Tories would cut Whitehall budgets by 10%

The Conservatives would cut most Whitehall budgets by 10% if they came to power in the next general election, according to a shadow cabinet minister, potentially leading to more job losses.

Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary, upset fellow Tories after he admitted there were plans to “ring-fence” spending on health and international development, which would mean large reductions in other services within a few years.

In a BBC radio interview earlier this week, he said that after 2011, the party planned a cut of 10% in spending limits for departments other than health and foreign aid.

He said it was a “very tough spending requirement indeed”, but added he would not be in charge of choosing the cuts. “That’s the job of [shadow chancellor] George Osborne and [shadow chief secretary to the Treasury] Philip Hammond, who are the Treasury team, to be clear about where the spending restraint bites.”

Nearly 6,000 government HR jobs are already tipped to go after the current chancellor agreed plans to speed up the introduction of shared services across departments in his Budget in April. Further budget cuts could mean many more back office jobs, including HR, would be at risk.

The government is still consulting on reducing severance pay for civil servants ahead of thousands of public sector job cuts expected later this year.

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