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Are the spending cuts fair? Yes

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 27 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6049
  1. Karol Sikora, dean
  1. 1University of Buckingham Medical School, Buckingham, UK
  1. Karol.Sikora{at}

Karol Sikora believes that the government’s choices have ensured everyone will share the burden of spending cuts, but Polly Toynbee (doi:10.1136/bmj.c6053) argues that the vulnerable will suffer most

Politicians are slippery customers. You just can’t believe what they say. The key to winning elections is to convince as many people as possible that your policies will benefit them personally. Naturally this involves some duplicity. But the current round of cuts seems fair and gets us started down the road to recovery. Although the opposition knocks the details, it has come up with nothing better to cut £81bn (€91bn; $128bn). Indeed, they got us into this mess.

We all agree that the current financial situation is dire.1 The last government even left a note behind saying the money had all been spent. Cutting back is painful but essential. Society has a defined amount of goods and capital. The difficulty now is how to divide these in a balanced way between the rich and poor, the old …

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