One in ten British public sector workers faces axe
Good for Britain if it actually happens
One in ten public sector workers will lose their jobs in the bloodiest spending cuts since the Second World War. Millions more will be told to take a pay cut or reduce their hours as George Osborne ushers in four years of pain today.
The Chancellor is pinning his hopes on the private sector creating hundreds of thousands of jobs as he sets out plans to repair the battered public finances.
State workers, who currently account for one in five of the workforce, are bracing themselves for compulsory redundancies, vacancies left unfilled and recruitment freezes.
The public sector, welfare, tax credits and the Home Office and Ministry of Justice will all take the strain of paying off Britain's record budget deficit in moves expected to include:
* A dramatic acceleration of the timetable to increase the state pension age;
* Entire areas of state activity handed over to businesses, charities and citizens;
* Further cuts to tax credits, removing them from middle earners;
* A reprieve for child benefit for 16 to 19-year-olds after a dramatic last-minute U-turn by Mr Osborne;
* Cuts of around 50 per cent to the housing budget in an end to 'a council home for life';
* The biggest sell-off of state assets since Margaret Thatcher to raise more than £20billion.
The action comes as the Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King last night warned that Britain's 'nice' decade of low inflation and solid economic growth will now be replaced by a 'sober' decade.