IFS says scale of cuts is 'historic'

Posted On: 
22nd November 2015

Spending cuts between 2010 and 2020 will be the deepest ever seen and will reduce the overall size of state spending to its lowest level since the Second World War, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said.

Paul Johnson, the IFS director, said he expects the shape of the state to become radically different and will likely be restricted largely to providing basic pensions and health care.

“The make-up of the state will be extremely different by 2020 from what it was in 2010,” Mr Johnson told the Telegraph.

“It will be much more focused on health and pensions and much less focused on things like provision of local services, police, further education, and other things like that.

“If you put these cuts on top of what we saw in the last Parliament, there really isn’t anything to compare. We have never had anything like it. The size of the state overall will be roughly where it was at the end of the 1990s, which was a historic low for the post-War period.”

Mr Osborne has promised not to cut spending on health, or education for children under 16. But Mr Johnson warned this meant ever deeper cuts in other departments.

“He has left the smaller departments essentially to bear the brunt of the cuts,” he said. “The consequence is he needs to find an average 27% savings from every other department.”