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All the talk across the UK has centred around one thing over the last 24 hours ? the government?s biggest spending cuts for a number of decades. Public sectors such as welfare, councils and police budgets have all taken a hit, with pension age also set to rise. Incapacity benefits will be time limited and the purse strings will also be tightened to claw back tax credits and housing benefit. Chancellor George Osborne said the four year cuts were guided by fairness, reform and growth but now faces a huge public backlash. Shadow chancellor Alan Johnson, for Labour, was quick to stick the knife in, labelling the spending review a “reckless gamble with people’s livelihoods” which risked “stifling the fragile recovery” – a message echoed by the SNP, despite smaller cut backs in Scotland compared to initial predictions. Criticism came from far and wide, with Age UK?s charity director Michelle Mitchell saying: ?It is disappointing that the coalition has decided to delay the retirement of millions of hard-working people. Richard Lambert, CBI director general, said: ?The spending cuts, though painful, are essential to balance the UK?s books and build its future prosperity.? However, John Walker, Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, had something positive to say: ?We all know we are living in an age of austerity and that these cuts will affect us all, but our members understand that to reduce the public sector deficit, these cuts had to be made.?

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