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“First swing of the axe,” headlines the Daily Telegraph, on the morning that new Chancellor George Osborne unveiled plans to cut the British deficit by £6 billion (€7 billion). “Whitehall officials and other bureaucrats will be among the first to feel the effects of the cuts, with the end of perks such as first class air and rail travel to save £10million”, the London daily reports. A civil service recruitment freeze is also projected, with the probable loss of more than 3,000 jobs. Quangos – those unpopular state-funded decision bodies that proliferated under New Labour – are also targeted, with half a billion in cuts planned. There will also be a reduction of up to £1billion in the budget for consultants and advertising. In a radio interview Osborne warned of a more painful spending round this summer, maintaining he wants “the size of the state to shrink while people take more responsibility for themselves”. Meanwhile Deputy PM Nick Clegg admitted that the cuts will be controversial, with ministers prepared for public anger. “The age of plenty is over,” he declared.