George Osborne asks which services should be axed

1 min Read Published: 08 Jun 2010

George Osborne will begin a "once-in-a-generation" drive to rein in government expenditure and he is calling on the public to help.

The Chancellor is set to wield his axe on Whitehall spending as he starts a five month review of departmental budgets for the next three years.

He urged the public to attend meetings and respond with ideas online as the coalition tries to incorporate the public into decisions that David Cameron acknowledged could be felt for decades

The Prime Minister yesterday described the “inevitably painful times” ahead as his new government try to deal with a deficit that was “even worse” than he had feared.

The PM said that on current trends, Britain would be paying £70 billion a year in interest on the national debt by 2015— more than the present budgets for schools, climate change and transport together. By then, the debt — the country’s mortgage as opposed to the £156 billion budget deficit, or overdraft — would have doubled to £1.4 trillion.

The Chancellor is likely to hint at his vision for the future of public services in his Commons appearance today and is likely to set three main guidelines.

1 - Spending review - with engagement from trade unions, charities, other groups and individuals. Ministers are expected to appear at public meetings in the search for ideas about how government spends money.

2 - Re-evaluation of the role of government — what it should and should not provide, how to improve the quality of key areas while cutting spending elsewhere.

3 - Draw on the experiences of other countries - such as Canada that oversaw a swift and successful deficit-reduction plan in the early 1990s.

Let us know what you think (and at the same time help George do his job) and we'll pass it on to the man himself.