issues that are critical to business are not really being described in any great detail in the run up to the election.”

The IoD has warned that public spending needs to be reduced sooner rather than later and that this process should begin in 2010. They’ve also warned that the possibility of a hung Parliament, looking increasingly likely with no clear winner in the polls, increases the risk that the budget deficit won’t be cut deep or fast enough.

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