Budget measures 'could drive up unemployment'.
Leaked figures suggest the Treasury expects austerity measures in last week's Budget to drive up unemployment by as much as 1.3 million, it has been reported.
The Guardian obtained what it said was a slide from a Treasury presentation on the Budget which suggested that as many as 120,000 jobs could be lost from the public sector and 140,000 from the private sector in each of the next five years.
The Treasury could not immediately confirm or deny whether the slide was genuine.
But a spokesman cited a report by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, set up by Chancellor George Osborne ahead of his first Budget to make forecasts free from political influence, which predicted that unemployment would fall over the coming years.
"The OBR forecasts unemployment to fall in every year, and employment to rise - as the Guardian article acknowledges," said the Treasury spokesman.
The newspaper said that Mr Osborne would have seen the presentation before announcing cuts averaging 25 per cent in most public sector budgets last Tuesday.
It quoted the leaked slide as saying: "100-120,000 public sector jobs and 120-140,000 private sector jobs assumed to be lost per annum for five years through cuts."
It was not clear on what basis the assumption was made, or whether the job losses amounted to a prediction or a worst-case scenario.
Independent Television News Limited 2010. All rights reserved.
Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.
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|Publication:||Independent Television News Limited (ITN)|
|Date:||Jul 5, 2010|
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