CSR: Whitehall savings to double estimates

Whitehall administration savings will be double original estimates, according to the chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR).

George Osborne says the government has found £6 billion of savings, twice as much as initial £3 billion estimates.

The cuts will partly fund the predicted continuation in capital expenditure on items such as infrastructure, which typically boost productivity more than spending on welfare. (article continues below)

Capital expenditure is due to remain roughly consistent during the lifetime of the current Parliament, which is due to expire in 2015.

He also confirmed that 490,000 public sector jobs will be cut over the next four years. The dramatic scaling back of the public sector was leaked earlier this week when Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, was photographed with a copy of the CSR open on his lap, revealing the level of public sector job losses to come.

Total public spending is to increase from £702 billion in 2012, to £713 billion in 2013, £724 billion in 2014 and finally reaching £740 billion in 2015.

Capital spending will fall from £51 billion in 2012, to £49 billion in 2013, £46 billion in 2014 and £47 billion in 2015.

Osborne says: “We are going to bring the years of ever-rising borrowing to an end. Tackling the budget deficit is unavoidable; the decisions about how we do it are not.”