Close DCMS, freeze benefits and pensions, scrap the regional growth fund... how to save up to £35 billion

 

The very language of cuts has been markedly austere and depressing. It is now well established that the reductions the government will make to overall spending are actually tiny. Carving it back to around 40% of GDP by 2017 will take it to roughly the average amount the government spent under Tony Blair - hardly a radical plan.

The coming budget is the chance for George Osborne to reframe this discussion. If he can find further reductions he can create the conditions that will allow more growth in the economy – through tax cuts and more space for private enterprise. A thriving economy means more jobs, more prosperity, more opportunities for people, better education and better healthcare. Spring is a good time to send a more optimistic message for Britain’s future.

Last year, the Institute of Economic Affairs published a spending plan that included an additional £215 billion of cuts: Sharper Axes, Lower Taxes: Big Steps to a Smaller State. However, this plan involves wholesale reform of the structure of areas such as health and education. Clearly, this is not change that the Chancellor could finalise in this budget.
 
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