Osborne's cuts get even bigger

Spending on public services will now be cut by 16.2 per cent over seven years.

Should you ever hear anyone suggest that the coaliton's cuts are not harsh, savage or draconian but are in fact "soft", "mild" and "insignificant", just show them this graph. At its lunchtime briefing on George Osborne's autumn statement, the Institute for Fiscal Studies confirmed that the coalition's cuts are even larger. Spending on public services will now be reduced by 16.2 per cent over seven years. As IFS director Paul Johnson commented in his opening remarks, "there has been no period like it in the last 60 years."

The largest cuts for 60 years

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It's worth noting that the total level of cuts falls to 5.3 per cent if you take into account increased debt interest and higher spending on welfare benefits (both examples non-discretionary spending - spending required by law). But no one can now deny that public services are being cut at a rate that modern Britain has never experienced.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Police shoot man in parliament

A man carrying what appeared to be a knife was shot by armed police after entering the parliamentary estate. 

From the window of the parliamentary Press Gallery, I have just seen police shoot a man who charged at officers while carrying what appeared to be a knife. A large crowd was seen fleeing from the man before he entered the parliamentary estate.

After several officers evaded him he was swiftly shot by armed police.

Ministers have been evacuated and journalists ordered to remain at their desks. 

More follows. Read Julia Rampen's news story here.

Armed police at the cordon outside Parliament on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Getty

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.