Analysis suggests Chancellor will have to double cuts to £48bn a year

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne might have to demand even greater cuts from services including the army, police and the courts according to a new analysis by the Financial Times.

The Financial Times has concluded that George Osborne might be required to make cuts of as much as £48 billion a year, nearly double what the Chancellor is already attempting to make in savings. The FT’s analysis was based on figures from the Office of Budgetary Responsibility for March, and has concluded that departments whose budgets are not ring-fenced could face real cuts of up to 33 per cent until 2018-19.

The FT has suggested that the increase in savings Mr Osborne will need to make is due to current levels of cuts not including the savings necessary during 2014-15 and 2018-19. The FT has also suggested existing figures do not account for increased departmental spending due to increasing numbers of pensioners and rising pension payments.

The analysis suggests that the government’s austerity programme could not only continue for longer than anticipated, but could potentially be more severe than has yet been experienced. Any demand for additional cuts would likely place even pressure on the budgets of departments without ring-fenced budgets, which include the Ministry of Defence, Department for Work and Pensions, and the Home Office.