CSR: Govt doubles Whitehall cost savings to £6bn

The Government has earmarked £6bn of Government back office cost savings as part of its comprehensive spending review, double the £3bn worth of savings it originally set out to achieve.

Chancellor George Osborne has told the House of Commons that the Government will deliver a £6bn reduction in government costs over the four-year period covered by the spending review.

He also confirmed that 490,000 public sector jobs will be cut over the next four years. The dramatic scaling back of the public sector was leaked earlier this week when chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander was photographed with a copy of the CSR open on his lap, revealing the level of public sector job losses to come.

Total public spending is to increase from £702bn in 2012, to £713bn in 2013, £724bn in 2014 and finally reaching £740bn in 2015.

Capital spending will fall from £50bn in 2012, to £48bn in 2013, £45bn in 2014, and £46bn in 2015.

Osborne says: “We are going to bring the years of ever-rising borrowing to an end. Tackling the budget deficit is unavoidable; the decisions about how we do it are not.

“To back down now and abandon our plans would be the road to economic ruin.”