Cameron and Harman clash on leaked Treasury document

By staff

Leaked figures from the Treasury forecasting massive job losses as a result of the Budget have prompted a bad-tempered exchange at PMQs.

The Treasury expects up to 260,000 jobs will be lost every year until 2015 as a result of the coalition government’s spending cuts programme, according to a report.

The Guardian newspaper quoted a slide from an internal Treasury presentation assessing the impact of last week’s emergency Budget, which plans to slash most government departments’ annual spending allocations by a quarter.

Over five years it means up to 1.3 million jobs will be lost. The slide stated: “100-120,000 public sector jobs and 120-140,000 private sector jobs assumed to be lost per annum for five years through cuts.”

During PMQs today, acting Labour leader Harriet Harman demanded David Cameron confirm the figures.

But the prime minister repeatedly referred to newly-published figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which suggested that Tory policies would see unemployment fall.

“I know we’ve all been watching the football but that’s a spectacular own goal,” Mr Cameron shouted.

Ms Harman retorted: “Mr Speaker, he hasn’t answered about the 1.3 million. He hasn’t agreed to publish those documents.

“Will he tell us how much less will be coming in taxes as a result of fewer people in work because of his Budget?”

“There are going to be less people out of work,” Mr Cameron replied.

“She’s slotted it straight into the back of her own net.”

Figures from the OBR report indicate that 600,000 jobs might be lost in the public sector over the next five years.