Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Colossal Spending Cuts after Election Could Change Role of State beyond Recognition'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Colossal Spending Cuts after Election Could Change Role of State beyond Recognition'

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil and Joe Murphy

BRITAIN faces "colossal" spending cuts after next year's general election if the Tories return to power which could change the role of the State "beyond recognition", leading economists warned today.

The highly-respected Institute for Fiscal Studies raised the alarm as it warned that George Osborne will get PS62 billion less in tax revenues over the four years from 2014-15 to 2017-18, than previously expected.

"To reach his forecast on having a surplus by 2020, he is going to have to impose some colossal cuts," IFS director Paul Johnson told the Evening Standard.

He said this would take total government spending to its lowest level as a proportion of national income since before the Second World War.

Police, local government, the public sector workforce and pay, and transport could all be targeted as the Chancellor seeks to save billions more, he added.

Mr Johnson warned that day-to-day spending on public services in nonprotected areas could fall from PS3,020 per person in 2009-10 to only PS1,290 per person in 2019-20.

"If we move in anything like this direction, whilst continuing to protect health and pensions, the role and shape of the State will have changed beyond recognition."

Urging Mr Osborne to be far clearer over where he would swing the axe, he added: "One cannot just look at the scale of implied cuts going forward and say they are unachievable. But it is surely incumbent upon anyone set on taking the size of the State to its smallest in many generations to tell us what that means."

But Mr Osborne reacted angrily to warnings over the scale of the cuts to come. In a tetchy interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said: "I would have thought the BBC had learnt from the last four years that its totally hyperbolic coverage of spending cuts has not been matched by what's actually happened in our country. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.