UK public spending cuts expected to bring about ‘fairness’

George Osborne - Chancellor of the Exchequer

Public spending will be refocused on delivering economic growth as the Government attempts to tackle the deficit, Chancellor George Osborne will say on Tuesday.

Hinting at what the public service landscape could look like after autumn’s comprehensive spending review, Mr Osborne will suggest the future “is not about how much the Government spends but about what the Government actually does with the money”.

In a keynote speech to City analysts, the Chancellor was expected to defend his deficit reduction plan and attack Labour’s legacy.

Speaking at Bloomberg’s London offices, Mr Osborne will say the spending review will deliver a fairer society as well as helping to cut Britain’s record £155 billion deficit.

“We are shaping the economy of the future by promoting a pro-growth agenda,” Mr Osborne will say.

Elaborating on the approach, he will add: “We will follow a ruthless approach to waste, inefficiency and bureaucracy in Government. And if that means bringing in external expertise, we will do that.”

Just a day after Sir Alan Budd, the outgoing head of the Government’s tax and spending watchdog, said he was “not confident” the UK would escape a double-dip recession, the Chancellor will argue that sticking to his deficit-reduction path is not a gamble.

“The gamble would have been not to act, to put Britain’s reputation at risk, and to leave the stability of the economy to the vagaries of the bond market, assuming investors around the world would continue to tolerate the largest budget deficit in the G20,” he will say.

Attacking Labour’s claim to have ended boom and bust as “the greatest failure of economic policy-making for more than 30 years”, Mr Osborne will claim the previous government had not specified where its planned £44 billion cuts would come from.

The coalition is set to tighten public finances by £113 billion by 2014/15, with £30 billion from tax measures, £11 billion from welfare reforms announced in the Budget, £10 billion from lower debt interest costs and £61 billion in cuts to departmental spending.

Source: Press Association

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