Front-loading services cuts, back-loading benefits cuts

After the post about the front loading of local government cuts I received this message from Carl Emmerson, the acting Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS):

“Just checked the figures. The total DEL cuts are slightly front-loaded (-4.0% cut in 2011-12; -2.6% in 2012-13; -2.2% in 2013-14 and 2.9% in 2014-15), or to express it another way of the real terms cut to total DEL to be achieved over the four years 36% is to come out in the first year. This is probably due to the fact that the overall consolidation is neither front or back loaded and the welfare cuts are back loaded.

The local government DEL is front loaded, but only to a pretty similar degree to the average DEL cut. I make it that they have to deliver 38% of their cuts in the first year. Among large departments the particularly front loaded cuts are in education (53%) and CLG Communities (62%). I suspect this is because it is easier to cut back capital spending quickly in a sensible way then it is with non-capital spending and that these are the areas where there are deep cuts to capital spending?”

Very useful clarification – many thanks Carl.

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