TaxAdministrationDTI first to go in Liberal Democrat cost-cutting

DTI first to go in Liberal Democrat cost-cutting

Plans to scrap the department of trade and industry and concentrate much of the government's regulatory role under a minister for business at the Treasury were unveiled this week at the Liberal Democrats' Bournemouth party conference.

Link: Lib Dems urge greater taxes on the rich

Shadow chancellor Vincent Cable claimed the move would save £8.2bn over the next five years, largely by scaling back subsidies to industry. The plans raise the possibility that the Financial Reporting Council would switch Whitehall departments and come under the chancellor’s control instead of the trade secretary.

Cable aims to save a total of between £5bn and £25bn a year through measures including scrapping Gordon Brown’s Child Trust Fund, and slashing defence expenditure and farm subsidies. His aim is to fund £21bn in spending commitments, including higher pensions for over 75s and smaller classes for younger children. Cable said the DTI did fund useful projects such as ‘blue skies’ science research.

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