15/01/2010

Tories Plan 'Immediate Cuts'

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has said a Tory government would implement spending cuts immediately after entering Downing Street.

He said a Conservative election win would result in public expenditure reductions in areas such as advertising and family tax credits.

People earning over £50,000 would be affected by the move.

Savings would also be made by halting child trust funds for well off families, Mr Osborne said.

Speaking at the London School of Economics, the Shadow Chancellor (pictured) signalled his party's spending intentions for the next financial year for the first time.

Labour and the Lib Dems have both warned Tory plans would put economic recovery at risk.

Mr Osborne said today: "Everyone knows the government's spending plans for next year are driven by a looming General Election and not economic reality.
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"So, with the date of the general election increasingly likely to be after the beginning of the next financial year, that means we will need to make early in-year reductions in existing plans.

"Programmes that represent poor value for money, excessive spending on things like advertising and consultants, spending on tax credits for people earning over £50,000, and spending on child trust funds for better off families will all have to be cut during the financial year."

He claimed holding back on cuts would damage the UK's standing within international markets.

The Shadow Chancellor suggested interest rates could rise, once again pushing up mortgage prices.

Liam Byrne, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has insisted the Tories' plans would "put the recovery in grave danger".

"This is yet another Tory speech which raises more questions than it answered," said Mr Byrne.

(PR/GK)

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