The spending cuts: An overview


The biggest UK spending cuts in decades were announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne today.

There is no doubt the Government has pledged some serious slashing, with 6 billion of savings to be achieved in Whitehall alone, up from the previously planned 3 billion.

"Today is the day when Britain steps back from the brink," Osborne said, defiantly claiming Britain will not return to "the brink of bankruptcy."

The response has been mixed, with some economists saying if the coalition can stick to the plans outlined today then the deficit is likely to come down adequately enough.

Others have bemoaned the job cuts, which are expected to total around a million from both public and private sector once the announcements kick in, while some have labelled the plans as a huge gamble.

Across the board, the cuts confirmed the UK is in for a tough four years, but what will the specific impact be on IT and the technology sector at large?

Well, the industry appears to have come out relatively positively.

Firstly there was the pledge to provide a 900 million boost to help tackle fraud and tax evasion by harnessing the power of technology and better IT partnerships.

Not only should this bring jobs, it is likely private firms will do well from it. Indeed, public workers who lose their jobs in the coming months and years could easily be snapped up by private organisations.

Meanwhile, the BBC has agreed to help partly fund the Government's 530 million broadband push to help next-generation services reach rural parts of the UK.

Questions remain, however, over whether the broadband plans and the proposed joint efforts from public and private bodies will work.

The science budget has also been frozen in cash terms at 4.6 billion a year, although in real terms the story is a little less encouraging.

Of course, it will not be an easy ride, but despite the overriding doom and gloom, the cuts were comparatively not so disastrous for the IT sector and there is room for optimism.

For our full roundup of spending cuts news, comment, analysis and blogs, head here.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.