They continually put forward the idea that all the savings at this massively high level can be made by increased efficiency, cuts in a small number of salaries, raiding reserves that are not needed. In fact almost every day we get from them a new gimmick. Their behaviour is a disgrace. Either they really do not know how serious the situation is that they have created... or they are deliberately trying to distract attention from the problems that they have created... We have made 3% real savings, verified by the Treasury, every year for the last eight years. We can make more, we should make more, we will make more. But are being led like lambs to the slaughter by Mr Pickles - local government are facing the biggest cuts in our budget of any part of the public sector and we are doing it up front. And while we are doing that, we have two ministers in particular - Mr Pickles and Mr Shapps - giving a very clear impression with a series of soundbites, which don't stand up to reality, which give the impression this is all easy.
On his blog, Richard wrote:
Old Eric was so keen to curry favour with Cameron that he was the first to settle. Treasury politicians and officials were, I understand, amazed at the way he rushed to settle and then realised what bad settlement he had made. Local Government which is, according to Cameron, the most efficient part of government took a bigger hit and more quickly than any other part of Government. As Laurel contemplated what he had done he did what he is best at – he went onto the attack to try and cover up for his gross incompetence....
...I am angry about the nonsense they are talking – behind the scenes leading Tory councillors are incensed but are afraid to speak out. The facts are simple. Either Pickles and Shapps do not understand what they are talking about which would mean they are a shambolic pair; or they are deliberately saying things which are incorrect in which case they are a disgrace to their office; or they don’t know what is being said in their name by a couple of boy scouts they employ as SPADs who have no experience of running anything anywhere at any time.