DEFRA and DECC to make £247M of savings

The Government's energy and environment departments will have their budgets slashed by almost £250M as part of wide-ranging-cuts to the public sector.

George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, yesterday (May 24) announced £6.2billion of cuts to this year’s government spending.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will lose £162M, or 5.5% of its 2010/11 budget, in the cuts.

The cuts will mean less funding for Regional Development Agencies, IT and property.

The main saving will come in staffing with non-permanent workers reduced and a limit placed on recruitment.

However, funding will still be increased in flood management but ‘efficiencies’ will be found.

For its part the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will lose £85M from its budget.

DECC will cut £4.8M from its administrative costs with savings on pay and travel.

Another £20.2M will come from cuts to the department’s delivery bodies and a further £26m from other efficiencies including £6M by targeting lower impact spend in the Regional Development Agencies.

The remaining £34M will be cut from business support programmes including moving forward closure of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme.

Mr Osborne said: “In the space of just a week, we have found and agreed to cut £6billion of wasteful spending, across the public sector.

“Of that, £500M will be recycled and used to invest in targeted measures to improve Britain’s long-term growth potential and build a fairer society.

“But the great majority will go towards cutting the deficit this year so we can avoid the jobs tax next year.

“We have conducted the fastest and most collegiate spending review in recent history.

“That is what this new Government is all about, rolling up our sleeves, getting on with the job, working together in the national interest, delivering on our promises, getting a grip.”

Luke Walsh

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