Budget 2016: Spending cuts expected

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More austerity measures, moving all schools to academies, and the commitment to major infrastructure projects are among the topics expected in today’s Budget… 

This afternoon George Osborne will deliver his eighth Budget as Chancellor. During the speech, he will set out a number of long term goals for the government, including an extra £4bn in spending cuts and plans to turn state schools into academies.

Osborne is expected to warn while the UK economy remains “strong”, “storm clouds are gathering,” which more or less means batten down the hatches, cuts are coming.

He will also commit to “put the next generation first”.

Undoubtedly, the Chancellor has a difficult task ahead of him. He set the target of eliminating the deficit by 2019-20 and planned to see debt fall as a share of GDP every year. However, this Budget will differ considerably from the more positive Autumn Statement in November when the Chancellor watered down planned cuts to tax credits and police budgets. Now, it is expected austerity measures will deepen to achieve a surplus due in part to a difficult few months following the last Budget.

The major area of concern is the revelation there will be £4bn worth of extra cuts. This news will undoubtedly be unwelcomed by the public sector, which has suffered considerable cut backs during this parliament and the last. The cuts, the Chancellor has said, would be “equivalent to 50p in every £100” of public spending by 2020. He said this was “not a huge amount in the scheme of things.”

It is also expected the Chancellor will commit to £300m funding for transport projects, with government funding set to be released for Crossrail 2 and HS3. Almost half this funding was already announced during the Autumn Statement.

Additionally, low paid workers are expected to gain from the Budget, with a new ‘Help to Save’ scheme, which will award a top up if they put savings aside.

One of the other main issues will be plans to turn every state school in England into an academy, removing independent local authority control by 2020—or at least have plans in place to do so by 2022. This news may be something of a mixed bag for the education sector.

In response to the upcoming Budget, Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “Only three months ago [George Osborne] came to the House Commons and said our economy was in robust health.

“Now he’s coming to the House of Commons to tell us what serious problems we’re facing. I want no more press releases about infrastructure projects or housing projects that aren’t delivered and aren’t properly funded.”

The Budget will be broadcast at 12.30 GMT. Follow @adjacent_gov on Twitter for live updates.


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