The Government risks getting “a kicking” from voters because it is failing to explain why cuts are needed, according to Birmingham’s Liberal Democrat MP.
John Hemming (Lib Dem, Yardley) said spending cuts would lead to public sector workers “being sacked for reasons that are no fault of their own”.
But he insisted the cuts – to be announced by the Government on October 20 – were needed to prevent an even greater financial crisis.
Speaking in Liverpool during the Liberal Democrat’s annual conference, Mr Hemming said: “If you wanted to pick any time to come into power, this wouldn’t have been it.
“Could you think of a worse time to come into power than when the country is facing its worst financial crisis, possibly since the end of the second world war but probably before that?”
He added: “Politicians like to be able to say to people, look, we’ve got a little bit more cash to dole out, here’s a few goodies for you.
“And what’s happened is, we have a little less cash to dole out, so we have to work out who suffers the pain. That’s not so nice a job.
“Hence you get the trade unions having protests – fair enough, they are upset about the situation, it’s not good.Many public servants have done a really good job for the government over many years and they face being sacked for reasons that are no fault of their own. But what’s behind all this is that if we don’t do that, we’d end up with greater cuts.”
The public was never going to like the idea of cuts but would listen if the government explained why they were needed, he said.
“You have to do a good job in Government and explain that you are doing a good job. I think we have to get a bit better at explaining the details of the financial stuff.
“We need to explain the finances are so bad – and say, look, if we don’t cut back now, we’ll be forced to make bigger cuts later, which is true.
“You have to explain why you are doing what you are doing or you get a bit of a kicking on the back of it.”
Mr Hemming accused Labour of refusing to take part in a serious debate about the measures that were needed.
“It’s like medicine that doesn’t taste very nice. And Labour are saying, hey, the medicine doesn’t taste nice. The fact it’s actually necessary is something they don’t want to address.’’