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Osborne agrees £11.5bn cuts for Whitehall

All departments have now finalised deals for the Spending Review, due this Wednesday.

Chancellor George Osborne plans to cut around £11.5bn from Whitehall spending in 2015/16. The Government will also announce plans for new infrastructure projects on Thursday, including investment in roads, broadband and energy schemes.

The budget agreed with Defence includes more redundancies in civilian posts to protect against losses to the frontline. Business secretary Vince Cable has been resisting cuts of at least £1bn, while Michael Gove is under pressure to identify £2bn savings in the parts of his budget that are not ring-fenced, including childcare and further education.

A Treasury spokesman said: “We’ve completed the spending round savings early and without all the arguments you normally get. This shows our determination to take the tough decisions needed to deliver our economic plan and to turn Britain around.”

Osborne said: “There will not be a reduction in our military capability, we are not going to reduce the number of our sailors, soldiers and airmen.

“In fact we are going to be able to spend some more money on things like cyber, which is the new frontier in defence.”

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme: “I think we are out of intensive care and our job now is to secure the recovery.”

(Library image)

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