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Osborne yet to agree cuts with big-spending departments

George Osborne revealed today that seven Government departments have agreed to cut their Budgets in a move expected to save around £2bn.

But the Chancellor needs to cut spending by more than £11bn and has yet to reach agreement with big spending departments such as Defence and the Home Office.

This video report is by ITV News political correspondent Carl Dinnen:

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Osborne: 'We must not let Whitehall off the hook'

George Osborne told the BBC's Today programme earlier this morning that he does not want to "let Whitehall off the hook" when it comes to making savings in the spending review.

My central assumption in this spending review is that this is money I am now looking for which is coming out of Whitehall departments, that we have already found billions of pounds of welfare savings this year and we have got to make sure that Whitehall is not let off the hook, that there are still substantial savings - better value for money we can get for taxpayers' money out of the machinery of government.

– George Osborne

Osborne 'must take action' to get economy growing

Chris Leslie, Labour's Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has said that George Osborne should be taking action to get the economy growing strongly, following the Chancellor's comments on the spending review earlier today.

This is a spending review David Cameron and George Osborne never wanted or expected to happen.

The Chancellor is now asking for even more spending cuts, with most big departments yet to reach agreement.

After the IMF's damning criticism last week George Osborne should be asking himself what’s gone wrong and taking action to get the economy growing strongly between now and 2015.

Sadly he seems set to spend the next two years sticking to policies that are badly failing on living standards, growth and even deficit reduction.

– Chris Leslie MP

Osborne 'in effect' rules out further welfare cuts

George Osborne has told BBC's Today programme that he is "in effect" ruling out further cuts to welfare in the Spending Review.

We've just got seven departments to agree to substantial savings. They've accepted cuts of anywhere between eight and 10 percent... It's a difficult decision, I'm not hiding that from anyone - but it's necessary.

– George Osborne

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Report: DWP 'offers to cut welfare bill by extra £3bn'

The Daily Telegraph has reported that the Work and Pensions Secretary has offered to cut the welfare bill by another £3bn each year to protect spending on the armed forces and police.

According to the newspaper, Iain Duncan Smith personally contacted the Defence and Home Secretaries about the proposal.

The report suggested more welfare cuts are being proposed to due to national security concerns. Credit: Press Association

But a spokeswoman for Mr Duncan Smith said: "Iain has not had any special discussions about protecting the defence or security budgets. These measures were on the table at the time of the Autumn Statement."

Osborne: Whitehall cuts to help 'get this deficit down'

Chancellor George Osborne has said that seven government departments have provisionally agreed to cuts of up to 10% for 2015 to help make savings of £11.5bn.

Speaking to ITV's Daybreak, Mr Osborne said: "This will enable us to get this deficit down and also, crucially, spend money where I think the public want it spent, which is on things like the NHS and on the kind of infrastructure".

Seven Whitehall departments agree to spending cuts

Seven Whitehall departments have agreed to make cuts to help make savings of £11.5bn for 2015, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

Justice, energy and communities departments are among those which will make "provisional" savings of up to 10 percent.

The Whitehall department s have agreed to cuts of up to 10 percent Credit: PA Wire

The full details will be revealed in next month's spending review.

Report: Army to fire 8,000 British soldiers at New Year

The latest wave of cuts apparently includes those serving on the frontline in Afghanistan. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive

Eight thousand British soldiers will be made redundant in the latest Ministry of Defence spending cuts, The Mail on Sunday has reported.

Redundancy notices will apparently be issued to servicemen and women shortly after Christmas, including those serving on the frontline in Afghanistan.

The axing will reduce the Army to 86,000, the smallest size since the 1700s, the newspaper said, adding that the latest losses were part of "sudden speeded-up cutbacks".

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