Osborne unveils emergency Budget

22 June 2010

22 June 2010 | Lindsay Clark

The UK government has committed to an additional £30 billion cuts in annual public spending by 2014-15, on top of the reduction already set by the previous government, as it strives to reduce its deficit.

In today’s emergency Budget, Chancellor George Osborne said departmental spending would be squeezed by an extra £17 billion each year by 2014-15, in addition to the £44 billion annual cuts promised by Labour.

Health and international aid would be exempt from the cuts, he said, which meant remaining departments face an average 25 per cent real spending reduction over four years. Not all departments would be treated the same and further details would be announced in the autumn spending review set for 20 October.

However, the Chancellor also said that public sector capital spending projects programmes would receive no further cuts. “I think an error was made in the early 1990s when the then government cut capital spending too much – perhaps because it is easier to stop new things being built than to cut the budgets of existing programmes,” he told parliament.

“There will be no further reductions in capital spending totals in this Budget. But we will still make careful choices about how that capital is spent."

Last week, the government announced it would cancel £2 billion worth of capital programmes and loans, and suspended 12 more that would have cost £8.5 billion in their lifetime.

Crossrail and Building Schools for the Future were among the capital spending projects feared to face cuts.

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