More job losses likely as government departments face further budget cuts

 

Oliver Wright
Friday 06 December 2013 03:32
Comments

Government departments will have to find a further £3bn of cuts over the next three years, in a move likely to result in further job cuts and programme closures.

The Home Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for Business will be hardest hit from the fresh austerity measures, losing between them around £500m a year.

But there will be no further cuts to local council budgets, in a tacit admission by the Chancellor that they have suffered disproportionately in previous rounds. Spending on health, schools and international development will be maintained in line with previous commitments. Other areas to escape the new Whitehall austerity measures include HM Revenue and Customs and the intelligence agencies.

While the cuts are large, a £7bn underspend by Whitehall last year suggests that most departments are ahead of schedule in terms of reducing their budgets. However, unions warned that new investment would suffer and public services would be damaged in the long term. “Government departments, already struggling under budget cuts of up to half and the loss of tens of thousands of civil servants, will simply not be able to cope,” said Mark Serwotka of the PCS union.

“We desperately need investment in our public services, not more cuts, and a much more ambitious and determined plan to target the tax dodgers than this Government is committed to.”

Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the Local Government Association, said councils would be relieved that they were being excluded from the new round of savings.

“Local government has already played a huge part in reducing the deficit and the Chancellor has today acknowledged that any further cuts would push some councils to breaking point,” he said. “There are signs that local government is being listened to.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in