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NHS “must accept budget cuts to stop Greek-style collapse”

11 June 2010

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Government spending should be slashed by more than £90bn by 2015, according to a new report, which also says that the NHS should take its share of the burden of cuts.

Chancellor George Osborne is set to deliver his emergency budget on 22 June, when he will confirm the overall reduction in the government’s £670bn annual expenditure needed to repair the hole in Britain’s public finances.

However, Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured) has already said the government will defend the NHS, along with schools and overseas aid, from cuts. And few commentators expect the axe to fall as severely as the report by the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) thinktank suggests.

The report, entitled The Party is Over – A Blueprint for Fiscal Stability, says the government must wipe out Britain’s deficit during this Parliament to avoid a collapse in confidence similar to has been seen in Greece.

Author Nigel Hawkins calculates that this would involve cuts in public spending of 3% a year across all Whitehall departments over the next five years.

He argues that no budget should be ring-fenced, with even the health budget subject to an annual reduction of around 2% a year.

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