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George Osborne’s £4.5bn savings plan: what’s being cut?

9th June 2015

Schools, colleges and universities

Both the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – the government’s two main funding providers for education – face cuts of £450m a piece from their 2015-16 budgets. And in both cases the cuts will be concentrated in areas that have already been hit hard.

For the DfE, pre-election promises that the Conservatives would ringfence spending on schools – defined as spending on education from ages four to 16 – means that the pressure will be on funding for nursery and pre-school education at one end, and post-16 schooling at the other, mainly on sixth form spending.

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

The department had been braced for the cuts but the further commitment to expand free childcare places for working parents means the department will receive more funding for the policy from 2016 onwards.

At BIS, a similar ringfencing has been applied to science and research spending, meaning the cuts will fall on what the Treasury describes as “savings in higher education and further education budgets” – with the further education sector remaining the most exposed to cuts. Richard Adams

Culture, Media and Sport

Given that some on the political right wanted the Department of Culture, Media and Sport axed altogether before the general election, its employees will be relatively pleased with the £30m cut to its annual budget of £1.2bn.

With Ukip’s manifesto pledge to scrap the DCMS no longer even a pipe dream, the 2.5% overall cut will fall hardest on arms-length funding bodies or quangos. This is especially so as the number of departmental civil servants has been cut in recent years to fewer than 500.

Quangos including Historic England, the British Film Institute, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, the Royal Parks Agency, Sports Ground Safety Authority, UK Anti-Doping and UK Sport’s admin budget all bore the brunt of the 7% overall cuts in 2013 and are expected to do so again.

Some of the £30m is expected to come from an underspend on the £250m set aside to roll out superfast broadband across the country. The Arts Council has been asked to shave just 0.3% from its budget after a successful campaign to convince the chancellor that the creative economies had a key part to play in economic growth. Peter Bazalgette, the chair of Arts Council England, said the money could be saved from efficiency savings within the organisation rather than cuttting arts funding. “We’re really pleased that our internal efficiencies we don’t have to cut the money going to arts organisations.” Jane Martinson

Read more on the Guardian website