1. National

Osborne insists 'difficult decisions will protect NHS'

Chancellor George Osborne insists the "difficult decisions" he has made will protect the NHS after delivering his final pre-election Budget yesterday.

View all 84 updates ›

IFS warns of 'significant and deep' spending cuts

"Significant" and "deep" spending cuts will be needed to meet George Osborne's Budget aims, an independent economics think tank has warned.

George Osborne outlined his pre-election Budget yesterday. Credit: PA Wire

Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "In order to meet the Chancellor's aims, you do need some significant and some really quite deep spending cuts in 2016/17 and 2017/18, and then he takes his foot right off the accelerator in 2019/20.

"So you get big spending cuts in the first couple of years and then spending increases right at the end."

Mr Johnson also accused the Chancellor of not giving enough detail about how welfare cuts and a clampdown on tax avoidance would deliver savings.

"I think it's rather disappointing that so far in, we still haven't heard any details about this", he said.

More on this story