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Can Labour afford to keep increasing investment in public services?

In many ways the Labour Party has made a rod for its own back as public spending investment has been one of the central planks of both new Labour and old Labour. This is one of the areas of investment which differentiates the Labour Party from the Conservative party and even though Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown are well aware that investment should be cut in the public sector they very much have their hands tied behind their backs.

The announcement of a 0.7% increase in public spending is down on earlier forecasts from the government but at least this maintains the promise to increase investment in the public sector on an ongoing basis. However, this does leave the government open to attack as we approach the next general election with gold-plated pension schemes and "non-jobs" set to become a particular bugbear of many voters in 2010.

The government's attempt to flush out a Conservative party response to the 50% tax rate and the government's spending plans for public sector have yet to materialise although David Cameron is expected to announce the Conservative's policy on public spending over the next few days. There are many who believe a reduction in public spending would be well received by the voting public who would appreciate the pain of the economic downturn being felt across the UK.

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