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April 28, 2010    

IFS warns of severe spending cuts in the years to come

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by Kay Murchie

A report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) claims the UK will face deep public spending cuts in the years between 2011 and 2015.

According to the Institute, if the three main political parties are to meet their budget commitments, then the UK will see the harshest spending cuts since years between 1976-1980.

However, the IFS has been critical of all three parties for being vague about how they plan to tackle the UK’s public debt problems.

The report predicts that a Labour Government would implement the biggest tax rises, totalling £24 billion during the course of the next parliament.

Labour has already said that in order to tackle the UK’s deficit, tax hikes could well be on the agenda.

The Liberal Democrats would need to cut an accumulated £51 billion from spending on public services by 2017, while the report states that Conservative plans would “imply cuts to spending on public services that have not been delivered over any five-year period since the Second World War”.

However, the IFS does highlight that Government borrowing over the course of the next parliament would be broadly similar for all three parties.

Commenting on its report, IFS director, Robert Chote, said: “Given that this fiscal repair job is likely to be the major domestic policy challenge for the next government, it is striking how reticent all three main UK parties have been in explaining how they would confront the task.”

Meanwhile, the think tank claims that the Conservatives are eager to cut public spending faster - a move which has been criticised by the Labour Government.

Chancellor Alistair Darling has warned many times that the economic recovery is still too fragile and warned that cutting the deficit too quickly could pose a threat to the economic recovery.

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