Fin24

Fiscal watchdog sees a million jobs lost

2012-12-05 18:02

London - Britain's fiscal policy watchdog said on Wednesday that more than one million jobs would now be cut from the public sector by 2018 because of further government spending cuts.

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility, which produces forecasts that underpin the government's economic policy, said gross domestic product would grow much more slowly than it forecast in March.

According to the OBR, about 1.1 million general government jobs would be lost in total from the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition's austerity plans, which got underway in mid-2010, "reflecting the additional year of spending cuts pencilled in for 2017-18".

In March, it had expected about 730 000 public sector jobs to be cut across the full period of austerity. There are roughly five and half million people employed in Britain's public sector.

The watchdog predicted a 0.1% fall in GDP in the fourth quarter followed by growth of 0.3% in the first three months of 2013. In March, it had expected growth of 0.3% in the final three months of this year.

It has also cut longer-term forecasts sharply. The economy will grow 1.2% next year and 2% in 2014, while 2015 and 2016 forecasts were revised down to 2.3% and 2.7% respectively.