Budget will cost up to 1.3 million jobs, leaked Treasury data reveals

Chancellor George Osborne’s austerity Budget will result in the loss of up to 1.3 million jobs across the economy over the next five years, according to a private Treasury assessment of the planned spending cuts, the Guardian has reported.

Unpublished estimates of the impact of the biggest squeeze on public spending since the Second World War show the government is expecting between 500,000 and 600,000 jobs to go in the public sector and between 600,000 and 700,000 to disappear in the private sector by 2015, the newspaper said.

Osborne gave no hint last week about the likely effect of his emergency measures on the labour market, although he would have had access to the forecasts traditionally prepared for ministers and senior civil servants in the days leading up to a Budget or pre-Budget report.

A slide from the final version of a presentation for last week’s Budget, seen by the Guardian, says: “100-120,000 public sector jobs and 120-140,000 private sector jobs assumed to be lost per annum for five years through cuts.”

The job losses in the public sector will result from the 25% inflation-adjusted reduction in Whitehall spending over the next five years, while the private sector will be affected both through the loss of government contracts and from the knock-on impact of lower public spending, the Guardian said.

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