Cover

“Axe Wednesday,” headlines the Independent, on the day Chancellor George Osborne unveils his £83bn (€93bn) cuts package, the UK’s most draconian budget since the 1920’s and one the government insists is "tough but fair". The spending review will exact a heavy toll, the London daily reports, after the Treasury Chief Secretary was photographed with a briefing document revealing that by 2014/15 half a million public-sector jobs will be lost. Chief targets include defence, at 42,000, and the justice ministry expecting as many as 11,000 frontline staff, such as prison and probation officers and magistrates' court officials facing the sack. “Analysts expect another 500,000 jobs to be lost in private companies that rely on public-sector contracts or grants,” the Independent notes.