Definition of sober

George Osborne, Chancellor of the exchequer, ushered in the “sober decade” when he announced an £83bn package of spending cuts, in October 2010, that will transform the British state and force hundreds of thousands of public sector workers to seek new jobs.

Mervyn King, Bank of England governor, defined the chancellor’s austerity package as “S.O.B.E.R.” meaning “a decade of savings, orderly budgets and equitable rebalancing”. [1]

The UK is facing a deficit reduction programme beginning with a freeze in child benefit in April 2011 and changes to the rate at which the top band of income tax kicks in. This interactive calendar explores the key changes:

Interactive graphic: A timetable for austerity Britain