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
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.