Spending cuts unveiled - Museums Association

Spending cuts unveiled

The years of "public sector plenty" are over, warns chancellor
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Rebecca Atkinson

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will see its budget slashed by £88m this year as part of the government’s £6.2bn crackdown on “wasteful spending”.

The Chancellor George Osborne and chief secretary to the Treasury David Laws have today announced a new wave of government spending cuts, which they say will help reduce the budget deficit without affecting frontline services.

The DCMS – which has one of the smallest department budgets at about £5bn – will see its budget cut by £88m during the current financial year. This includes £27m from the Olympic Delivery Authority.

It is also more than its equal share, as calculated by culture secretary Jeremy Hunt. During an interview on Newsnight on 12 May, Hunt said that each department would see its budget cut by £66m if cuts were applied evenly.

The departmental cuts announced today are as follows:

· Business: £836m
· Communities and Local Government: £780m
· Department for Transport: £683m
· Devolved Administrations: £704m
· Department for Education: £670m
· Work and Pensions: £535m
· Chancellor’s Departments: £451m
· Local Government DEL: £405m
· Home Office: £367m
· Ministry of Justice: £325m
· Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: £162m
· Culture, Media and Sport: £88m
· Department of Energy and Climate Change: £85m
· Cabinet Office: £79m
· Foreign Office:  £55m
· Law Officers’ Departments: £18m

Although each department will have the freedom to decide what aspects of their budget they want to cut, Osborne said the Treasury expects all departments to collectively make the following savings:

· £1.15bn in cutting discretionary areas such as consultancy, advertising and travel costs
· £1.7bn from delaying and stopping contracts and projects, including immediate negotiations to achieve cost reductions from the 70 major suppliers to government
· £600m from cutting the costs of quangos
· £170m from reductions in property costs
· £95m from IT
· At least £120m from freezing civil service recruitment

Meanwhile, Regional Development Agencies will have to cut back on spending that has the lowest economic impact. In addition, £1.165bn of savings will be made in local government by reducing grants to local authorities.
Osborne will set out a comprehensive plan to eliminate the bulk of the UK's deficit over the course of this Parliament in the Budget on 22 June. The Treasury will also undertake a spending review, reporting in the autumn following consultation with all tiers of government and the private sector.

(Image: Jeremy Hunt, right, and minister for culture Ed Vaizey. Credit Tom Donald)

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