When CIPFA and IOG combine to give such a bleak prospectus, it really is time for the Government to listen. The Government have been clear what they think is important - the NHS , meeting the NATO 2% of GDP commitment, reducing welfare spending etc (albeit this hasn't actually happened in practice, its just the changes introduced have flattened the curve on an upward trajectory) . They have also been steadfast on direct taxation as well. What there has never been clarity on is precisely what is going to be stopped. Its a easy to promise the earth like Donald Trump is currently doing- its always harder to stop doing the things the public say they want - eg great NHS and good social care , no potholes , good schools - they want these thing to be better - not cut back . They public are not saying- "we understand the position on the deficit - let's means test NHS services!- or cut back on school places" . The Government needs to be honest- we either stop doing things transparently or put up taxes. We are living in LA LA Land - with or without help Warren Beatty or Faye Dunaway!