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Chancellor Osborne defends savage cuts

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by Kay Mitchell
”Chancellor

After yesterday’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Chancellor George Osborne has today defended his package of £81 billion spending cuts but deemed them to be fair.

Addressing parliament yesterday, Mr Osborne said “Tackling this budget deficit is unavoidable. The decisions about how we do it are not. There are choices. And today we make them. Investment in the future rather than the bills of past failure. That is our choice.”

Thirty-nine-year-old Osborne pledged that the cuts would bring the British economy “back from the brink”.

Labour described the cuts as a “reckless gamble” with the economy and have previously said the cuts could push the UK back into recession.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Mr Osborne said: ”I have chosen, in part, to pay for that, as part of the deficit reduction plan, by trying to curb the rise in the benefits bill. That has involved some hard choices but I think they are fair choices. If we don’t deal with the rapid rise in things like the housing benefit bill, which is now greatly more than we spend on the police, then we will have a real problem.”

Mr Osborne added that the top 10% of earners would be hit hardest but everyone was making a contribution to reducing the deficit.

However, many have argued (including the opposition) that the cuts will hit the poor hardest.

Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson, said there were “serious unanswered questions on how many jobs will be lost and how much the redundancies will cost the taxpayer”.

Shortly after the Spending Review was unveiled, crowds of protesters gathered at Downing Street to show their anger against the cuts.

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News posted: October 21, 2010

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