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BCC against ring fencing any budget cuts

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today come out with a heartfelt request that the UK government refrains from ring fencing any budgets in the forthcoming round of budget cuts. There is talk that healthcare and internationally aid could well be ring fenced leaving other government departments to take the lion's share of the cuts. Is this fair?

In the view of the BCC the idea of fencing any particular area of the UK government budget is wrong and could end up being counterproductive. Indeed there is evidence that similar situations around the world have shown that ring fencing any particular budget will actually reduce the potential success rate of any austerity program. It is artificial for any government department not to feel the pain of the UK economy and the pain of a reduced budget.

As we approach the budget on 22 June we will see more and more presentations from various lobbying groups around the UK. George Osborne is already under immense pressure to deliver a budget which is both balanced and sensible and also offers the UK economy a chance to recover in the future. Whether he will be able to deliver on all of these fronts remains to be seen.

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