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IFS: Autumn Statement means 'colossal cuts'

Yesterday's Autumn Statement means the UK is set for "cuts on a colossal scale", according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

George Osborne earlier condemned "hyperbolic" coverage of his spending plans.

Public spending is likely to fall to its lowest level since the 1930s during the next Parliament, according to new analysis from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

However, Osborne said warnings over the cuts were "nonsense" - particularly targeting the BBC for criticism over its coverage.

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IFS: Tory cuts plans would change state 'beyond recognition'

The scale of the Conservatives' planned spending cuts after 2015 would mean the role of the state would change "beyond recognition", the head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said.

The IFS said £35 billion of the cuts in spending by Whitehall departments have already happened, with £55 billion yet to come.

If reductions in departmental spending were to continue at the same pace after the May 2015 election as they have over the past four years, welfare cuts or tax rises worth about £21 billion a year would be needed by 2019/20 - at a time when Conservatives are committed to income tax cuts worth £7 billion - said IFS director Paul Johnson.

Mr Johnson said voters would be justified in asking whether George Osborne was planning "a fundamental reimagining of the role of the state".

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