Chancellor George Osborne will announce a 30 percent cut to Britain’s day-to-day budget this afternoon, despite widespread opposition to further austerity measures.
Osborne is expected to say in a speech later that he will cut the budgets of the Treasury, Transport, Local Government and Environment by 8 percent each, as part of his overall 37 billion-pound austerity plan to turn Britain’s deficit into a surplus by 2020.
However, Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, told the BBC that it will be “less tough than it looks. Across government he’s looking for cuts in day-to-day spending of between 25% and 30%, so really huge cuts for those unprotected departments.”
Osborne has consistently been unapologetic about his measures to curb the deficit. Extracts of his speech show that he will say:
“If our country doesn’t bring the deficit down, the deficit could bring our country down. That’s why, for the economic security of every family in Britain, the worst thing we could do now as a country is lose our nerve.”
Britain currently has one of the highest budget deficits amongst the advanced economies, at 4.9 percent of GDP in 2015. Osborne aims to cut this to 3.7 percent this year.
Recent economic figures look positive; on Friday, statistics showed that UK economic growth had risen 0.6 percent in the three months to October, and manufacturing growth grew to a one and a half year high in September.