Announced yesterday afternoon, four departments, the departments for Transport, Local Government, Environment and the Treasury, have all agreed to have their budgets cut by an average of 30 percent over the next four years, as part of Chancellor George Osborne’s fiscal consolidation.
Speaking to the BBC, a Treasury source said that “really good progress” was being made, with savings coming from their day-to-day spending, through a combination of efficiency drives and closing low-value programmes.
a surplus will make our country more resilient, safe and secure. It means that next time we have the money to help us through the tough times when the storms come
Further to this, it is expected, ahead of the Autumn Statement, for nine new prisons to be opened, costing in the region of £1billion, money which has been argued to bring long-term savings to the Department of Justice.
With departments facing a tightening of their budgets, from between 25 and 40 percent over the course of the Parliament, only a few, including oversees aid and health have been ring-fenced.
In London, George Osborne MP reached out to critics of his, explaining that we need a fiscal budget surplus in order to “protect working people”, arguing that “a surplus will make our country more resilient, safe and secure. It means that next time we have the money to help us through the tough times when the storms come”.
When analysing the statistics however, the headlines may appear more dramatic than they are. Trying to appease the right of the party, 30 percent may appear a lot, however it applies only to day-to-day spending. As such departments such as Transport will be relatively unaffected. Whilst they have agreed to these cuts, large expenditure projects – capital projects – will remain unaffected.