Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

News round-up 28/3: Treasury wants 10% further cuts

  • 1 Comment

Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government


Spending review

Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander has told departments to prepare for further budget cuts of up to 10% as part of efforts to save £11.5bn, reports the FT. Ministers have until the end of next month to tell the Treasury how they plan to make savings, before a final decision is announced on 26 June.

The Independent reports that communities secretary Eric Pickles and justice secretary Chris Grayling are amongst a group of cabinet ministers who have been dubbed the ‘National Union of Ministers’ - providing the same acronym as the National Union of Miners - for their rebellion against further cuts.


Welfare reform

Labour MP Frank Field has launched a strong attack on the “wicked” bedroom tax that comes into force next week. The Independent reports Mr Field urging council landlords to knock down walls and brick up doors in their properties to reduce the number of bedrooms - thereby saving families threatened with eviction.

More than 50 senior welfare experts have urged the government to reconsider benefit cuts, claiming the changes will push 200,000 children into poverty, the Guardian

Ealing LBC has been criticised by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg for a leaflet sent to social housing tenants suggesting they could avoid the “bedroom tax” by becoming foster parents, the Daily Mail reports. In response, the authority said: “Until recently foster families were not exempt from the changes regarding spare bedrooms so we produced a leaflet to explain the position.” It added: “We have a very rigorous assessment process and if financial gain was the sole motivation the applicant would not be approved.”


Social care

Care homes are “routinely locking up elderly people” to make life easier for staff, the Daily Telegraph reports. It says an investigation by the Care Quality Commission found that too many NHS hospitals and care homes imposed “blanket restrictions” which involved locking doors on wards and day rooms.



A whistleblower has accused the NHS watchdog as registering failing hospitals as safe in order to avoid exposing scandals like that in Mid Staffordshire, the Daily Telegraph reports. It says Kay Sheldon, a non-executive director of the Care Quality Commission, said the watchdog had given “false assurance” about failing hospitals.


Energy bills

The average household energy bill for March will be £80 higher than in previous years, as the prolonged cold spell forces people to keep their heating switched on. The Independent reports that household budgets are likely to come under further strain over the next year in the wake of rising wholesale gas prices. The news comes as annual ‘dual fuel’ gas and electricity bills have already reached record highs of £1,300.



We hope you enjoyed the above article. To get unlimited access to all articles on you will need to have a paid subscription. Subscribe now to save yourself £100 off the standard subscription rate.

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • So is that 10% of all 'non - protected' departmental budgets including DWP and DCLG? I make that a substantial multiple of £11.5bn but it would not be surprising that cuts have to well over shoot the nominal deficit reduction because of economic 'reactance'.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.