Osborne told to cut a further £22bn

Sunday Times reports on the autumn statement

Ahead of George Osborne’s autumn statement on December 5, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the Free Enterprise Group (FEG) of Conservative MPs are calling on Osborne to consider some highly controversial measures.

They include overhauling the Barnett formula, by which Scottish spending is subsidised, to save the exchequer £6.4bn and freezing overseas aid to save a further £2.2bn. Cutting payments to trade unions from the public purse could save a further £170m.

The £22bn equivalent to £840 a household— would have to be introduced by 2015-16 to ensure the chancellor meets a target for public debt to be shrinking as a share of the economy by that year.

Mark Littlewood, director-general of the IEA, said the Office for Budget Responsibility was highly likely to downgrade its projections for the British economy from earlier this year, when it had predicted that Osborne was on course to hit his fiscal targets.

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