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New UK Chancellor announces £6 billion worth of cuts

By Jane Fazackarley     May 24, 2010 in Business
New Chancellor George Osbourne announced today where the £6 billion worth of cuts that we were promised will fall. It's being warned that these cuts or savings, as some prefer it, are the first of many.
The cuts are being made to help make a small dent in the United Kingdom's deficit which is estimated to hit £178 billion this year.
Among those to feel the cuts are the civil service where a halt on employing new staff is being imposed. IT programmes will also see cuts in their budget.
The departments hit the most by the announcement today are Transport,Business and the Department of Justice.
Quangos. which often come in for criticism, are to face cuts too. They will lose £500 million in funding which will lead to some disappearing all together and others being downsized. There are estimated to be 1,100 of these advisory groups. They employ 100,000 people with some heads earning over a quarter of a million.
CBI Director-General Richard Lambert said:
"We have been calling for a strong focus on deficit reduction to underpin the UK’s fiscal credibility and position us for a strong private sector led recovery. It is encouraging that the Treasury has managed to find slightly bigger savings than first expected.
“The measures announced by the Chancellor, including departmental spending cuts and a civil service recruitment freeze, are painful but necessary steps to demonstrate the UK’s seriousness about tackling the deficit. Just as private sector firms had to take strong action to cut costs during the recession, so too must the public sector.
“We believe there is still considerable scope to make even greater savings by re-engineering public service delivery.”
A fresh budget will be announced by June 22 and there will also be a spending review come autumn. Cuts in some benefits are predicted and taxes are expected to rise.
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