Austerity to last until 2020: expect hard times for a decade, say think tanks - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

Austerity to last until 2020: expect hard times for a decade, say think tanks

'We are still as far away from the target of balancing the deficit as we were in 2010'

Political Editor

Public spending cuts could  last until 2020, two think tanks warned today as they raised the prospect that Britain's next two general elections will be dominated by the politics of austerity.

In a joint study, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and Institute for Government (IfG) said the £11.5bn of spending reductions for 2015-16 to be confirmed by George Osborne on June 26 would be followed by much deeper cuts for the following two years, to be announced after the election.  Spending will fall by 2.8 per cent in 2015-16 but by 7.6 per cent in the next two years.

Carl Emmerson, the  IFS deputy director,  said he would not be surprised if whoever is chancellor after the 2015 election raised taxes. Julian McCrae, the IfG deputy director, said: "The election campaigns in these periods have a tendency to focus on small differences between the parties. It is almost always after the election that the real problems are properly laid out."

The two bodies warned that even if the UK's annual deficit is eliminated by 2018, it would still have an "uncomfortable" debt mountain running at more than 90 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, which could require a further squeeze.

"Fiscal consolidation is taking longer than planned," they said in their report. "We are still as far away from the target [of tackling the deficit] as we were in 2010. Indeed, it would not be surprising if not just 2015 but also 2020 was an 'austerity' election…There is more to come, for a long time to come."

According to the report, there is still public support for austerity and the number of people who think the Coalition is cutting too quickly has fallen. However, the proportion who believe the Government is cutting fairly has also dropped.

The think tanks said the Coalition's decision to ring-fence the health, schools and overseas aid budgets mean some other departments face huge cuts of up to 30 per cent since 2010. If the Chancellor gives some protection to the Home Office and Ministry of Defence in this month's review, other departments could face cuts in 2015-16 of 10 per cent rather than 8 per cent.

Chris Leslie, a Labour Treasury spokesman, said: "The catastrophic failure of this Government's economic policies is the backdrop to the spending review. Under David Cameron we've had falling living standards and slow growth which is why, as the IFS says, we are no closer to getting the deficit down than three years ago."

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Officer (HMP Brixton Mentoring Project)

£24,000 per annum pro rata (21 hours per week): Belong: Work as part of a cutt...

Looking for work in Secondary Schools?

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Are you looking for work in Ed...

Year 5 Teacher

£3000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wor...

Open Day for work in Education

£83 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Are you looking for work in Ed...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week