The spending cuts since 2010 are not simply making the British state smaller; they are changing its shape. Mr Osborne has ring-fenced the budgets for a few large departments, such as health and education. This means the axe falls more heavily elsewhere: some departments have seen their budgets cut by as much as 60% (see chart 4). A few years from now the British state will look different from the way it does today
While Mr Osborne talks of ring fencing education, will the cut backs in local authorities and the decision for all schools to become Academies not result in there being more failing schools?With less state support and schools being encouraged to have a greater control over running their own affairs will all schools be equipped to deal with this well? Many schools are already struggling with local government support and take this away and the problem may well get worse.