@ Brian Miller
"any cuts would send all the wrong signals."
How about "would demonstrate for the Nth time that Those In Charge haven't got a clue."
This business of "sending signals" (or "sending a message") is traceable to American Southern culture, which teaches that you can never say anything negative about or to anyone, hence when they fuck up, you "send them a message" via actions instead of speaking in plain English.
Given the advent of hyperPC, this attitude has become very widespread: you can't offend anybody at any time for any reason, truth and justice notwithstanding.
The most egregious example I personally know of was a woman who wasn't satisfied with repair work on her car. She drove back and forth in front of the mechanic's establishment "to send him the message" that she wasn't satisfied. Gee, honey, what's wrong with picking up the telephone and saying "This is Jane Doe speaking. I'm not satisfied with the work you did on my car and want it re-done right"???
But plentiful other examples are easy to spot. When George Bush says "we are doing X to send a message to Y," for any of a variety of values of X and Y, one has to wonder why he doesn't just have the State Department draft a diplomatic note.
The difficulty with "sending a message" via actions instead of words is that the semiotic significance may be overlooked or misconstrued. Perhaps cutting 400 jobs from SOCA is really sending the message "we think you are useless twits and are justifiably dumping you." Or maybe it's saying "we want British business to get fucked by hackers, teach 'em a lesson for not fully supporting the NuLabour agenda." Who knows? (For that matter, who cares?)
Moral (and to bring in the IT angle), if you have a problem, put it in writing and be plain about it, even if you end up in hot water for not being fully PC. As an example, I'm sure that when our Paris was nailed for driving sans license, the coppers put it in writing. (See how deftly I dragged in the Paris angle?)