Home The coalition government announced cuts under the Comprehensive Spending Review of £23.1 billion, or 3.3 per cent of total government spending, over four years. The schools budget joined the NHS and international aid in being protected from cuts.This will be paid for by deeper cuts in welfare spending. Spending on infrastructure was revised upwards.The social housing budget will be heavily cut. George Osborne claimed he was cutting non-protected departments by 19 per cent, less than the 20 per cent Labour had planned.The Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast a loss of 490,000 jobs due to the reduction in the public sector by 2014–15, offset by 1.5 million more private-sector jobs over the period. Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, spoke of more quantitative easing. Railway passengers face sharply increased fares.The BBC licence fee is to be frozen for six years, and the corporation will pay for the BBCWorld Service, which had been on the Foreign Office budget. Oliver Lewis played ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ on the violin in one minute and 3.356 seconds on Blue Peter.
TheStrategic Defence and Security Review cut 7.5 per cent of the defence budget, leaving it with 2 per cent of GDP. The Royal Navy will lose 5,000 men. Its fleet will shrink from 24 to 19 ships; the carrier Ark Royal will be decommissioned, and the Harrier jump jets will also go.Two new aircraft carriers will go ahead, but one will be mothballed upon completion.Trident submarines will carry fewer warheads.The
Army will lose 7,000 men and 40 per cent of its tanks.The RAF will lose 5,000 men and plans for new Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft will be cancelled.The Ministry of Defence will lose 25,000 civilian staff.A day earlier, the National Security Council identified the four most serious threats to Britain as international terrorism, hostile computer attacks, a major accident or natural hazard such as influenza, and a military crisis between states.An extra £500 million would be spent to counter computer attacks.
Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, said there would no tidal barrage in the Severn estuary, and he named eight sites suitable for future nuclear power stations. He wanted half of new capacity to come from renewable sources by 2025.The House of Lords Privileges Committee recommended that Lady Uddin, who had paid back £125,349 wrongly claimed, be suspended until Easter 2012; Lord Paul, who had paid back £41,982, suspended for four months; and Lord Bhatia, who had paid back £27,446, for eight months.A woman caught on closedcircuit television putting a cat in a wheeliebin was fined £250.
Abroad Moredays of strikes against raising the retirement age to 62 swept France; a third of the country’s petrol stations ran dry, but enough was found to set cars alight. A strike in Belgium stopped Eurostar services between London and Brussels. In Switzerland the ends were joined of the 34.5mile St Gotthard tunnel, the world’s longest, which opens to trains in 2016. Chinese the spectator | 23 October 2010 | www.spectator.co.uk executives fired on miners at Collum in Zambia, wounding 11. In Henan province in China 37 miners died in a gas leak. President Sebastian Pinera of Chile visited London; David Cameron gave him 33 bottles of London Pride ale for the miners freed from 2,000 feet below the surface after 69 days.
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, said immigrants should learn German and that those who didn’t accept ‘Christian values’ had ‘no place’ in the country.‘The approach of multikulti,’ she told a rally at Potsdam,‘has failed, utterly failed.’ Julian Assange, the founder ofWikileaks, was denied a residence permit by Sweden.A video of Brice Hortefeux, the French interior minister, mistakenly referring to empreintes genitales instead of empreintes genetiques (DNA records) became an internet hit. Benoit Mandelbrot, the Polish-born mathematician who in 1975 invented the word fractal, died aged 85.
Xi Jinping, 57, tipped as the next president of China, was made a vice-chairmen of the Central Military Commission. China raised interest rates by 0.25 per cent.Tim Geithner, the USTreasury secretary, denied that America was weakening the dollar. President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia decorated the spies deported from America earlier this year.Three men shouting Islamist slogans attacked Chechnya’s parliament, killing three before being killed. Prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud was found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering his servant in a London hotel in February.The Mexican army seized 105 tons of marijuana in Tijuana. CSH