Social care budgets could be slashed by one-third over the next four years after yesterday’s emergency Budget, public spending experts have warned.
Chancellor George Osborne said yesterday that public services other than the NHS and overseas aid faced average cuts of 25% in real terms over the next four years to achieve the government’s aim of eliminating the UK’s structural budget deficit by 2014-15.
However, the government has indicated that defence and education will do better than other areas.
In a briefing on the Budget today, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said that, if these two areas receive 10% cuts from 2011-12 to 2014-15, social care and other services would be slashed by 33% on average over that time.
Cuts on that scale could be avoided if the government cuts deeper into welfare spending than the planned £11bn annual reduction by 2014-15 announced by Osborne yesterday.
The IFS’s director, Robert Chote, said: “We are looking at the longest, deepest sustained period of cuts to public services spending at least since World War Two.”