Hard-right backtrack on spending levels leaves sour taste for colleagues
The recent hard-right backtrack on spending levels by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has left many of his own Cabinet colleagues sour. Johnson’s promise to increase public spending was a major factor in his landslide victory in the 2019 general election.
However, the Conservative government is now looking to cut the Department for International Development budget by almost a third, as well as reducing health, welfare, police and local government funds. This has put the Prime Minister at odds with a number of senior ministers, who have expressed dismay at the cuts, and worry that the core Conservative voter base will be disillusioned.
The Prime Minister has also come under fire from trade union leaders and Opposition leaders, who believe that austerity revenge is being taking out on public services.
It has been suggested that the Prime Minister is attempting to shore up public finances in preparation for the UK’s official departure from the European Union. This could involve a large-scale reallocation of financial resources and a re-negotiated budget.
It remains to be seen whether the Prime Minister’s backtracking on spending levels will damage the Conservative Party in the long run, but it is clear that for the time being, it has left a sour taste with his own colleagues and those within his government.