Four Cabinet ministers "resisting departmental cuts"

BIS and the MoJ facing "huge" cuts in the Spending Review, sources tell the Daily Telegraph

By Sebastian Whale

13 Oct 2015

Four senior Cabinet ministers are resisting plans to cut their departments by up to 40%, the Daily Telegraph has reported

Chancellor George Osborne has called on departments to model budget cuts of both 25% and 40% as part of his target to find £20bn in savings.

The paper reports that foreign secretary Philip Hammond and work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith are among those in the Cabinet to have so far refused to submit their budget plans to the Treasury.

Under the cuts so far submitted by Whitehall departments, total public spending is set to rise in real terms, according to the Telegraph – despite Mr Osborne’s ambition to see massive savings in public expenditure.

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The rise is prompted by the UK’s commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence alongside the ring-fenced budgets for the NHS, overseas aid and parts of education spending.

Meanwhile, home secretary Theresa May is also reportedly said to have resisted implementing the savings to the Home Office, though Whitehall sources have sought to cool these claims.

Energy secretary Amber Rudd and education secretary Nicky Morgan have also reportedly raised concerns about the level of cuts. But business secretary Sajid Javid and justice secretary Michael Gove are said to be “enthusiastically” embracing the efficiency savings to their departments.

A source told the Daily Telegraph: “The cuts in Business and Justice are going to be huge. Sajid and Michael are very keen to please the Chancellor in this Spending Review.”

The chancellor is reportedly asking ministers to submit their proposed cuts well in advance of the final days of the autumn Spending Review on 25 November.

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