U.K. Treasury Said to Ask Ministers to Find 10% Cuts

U.K. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander wrote to most Cabinet ministers asking them to identify cuts of a further 10 percent of their departmental budgets in the year starting April 2015, a government official said.

The move is part of a process to identify how the government will find the 11.5 billion pounds ($17.4 billion) it has pledged to cut from spending in that year, according to the official, who declined to be identified because the letter is confidential. Ministers were asked to plan for about 3 billion pounds more of reductions than are needed, the official said.

Health care, education and foreign aid will be protected from spending cuts. The Ministry of Defence has been asked to plan for a 1 percent rise in its equipment budget and a 5 percent reduction in other areas, according to the official.

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