Brendan Keenan: Deep cuts draw blood from the health service
THERE are few concepts more slippery than a public spending cut. First of all, what is a "cut?" Is it a reduction in the amount actually spent, or the amount which would have been spent had there been no cut?
Politicians are very fond of the second definition. They trumpeted about their spending cuts, even as spending was actually rising.
But there is no room for such conjuring tricks now. Spending has to come down in real money. Even so, Brendan Howlin's spending statement cannot resist using it.