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Government protects NHS budget

As expected the coalition government has today confirmed that the NHS budget will rise by more than inflation over the next four years moving from £104 billion this year to £114 billion at the end of the four-year austerity programme. The authorities also confirmed a raft of benefits for pensioners would be maintained including free eye tests, free prescription charges, free bus passes, free TV licences for the over 75s and winter fuel payments as set out by the previous Labour government.

One of the main losers in the public-sector spending review is the police department with average budget cuts of 16% over the next four years, councils facing 7.1% reductions a year and the Home Office and Ministry of Justice looking at potential cost cuts of 6% per annum. The government has also announced plans to review public-sector pension arrangements with the aim of saving around £2 billion a year for UK taxpayers. These measures are almost certain to pit the UK government against the UK unions who have been itching for a fight for some time.

Whether or not you believe that George Osborne's spending review is fair or not there is no doubt that progress has been made although time will tell whether it is too much or too little - or just right?

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