Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Government urged to scale back cuts

George Osborne's Spending Review could endanger economic recovery, say devolved leaders

The Government is under pressure from the UK's three devolved administrations to scale back on its planned spending cuts.

A joint statement from the administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales said Chancellor George Osborne's October 20 Spending Review could endanger economic recovery.

They appealed for central government to reduce its plan to cut billions from the devolved budgets over the next four years, while also recommending it implement the savings over a longer period.

The statement said: "There is now less than a fortnight until the publication of the UK's Comprehensive Spending Review and the Scottish Government, Northern Ireland Executive and Welsh Assembly Government wait with considerable apprehension to learn of the consequences for our respective budgets.

"While we recognise that a credible budget strategy is vital in returning the public finances to a sustainable footing and maintaining the confidence of the wider community including the financial markets, it is essential that we do not put the recovery at risk.

"We are concerned however that the UK Government's spending plans may do just that."

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