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New cuts for Defra, DECC and DCLG

Defra and the Communities and Climate Change departments have offered a total of £383m in a package of savings announced by the Chancellor.

In the debate on the Queen’s Speech, George Osborne said a review of spending by ‘non-protected’ Government departments process had identified asset sales, underspends and efficiencies to contribute to £4.5bn towards debt reduction.

Protected areas of the Whitehall budget include the NHS, schools and overseas aid.

Osborne said that selling its remaining 30% stake in royal Mail would raise £1.5bn with a further £3bn coming from the departments, said to be equivalent to 3% of unprotected departmental spending this year.

Individually, that means cuts of £230m at DCLG, £83m at Defra, and £70m at Decc. The business department is contributing £450m.

A Defra spokesman told MRW that efficiency savings would be made through cutting low priority schemes such as the £250,000 urban seagulls fund, which will be cancelled.

The fund, to research the aggressive behaviour of gulls in towns, was only announced by Osborne in the March Budget.

The Institute for Government tweeted a calculation that, proportionately, Defra was the department hit second-hardest by the cuts at around 3.8%.


Readers' comments (1)

  • So we'll be able to say that we are still in the Nuclear weapons club but that our environmental credentials are not worth anything. We claim to be leading the world on Climate issues - A claim which is doubtful according to these actions!

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