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Cost cuts in Government departments average 19%

The average cost reduction across Government departments under the comprehensive spending review is 19 per cent, less than the 25 per cent anticipated in the coalition’s June Budget.

Last week, Chancellor George Osborne said the cost savings the Government has calculated, as well as a payment schedule outlining lower debt interest payments, mean that the cuts to departmental budgets have come in lower than initially feared.

He said: “The average saving in departmental budgets will be lower than the previous government implied in its March Budget. Instead of cuts of 20 per cent, there will be cuts of 19 per cent over four years.”

In response, Labour Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson said: “The rush to cut the deficit endangers the recovery and reduces the prospects for employment in the short term and prosperity in the longer term. We believe we can and should sustain a more gradual reduction.”

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