DfT agrees to Chancellor’s spending cuts target

The Department for Transport (DfT) is one of four government departments that have agreed to spending cuts over the next four years.

Chancellor George Osborne set out his priorities for the Spending Review during a speech at Imperial College in London today (9 November 2015).

He said: “We have reached provisional agreement on the spending plans of four government departments. The Department for Transport, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Communities and Local Government, and of course the Treasury.

“The resource spending – that is the day to day spending of those four departments – will be cut by 30% on average in total over the next four years. These savings will be achieved by a combination of further efficiencies in departments, closing low value programmes, and focusing on our priorities as a country.”

These provisional settlements apply to the day-to-day resource spending of the central departments – and are not the capital budgets of these departments.

Mr Osborne continued: “As I set out last week at the Launch of the National Infrastructure Commission – we will continue to invest in the things that make our economy more productive. We will spend £100 billion on infrastructure over the Parliament – updating our roads and railways; investing in flood defences to protect our homes and businesses; and delivering superfast broadband across the country.”

The full details of that capital settlement and the result of the local government settlement will be announced at the Spending Review on 25 November 2015.

Commenting on reports that the Department for Transport has agreed to cut its spending by around 30% over the next four years, Alan Mackenzie, chairman of the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA), said: “Reports of heavy cuts, particularly to transport resource expenditure, are of great concern and we hope the government does not do a U-turn on its commitment to improve the condition of our roads. The link between roads investment and economic growth is well established and cuts to the long-term maintenance funding that the sector has fought so hard to achieve would be a significant backward step. It seems to make little sense not to continue to invest in protecting those assets that we already have.”

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