First, he forced almost every cabinet minister in Whitehall to come up with detailed plans on how to save 25 percent of their budgets by the end of the legislative period. The wailing had hardly subsided before Osborne struck again, telling cabinet ministers that 25 percent wasn't enough, and that he wanted them to describe what they would have to do to reduce their expenditures by as much as 40 percent.
The only public sectors Osborne intends to spare are the national health system and foreign aid. The bloodletting will also be less severe at the Defense Ministry. Everything else is potentially dispensable for Osborne. In the future, ministers will have to defend their budgets, million by million, before a tribunal made up of leading experts.