George Osborne plans for budget cuts of up to 40% at Whitehall departments22 July 2015
Following last week’s budget, Chancellor George Osborne has warned that government departments should plan for cuts of up to 40%. The plans will include the privatisation of services; new charges for the public and more welfare cuts, reports the Independent.
According to Mr Osborne, ‘The spending review is the next step in our plan to eliminate the deficit, run a surplus and ensure Britain lives within its means’. With each ‘unprotected department’ asked to produce savings plans of 25% and 40% of their budget, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), for example, is placed in a vulnerable state at risk of cuts of 40%.
‘For many councils, there are few efficiencies left to be made and these alone will not be enough to cope with further funding reductions. Vital services, such as caring for the elderly, protecting children, collecting bins and filling potholes, will struggle to continue at current levels’ claims Cllr Gary Porter the chair of the Local Government Association.
The Guardian also reports that the spending review will focus heavily on land asset sales. According to the Treasury, the government still owns more than £300bn worth of land and buildings, with the Ministry of Defence owning approximately 1% of all UK land, or 227,300 hectares.
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