DCMS faces 25% budget cut

Natalie Woolman
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The Department for Culture, Media and Sport could face cuts of 25% over the next four years, it was revealed in Chancellor George Osborne’s first budget today.

Final departmental budgets will be set in the spending review, due on October 20.

Osborne announced that departmental spending will be reduced by £17 billion more than expected by 2014-15 because, he said, “the structural deficit is worse than we were told”.

The previous government’s spending plans were to cut departments by £44 billion a year by 2014-15, equating to a reduction for unprotected departments, including DCMS, of 20%.

Due to the government’s commitments to the National Health Service and the its international aid obligations, the extra £17 billion of cuts will mean an average cut of 25% over four years for other departments.

However, not all departments will receive the same settlement and Osborne said he recognised the “pressures” on the education system and defence. The final settlements will be announced in October.

Osborne added: “Clearly, if we can find any additional savings to social security and welfare beyond those which I will shortly outline, then that will greatly relieve the pressure on these departments and that 25% figure.”

Last month, the DCMS was ordered to make £88 million of savings as part of Osborne’s plans for £6.2 billion of in-year cuts for 2010/11.

As a result, all DCMS bodies and the DCMS itself were asked to find savings of 3% in their 2010/11 budgets.

Arts Council England was hit harder however, with the DCMS demanding it save around 4%, equating to £19 million.

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