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PUBLIC spending will have to be slashed by BILLIONS more than either Labour or the Tories dare admit, it was revealed last night.
 
New figures show that, whichever party wins the next election, there will have to cuts of around 15 PER CENT . . . totalling a massive £22BILLION.
 
That’s equal to the ENTIRE budget for Britain’s secondary schools or FIVE TIMES the current bill for unemployment benefit.
 
And it’s enough to pay for ONE MILLION nurses or 100 new hospitals — or 750,000 bobbies.
 
Otherwise every household in the land will have to fork out a whopping £30-A-WEEK extra in tax to balance the books.
 
This is despite Gordon Brown insisting he would actually INCREASE spending — regardless of his own figures showing the opposite.
 
And although the Tories have come clean on their plans to make savings they are only talking about 10 per cent cuts. But new figures — worked out by top accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers after analysing projections from Labour’s own Budget — show far more savage savings will be needed in the three years to 2013/14.
 
John Hawksworth, the firm’s head of macroeconomics, said: “Public spending cuts may need to be greater than either party is admitting. If Health is protected then other departmental spending would need to be cut by around 15 per cent in real terms.
 
“These real spending cuts equate to an average of around £1,600 per UK household — so that is the broad scale of the tax rises that might be needed if these cuts were not made. This arithmetic applies to whoever wins the next election.”
 
Public spending cuts are set to be the key battleground at the election. Gordon Brown has already labelled Tory leader David Cameron “Mr 10 Per Cent” after Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley admitted the Tories planned cuts of that size, except in health and international development.
 
But Brown’s insistence Labour would increase spending has thrown the government into disarray, with Chancellor Alistair Darling and Chief Treasury Secretary Yvette Cooper both asking Brown at this week’s Cabinet meeting to drop his claims.
 
The PM refused and was last night desperately sticking to his guns despite Tory accusations of “breath-taking dishonesty”. He told the News of the World: “We are the party of the public services, not the Conservatives, who have exposed themselves by saying 10 per cent cuts.
 
“Ten per cent cuts for police would take thousands of police off the beat. Now that is not what the public in this country want to see.”

 

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