The British public faces a long election campaign in which it will be reminded that the spiralling budget deficit and public spending must be cut.
Unveiling his Conservative party’s draft manifesto on Monday, opposition leader David Cameron promised not to sugar-coat the facts.
“What you’re getting from me is a very frank statement: public spending is going to have to be cut. Not ‘increased in real terms,’ not ‘frozen,’ we’re going to have to cut it. And we don’t deny for one instant that there will be some difficult decisions, within the health service, yes, but there will be even more difficult decisions outside the National Health Service,” he said.
No date has been set but the election is widely expected in early May.
The lack of a feel-good factor could help the Conservatives pin the blame for Britain’s troubled finances firmly on Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Brown’s Labour Party faces a double figure deficit in the polls as well as a budget deficit that runs well into twelve digits. Labour also reportedly has three times less than the Conservatives to spend on campaigning.
Labour has responded to criticism of its economic management by claiming there is a massive shortfall in the Conservatives’ spending and revenue plans.
Under Tony Blair, Labour swept to power 13 years ago with the slogan ‘Things Can Only Get Better.’ Gordon Brown will be hoping that is still the case.