Darling says government is ready to cut public spending

THE government is ready to make &ldquo;tough choices&rdquo; on public spending, chancellor Alistair Darling said yesterday, in the clearest signal yet that Labour will reduce departmental expenditure to address the ballooning deficit.<br /><br />Speaking at a conference of business leaders in Cardiff, Darling said: &ldquo;To cut spending now would kill off the recovery. But, when the recovery has been established, all countries must rebuild their fiscal strength&rdquo;.<br /><br />He warned that government would have to make &ldquo;hard choices&rdquo; about where to spend and where to save.<br /><br />He signalled the NHS would not be immune to efficiency savings, but cash for education and child poverty is likely to be ringfenced.<br /><br />But Conservative leader Cameron said Labour was still not being straight with people. <br /><br />&ldquo;Gordon Brown is still sticking to the same old myth that we can spend, spend, spend,&rdquo; he said in a speech in London.<br /><br />&ldquo;You need to start the process of bringing spending down now. In practice, that means that the substantial increase in spending next year, which is currently planned by Labour, is unaffordable.