Boris Johnson has told senior ministers they must “root out waste” in their departments as the government focuses on the priorities set out in the Tories’ general election manifesto.
At the weekly meeting of the cabinet in Downing Street, the prime minister and chancellor Sajid Javid said the Budget on 11 March would be a time for “tough decisions” by spending ministers.
Government sources acknowledged that there would be “squeals of protest” within Whitehall, with some programmes facing the axe.
It is thought that “hundreds” of “legacy projects” – some dating back to the coalition government under David Cameron – could come under review.
“The Prime Minister said the Budget would focus on delivering the priorities set out in the manifesto,” Johnson’s official spokesperson said.
“This is a new government with a new mandate, including to level up across the country, invest in infrastructure and tackle climate change.
“The chancellor and the prime minister said the Budget is also the time to take tough decisions in order to prepare the economy for the next decade.
“They said ministers need to root out any waste, particularly anything that is not aligned with the government’s priorities, and demonstrate value for money of every pound of taxpayers’ money that we spend.”
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