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How to really save £100bn

With billions slashed in the comprehensive spending review, Prospect writers offer their own ideas—like scrapping defence and charging people to vote—about how to cut the deficit

By Prospect   April 2010

Britain’s GDP is roughly £1.2 trillion. The state now consumes about half of it, or £600bn. Experts say we must cut 10 to 15 per cent of this public spending—a hefty £100bn—right now or in a year or two. Some want this gap between spending and income partly closed with tax rises—but there is a broad consensus that, even with such measures, deep cuts are needed.

The December 2009 pre-budget report put Britain’s public borrowing at £178bn, and laid out vague plans (beginning only after the election) to halve it by 2013. But the March 2010 UK Economic Outlook report,…

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