Further cuts and benefits changes announced in Government’s Spending Review

George Osborne
George Osborne

Further cuts to local services and changes to the benefits system were announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the Government’s spending review today.

Wakefield Council’s budget will be slashed by a further 10 per cent to help save £11.5bn in 2015/16.

A cap on welfare spending will be introduced and jobseekers will be made to wait seven days before they can sign on.

Claimants who don’t speak English will have to attend language lessons or face losing their benefits.

Council tax will be frozen for the next two years and there will be a one per cent cap on public sector pay rises.

Mr Osborne said the police budget would be cut by “less than six per cent” but the counter-terrorism budget would be protected.

And he said there would be departmental cuts of 10 per cent to Justice, nine per cent to Transport, eight per cent to the Foreign Office, seven per cent to Culture, Media and Sport, and six per cent to Business, Innovation and Skills.

Mr Osborne said the education budget would rise to £53bn and that funding would be distributed more fairly to schools.

He also announced increased capital budgets of £9.5bn in transport and £4.7bn in the NHS.

The science budget will rise to £4.6bn.

The Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said Mr Osborne had failed to grow the economy, and dismissed the spending review as “more of the same”.