Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s plans as outlined in the Budget to cut public spending by £16bn “do not look deliverable without considerable pain,” according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS).
In yesterday’s budget, Sunak unveiled plans to add £4bn of spending cuts to the existing proposal of £12bn as outlined in last autumn’s spending review.
The IFS, a leading economic think-tank, claims that the budget presents a scenario of fiscal tightening of more than £30bn relative to previous plans and that the Chancellor’s “medium term spending plans look implausibly low.”
The think-tank’s damning criticism also addressed the lack of provision made for the continued expense of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the budget failing to address such spending beyond next year.
Director of the IFS, Paul Johnson, said: “Take account of the cuts to planned spending announced in the Autumn and ‘Santa Sunak’, purveyor of billions today looks more like ‘Scrooge Sunak’, cutting spending and raising taxes to the tune of nearly £50billion relative to his pre-pandemic plans of March 2020.
“No money to deal with post-pandemic priorities, no policies to deal with the inequalities that have opened up over the last year between rich and poor, old and young, more and less well educated.”
He added: “There are the chances of delivering what look like £17billion of spending cuts relative to March 2020 plans which, broadly speaking, is what Sunak says he is planning,” he added.
“I may be proved wrong, but I’d offer 10 to 1 against that happening.”
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