"How very useful Margaret Thatcher is to the new coalition Government. They will have to cut public expenditure, oh yes, but it will not be done in the nasty way she did it. These will be caring cuts. Thus Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, declared at the weekend: "Our collective memory of difficult budget decisions all hark back to the harshness of the 1980s. That is our folk memory. We're going to do this differently. We're not going to do it the way we did in the 1980s."
"Certainly not; it's going to be much worse. As the impeccably impartial Institute for Fiscal Studies pointed out last December after the then Chancellor Alistair Darling admitted that cuts in public spending would have to be "deeper and tougher" than those of the 1980s: "Total public spending increased by an average of 1.1 per cent a year in real terms over the Thatcher era, at a time when inflation was higher than it is today.""