U.K. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander suspended 12 projects costing 8.5 billion pounds ($12.6 billion) announced by the previous government and cut completely other programs totaling 2 billion pounds.
Most of the money affects one contract, to supply search- and-rescue helicopters to the defense ministry and the Department for Transport. The 7 billion-pound project, which will now be reviewed, is with the Soteria group made up of CHC Helicopter Corp., Thales SA, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, and Sikorsky, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. Deliveries under the planned 25-year deal were scheduled to start in 2012.
I applaud the new coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats for making necessary cuts. I also applaud the British people for kicking out the Labour party and blaming these cuts on that prior free-spending administration.
Alexander said that out of 34 billion pounds in spending commitments made by Gordon Brown’s Labour government between Jan. 1 and the May 6 election, “we’ve had to cancel 2 billion pounds and put 9 billion into the spending review.”
Prime Minister David Cameron accused Brown of using his final months in office to target spending at electoral districts Labour looked as if it might lose.
A YouGov Plc poll this week found that 48 percent of respondents blamed Brown’s administration for current spending cuts, with 17 percent blaming Cameron’s coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
The U.K. finally appears to be on the right track, though they still have a very long way to go. Unfortunately, we have seen no such sense of fiscal discipline here in the United States. Congress and the President continue to push for more spending, not less. Most recently, a $50-90 billion jobs bill.
In 2006 and 2008, Americans voted for “change” after Republicans proved themselves to be incompetent on issues such as Hurricane Katrina, the war on terrorism, immigration, and spending. Now, the Democrats had their chance and have proven themselves to be just as incompetent, if not more so. The two parties have proven one thing over the last four years: our government is incompetent regardless who controls it. As a result, the American people are demanding smaller, more effective government. Of course, the people always want more effective government, but now people realize that government can only be more effective if it reduces its size and focuses on a few key jobs.
God willing, the United States will copy the United Kingdom by kicking out the current administration. And hopefully, the new administration will copy the U.K.’s David Cameron and Danny Alexander (and Chris Christie in New Jersey) by cutting government spending and beginning to restore fiscal discipline to a country that has not had any in well over a decade.