Osborne to set out framework for "painful" cuts

Chancellor to give details of new "star chamber" to oversee dramatic spending cuts.

George Osborne will today set out a framework for the introduction of "painful" spending cuts, with a promise to "throw open the doors of Whitehall" in a bid to tackle the country's £156bn deficit.

The Chancellor and the new Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, will tell MPs of their plans for a spending review in the autumn, which is expected to cut as much as £60bn from annual expenditure.

A Treasury official said: "Anyone who thinks the spending review is just about saving money is missing the point. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the way that government works."

Osborne and Alexander will also announce plans to create a "star chamber" of senior figures, before which ministers will have to justify their spending.

The process is modelled on Canada's successful deficit-reduction strategy from the 1990s, which saw 20 per cent cut from federal budgets after a spending crackdown.

In a speech on Monday, David Cameron said the action needed to tackle Britain's deficit "will affect every single person in our country".

"How we deal with these things will affect our economy, our society - indeed our whole way of life," he said.

"The effects of those decisions will stay with us for years, perhaps decades, to come."