Osborne wields the axe as Treasury demands £20bn savings

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The Treasury has instructed Government departments to lay out plans for £20bn of savings through this parliament.

Treasury secretary Greg Hands has told departments to model how they would make savings of 25 per cent and 40 per cent in their budgets by 2020.

Hands’ demands mark a repetition of the required savings outlined by the government as part of its 2010 spending review.

In addition, Hands has asked how departments will dispose of enough public sector land for 150,000 homes by 2020, up from the space for 100,000 freed up during the last parliament.

The full spending review will be published on 25 November.

Chancellor George Osborne says: “This spending review is the next step in our plan to eliminate the deficit, run a surplus and ensure Britain lives within its means.

“We’ll invest in our priorities like the NHS and national security. Elsewhere in Government, departments will have to find significant savings through efficiencies and by devolving power, so people have a greater say over the issues that affect them and their communities. We’ll deliver more with less.”