Chancellor George Osborne will unveil his latest Budget for the UK on Wednesday, and with it plans for a fresh round of cuts aimed at making £4 billion worth of savings in an “uncertain” global financial environment.
The cuts will primarily affect benefits for disabled people, and will be masked with small tax incentives for the lowest paid.
RT looks at what to expect from the budget.
How much will be cut?
In total the chancellor is looking to cut £4 billion (US$5.7 billion) from government spending, after it emerged that the economy is £18 billion smaller than predicted.
His budget comes after financial company PwC warned that the fiscal damage caused by the slowing economy could reach £50 billion.
It will be a cautious budget for Osborne, who is looking to avoid a spending row with Euroskeptic MPs in his party.
The chancellor also told the BBC that “the world is a more uncertain place than at any time since the financial crisis,” meaning cuts would be necessary to balance the books.
Who will benefit?
The billions of pounds of cuts will be sweetened with a new scheme to help people on low incomes to save money. The programme, called Help to Save, will be worth up to £1,200 per person and will be open to any of the 3.5 million people who are in work and receiving universal credit or working tax credit.
It will operate by allowing workers to deposit £50 per month, and after two years they can claim a 50 percent bonus (worth up to £600). After another two years of saving they can get another £600 bonus.
Who will lose out?
The cuts will primarily affect disabled people, and an expected 200,000 disabled individuals are set to lose almost £3,000 a year, Labour Party analysis of the cuts predicts.
The analysis suggests that reforms to the personal independence payment (PIP) will remove 200,000 people from the benefits system completely, and 400,000 will see their payments fall from £82 to £55 per week, costing them £1,400 over a year.
Who will protest the cuts?
Disability charities have called the cuts “devastating,” saying that disabled people will no longer have access to vital services and financial help.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith said the government is, “targeting people who are not able to manage toilet needs or dress unaided.”
“For the Tories to suggest making these cuts to fund tax reductions for the wealthiest is deeply cruel and shows just how warped their priorities are.
“Under the Tories, disabled people have already borne among the biggest brunt of the cuts, losing over £24 billion in support.”
The Conservative Local Government Association (LGA) also urged Osborne to stop cutting funding to public services.
The LGA warned that cuts to council funding are having an effect on other public services like the NHS that are “being left to pick up the pieces.”
LGA chairman and Tory peer Lord Porter warned: “Cutting local government to prop up other departments is a false economy.”