As people start to recognise the impact of the cuts in public service spending and the new Performance Landscape starts to emerge, their reaction is becoming clear. We are entering the period of, what I call the ‘NIMBY cuts’. The majority of people accept that the country is over-spent and heavily in debt and they support reduced spending to get the country financially viable again. That is until one of the cuts in public services affects them personally. There is a two year pay freeze amongst employees in public services and yet look at the industrial unrest that is occurring amongst council workers, BAA, the fire service and BA.
And we are all as bad. I find myself reading about any proposed cut and what I am really looking for is, ‘is this going to affect me?’ To this extent we are no different from the animals in the Serengeti. When a pride of lions start stalking a herd of zebra the whole herd is frightened and it is not until the lions go away, or they catch another zebra, that the herd relax. Even though one of the herd has been adversely affected the rest are okay and that is what we do, to a lesser extent. As soon as I realise that the proposed cut isn’t going to affect me then I stop reading.
It is human reaction to change and people need to understand that, which is why we are covering it in our new Performance Landscape presentation that is being released on Tuesday.