THE CHANCELLOR will also announce cuts to government spending today, with an extra £1bn a year being shaved off departmental budgets over the next two years.
There will be no cuts to health, education, international development, HMRC, local government or security services coffers, the Treasury confirmed last night. The Ministry of Defence will also be given “exceptional flexibility” when it comes to spending reductions, after ministers faced tough criticism over previous cuts to military budgets.
A Treasury insider confirmed the plans, adding: “This is a 1.1 per cent cut for each department and the MoD is able to roll over £800m of underspend into next year. Normally we take that money back but we’re letting them roll it over because we want to ensure the armed forces are properly funded,” he added.
Defence secretary Philip Hammond hit back earlier this month at claims he has consistently underspent despite staff redundancies, saying he was budgeting “prudently.”