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Where will the axe fall for the £6 billion in cuts being announced tomorrow?

Chancellor George Osborne and Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws will tomorrow announce where they will find that initial £6 billion of cuts in public spending and the Sunday papers include much speculation about where the axe will fall.

Suggesting that at least 300,000 public sector jobs are for the chop, the Sunday Times suggests that the following areas are ripe for savings:

  • A £513 million cut in the budget for quangos, with abolition looming for the Qualification and Curriculum Development Agency, the South East England Development Agency and the Infrastructure Planning Commission, whilst others such as the Skills Funding Agency and Higher Education Funding Council for England could be merged.
  • Staff reductions across strategic health authorities, local councils, the police and Whitehall.
  • Cutting back on government spending on advertising, marketing and furniture.
  • "Severe restrictions"  on civil servants' taxis, travel and hotel accommodation.
  • Closing or merging some overseas offices run by the Foreign Office.
The BBC reports that £700 million in savings would be found alone from Vince Cable's Business Deaprtment.

The Independent on Sunday, meanwhile, concentrates on where tax rises could allow for cutting the deficit. It moots a tax on banks which could raise £8 billion and suggests VAT could be increased to 19%. Such measures would presumably not be unveiled until the emergency budget on June 22nd.

Jonathan Isaby


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