What to cut? The essential guide

As we saw in last night's Leaders' Debate, the three party leaders have started to talk a little bit tougher on the need for cuts, but still seem flummoxed when it comes to the detail.

So, whether you're an ardent political activist, a frustrated taxpayer or a national Party Leader looking for some tips, here is our quick guide of what to cut:


Section 1: Tackling areas of spending that are not performing - Total: £7,705 million

1.1 Abolish the Bus Service Operators’ Grant - £451 million

1.2 End the ‘Preventing Violent Extremism’ grants - £15 million

1.3 Abolish Sure Start - £1,150 million

1.4 Abolish Building Schools for the Future - £2,300 million

1.5 Abolish the Education Maintenance Allowance - £530 million

1.6 Reduce ‘business skills’ support - £757 million

1.7 Halt further orders and upgrades for the Eurofighter - £740 million

1.8 Abolish England’s regional development agencies - £1,762 million

Section 2: Curbing over-extended government - Total: £1,595 million

2.1 Halve the government advertising and publicity budget - £270 million

2.2 Abolish Contact Point, the children’s database - £44 million

2.3 Abolish the NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) - £1,181 million

2.4 Abolish identity cards - £55 million

2.5 Abandon plans to extend the compulsory school leaving age to 18 - £45 million

Section 3: Cutting out the middle-man - Total: £6,850 million

3.1 Halve public sector spending on consultants - £1,100 million

3.2 Reduce non-frontline staff in health and schools by 10 per cent - £975 million

3.3 Reduce the size of the civil service by 10 per cent- £1,320 million

3.4 Scale down local education authorities (LEAs) in England - £599 million

3.5 Slim down the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) - £1,317 million

3.6 End government funding for ‘green consultancy’ firms - £138 million

3.7 Abolish the Government Equalities Office - £70 million

3.8 Begin a thorough rationalisation of taxpayer-funded quangos and public bodies, including total abolitions, funding reallocations and budget cuts - £1,331 million

Section 4: Tackling specific budgets - Total: £5,762 million

4.1 Cut 25 per cent from the budget of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) - £725 million

4.2 One-year freeze of the resource and capital budgets of the Department for International Development - £862 million

4.3 One-year freeze of the Home Office resource and capital budgets - £360 million

4.4 One-year freeze of the grants from the Department for Communities and Local Government to local and regional governments - £687 million

4.5 Cut 10 per cent from the budgets of non-ministerial departments, except for the UK Statistics Authority - £1,728 million

4.6 One-year freeze of the grants given to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales (current spending only) - £1,400 million

Section 5: Tackling above-inflation indexing - Total: £1,441 million

5.1 One-year freeze of the basic state pension and the Minimum Income Guarantee - £1,441 million

Section 6: Restraining public sector pay and perks - Total: £14,750 million

6.1 Reduce gross annual pay by 15 per cent for the richest 10 per cent in the public sector - £3,762 million

6.2 One-year pay freeze across the public sector, excluding members of the armed forces serving in conflict zones - £4,240 million

6.3 A further one-year pay freeze (from 2011/12) across the public sector, excluding members of the armed forces serving in conflict zones - £4,240 million

6.4 Increase employee contributions to all unfunded public sector pension schemes by a third - £2,508 million

Section 7: Cutting middle-class welfare - Total: £11,999 million

7.1 Abolish child benefit and the Child Trust Fund, and increase the child element of the Child Tax Credit to address child poverty concerns - £8,447 million

7.2 Taper away the family element of the Child Tax Credit at 39 per cent immediately upon exhaustion of the child element of the Child Tax Credit - £1,350 million

7.3 Target spending on free bus passes for the elderly and disabled on those who genuinely need it - £438 million

7.4 Transfer funding of free TV licences to the BBC - £564 million

7.5 Abolish interest subsidy to student loans - £1,200 million

Grand Total: £50.1 billion

To learn more detail about each of these proposed cuts as well as the strategy and politics of cutting spending, check out our book: How to cut public spending (and still win an election).

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