UK Politics

Spending cuts: Department by department

George Osborne Image copyright Getty Images

Chancellor George Osborne has ordered non-protected government departments to find £3bn in savings in the current financial year. It comes ahead of a deeper cuts programme to be announced in his July Budget.

Here is what we know so far about this year's cuts.

Education (non-schools) - £450m

Savings will be made in the further and higher education budgets but the education department says they are not cuts but savings based on underspends.

A spokeswoman said: "These savings will come from a variety of measures including expected departmental underspends in demand-led budgets, efficiencies and some small budgetary reductions."

Health (non-NHS) - £200m

The NHS in England is protected from cuts but the department is cutting the public health budget for local councils.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - £83m

Image caption Urban seagulls have been given a reprieve

Defra says it plans to makes savings through efficiencies and cuts to "low-priority" programmes. A spokesman said the department "needs to go through a process" to determine exactly where the cuts will fall.

However, it already plans to scrap a research programme on urban seagulls, which will save £250,000.

The funding for the programme, which was meant to find ways to alleviate the noise and mess created by gulls, had been announced in the March budget. The money was granted after a campaign by Lib Dem Don Foster, who lost his seat at the election.

The department will also look to make savings through "efficiencies within the department and across our network" - meaning arms-length bodies will also feel the cuts.

Culture, Media and Sport - £30m

Image caption The Imperial War Museum is facing a budget cut

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport says it will cut the funding of dozens of arts and sports organisations.

The department says its latest forecasts show spending in many areas will be "lower than previously expected" and £25m of its total cuts will come through under-spends.

As part of that figure, DCMS will cut 1% or £0.9m from its core budget.

Another £3.3m will come from a 0.5% across-the-board reduction in funding for arms-length bodies, including the Imperial War Museum, UK Sport, UK Anti-Doping and Royal Parks.

Historic England will be exempted.

There will also be a 5% reduction in the Government Equalities Office budget, which will save £1.7m.

Transport - £545m

The Department of Transport says it expects to make a significant amount of the cuts to its budget for this year through cuts to Transport for London's budget and underspends on cycling and regional air links.

About £345m is expected to be raised by selling off land around Kings Cross station.

The remaining savings are:

  • £124m - reduced contingency money held by the department
  • £31m - reduction in Transport for London funding
  • £23m - expected underspend on the Cycle Cities Ambition budget
  • £16m - expected underspend on the Regional Air Connectivity fund
  • £5m - expected underspend on the Stations Commercial Projects Facility
  • £1m - expected underspend on the Sheffield Tram Train Project

A spokesman for the department stresses that no projects are being cancelled and the underspends do not compromise the overall schemes.

Communities and Local Government - £230m

The department says "prudent forward planning" means the cuts will not impact on any of its existing commitments.

"They have been made through higher-than-expected receipts from the sale of public sector land for house building and by reducing contingency that is no longer needed for the European Regional Development Programme," the spokesman said.

Business, Innovation and Skills - £450m

Higher and further education spending are set to bear the burden.

Home Office - £30m

The Home Office says in-year savings will not come from the core police grant or from the department's counter-terrorism funding for the police.

A spokesman said the department "will look to drive further efficiencies from its corporate spend, and in overheads in Home Office operational commands".

Justice - £249m

The Ministry of Justice says it plans to make savings, in part, by restricting the use of consultants and delaying capital projects.

It says £105m will be saved by "reprofiling" - or changing the timing - of capital projects.

An additional £144m will be saved by measures including cutting travel, overtime and the use of consultants or agency staff (£58m) and renegotiating contracts.

Some details are yet to be finalised but the MoJ says further cuts to legal aid "do not form part of this package".

A spokesperson said: "The department is committed to playing its part in the government's deficit reduction plans and delivering significant savings for the taxpayer.

"Following the chancellor's request to find additional in-year savings, we have put together a package that will enable us to drive underspends and efficiencies across the department, including savings from commercial contract negotiations."

Defence - £500m

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will have to make savings of about 1.5% of its total budget this year.

Officials says that it will come from "efficiency savings" and will not impact operations or manpower.

An MoD source says the cut "could have been worse" and is "manageable" but the BBC understands it might have an impact on the department's equipment plans.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale says the savings will mean the UK will still meet the Nato target of spending 2% of its GDP on defence this year and the bigger battle to continue meeting that target will be next year.

The MoD says the Treasury has agreed that the savings announced on Thursday will not reduce its "baseline" budget.

So any debate about future spending will be on the basis that the MoD has an annual budget of around £34bn pounds. Decisions about defence spending from 2016 onward will be based on the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review and the upcoming Strategic Defence Review.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office - £20m

A spokesman for the department said the contribution it would be making towards the spending cuts would not affect the FCO's core diplomatic activities nor the UK's position "as a leading global power".

"We will maintain our current global network. The reductions will come through continuing the work we have done to make the FCO more efficient," the spokesman said.

Energy and Climate Change - £70m

Work and Pensions - £105m

The Department for Work and Pensions says it will make £105m in savings this financial year by reducing fraud and error, and cutting administration costs.

The chancellor has outlined plans to save an additional £3bn from Whitehall departments this financial year.

The DWP says the "specifics" of how it will make the cuts will be announced "in due course".

But it will focus on increasing the amount it recovers from debtors, reducing fraud and error, and cutting back office costs like IT and contracts as well as encouraging more people to apply for benefits online.

A DWP spokesman said: "During the last Parliament, we improved the efficiency of the department, reducing DWP running costs by £2bn in 2014/5 compared to 2009/10.

"DWP will be contributing £105m of efficiency savings this year, through departmental budgets and increasing debt recoveries."

HM Revenue and Customs - £80m

HM Treasury - £7m

Cabinet Office - £17m

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said the department would find £17.4m savings "through a range of efficiency savings and a reduction in programme budgets across the department".

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