Spending review: George Osborne names the date

Push for £20bn of departmental cuts begins today - with spending review conclusions to be set out on November 25

Departmental budget cuts for the next five years will be set out on November 25, the government has confirmed.

As part of its spending review, the Treasury will ask departments to cut overall spending by £20bn, although according to BBC Newsnight departments will not receive specific targets.

Some 12.6% will have to be cut from non-protected departments over the next five years to meet the government’s aims, according to the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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Chancellor George Osborne is expected to encourage the sale of “billions of pounds” worth of public sector land as a key target, as well as selling off other state assets.

The chancellor announced £37bn savings in his summer Budget, including £12bn in welfare reductions and recouping £5bn through tougher action on tax avoidance and evasion.

Osborne has already pressed departments to achieve £3bn of additional savings in the current financial year. But he has said that, on current plans, no year “will see [departmental] cuts as deep as those required in 2011-12 and 2012-13”.

Further details are expected in a spending review document to be published later. Osborne will also be joined at 2:15pm by Treasury permanent secretary Nicholas Macpherson for a round of questioning from MPs on the Treasury select committee.

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