Worthy or wasteful?
When is a cut not a cut? When it's an efficiency saving, of course.
Politicians of all parties like to tell us that they have come up with ways to save billions cutting Whitehall waste and bureaucracy but not - dearie me, no - by cutting spending on what they call front-line services.
Tomorrow, the Treasury will publish reports that claim that more than a further ten billion pounds can be saved in Whitehall by cutting the cost of computer technology, so-called back office operations and by selling off government owned property and assets.
There are a number of problems with this "cuts that don't hurt" approach.
Public spending cannot neatly be divided into pounds spent worthily on schools and hospitals and those spent wastefully on paper clips and management consultants. There is a lot of money and a lot of people's jobs that exist between those two extremes.
In the past, the National Audit Office has cast doubts on claimed government efficiency savings.
What's more, the collapse in Britain's public finances dwarfs what can be raised in this way. Who says so? Step forward Sir Peter Gershon - he, in case you've forgotten, was the last man to be appointed to cut Whitehall's costs.
For now, though, few politicians want to spell out what exactly government should stop spending money on - even if it is worthy and not wasteful.