Feeds

Osborne details painful cuts for UK

Gideon publishes his Bible

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

After months of phoney war, George Osborne has detailed the coalition's battle plan to beat Britain's £109bn deficit, confirming hundreds of thousands of casualties across the public sector.

The Chancellor also announced sweeping reforms to the welfare system, saying "fairness" is the government's guiding principle.

Osborne announced:

  • A 490,000 reduction in civil service jobs over four years, mostly by not filling vacancies, but "there will be some redundancies".
  • Total Royal household spending cut by 14 per cent by 2014.
  • Cuts to central funding of councils of 7.1 per cent per year for four years.
  • Higher rents for new social housing tenants.
  • A 24 per cent cut in the Foreign Office budget over four years.
  • Police spending cut by four per cent per year over four years.
  • Counter-terrorism and intelligence budgets protected.
  • Savings on Home Office and Ministry of justice budgets of six per cent per year, with a plans for a new prison suspended.
  • Cuts to legal aid.
  • Plan to extract "maximum sustainable tax revenues" from banks, including permanent levy.
  • An extra £900m to be spent pursuing tax evaders.
  • State pension age for men and women to reach 66 by 2020.
  • Higher employee contributions to public service pensions.
  • All working age benefits and tax credits replaced with a single payment.
  • New restrictions on housing and council tax benefits to save £7bn per year, on top of £11bn savings already announced.
  • Child benefit withdrawn from higher rate taxpayers, as previously announced.
  • Pensioners' benefits maintained.
  • NHS protected but will make £20bn savings, to be reinvested in health.
  • A 50 per cent increase in apprenticeship funding.
  • Science budget protected at £4.6bn per year.
  • Up to £1bn to be invested in a carbon capture pilot project.
  • BBC World Service to be funded from the licence fee rather than the Foreign Office.
  • Licence fee frozen for the next six years.
  • Cap on train fare increased, raised to inflation plus three per cent.
  • School resources protected.

"The decisions we have taken today bring sanity to our public finances," said Osborne.

"We've taken our country back from the brink of bankruptcy."

The average savings in departmental budgets will be 19 per cent, lower than the 25 per cent anticipated in June's emergency budget.

The full Spending Review is here. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
UK gov rushes through emergency law on data retention
Cameron: 'The consequences of not acting are grave'
German government orders local CIA station chief to pack his bags
Sour Krauts arrest second local in domestic spy ring probe
NSA dragnet mostly slurped innocents' traffic
Latest Snowden leak suggests indiscriminate retention
'The writing is TOO SMALL': MPs row over Parliamentary move to Office 365
It's all jolly fiddly. And why aren't there more WOMEN in tech support? Eh?
Siri, did we just take a hit in that voice-recog patent fight?
Yes, Apple, you did, says this Beijing court
Report: UK.gov wants to legislate on comms data BEFORE next election
Ministerial alarm sets in over EU court's data retention ruling
Russian law will force citizens' personal data to be stored locally
Won't someone think of the software-as-a-service startups?
Russian MP fears US Secret Service cuffed his son for Snowden swap
Seleznev Jnr is 'prolific trafficker in stolen credit card data', it is alleged
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem
Download this brochure to find five ways HP BladeSystem can optimize your business with the power of one.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.