George Osborne's austerity budget will cause 1.3m job losses over the next five years according to Treasury figures.
The official assessment, leaked to the Guardian, predicts Government spending cuts will trigger the loss of between 500,000 and 600,000 jobs in the public sector, and 600,000 to 700,000 in the private sector.
A proposed 25% inflation-adjusted cut in Whitehall spending will account for the drop in public sector roles, while the private sector will suffer the knock-on effects of lost government contracts and reduced public spending.
Job losses are expected to be balanced by the creation of 2.5m private sector jobs over the same period, according to the figures, though these numbers were roundly dismissed by economists, the opposition and trade unions.
John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) predicted "dole queues comparable to the 1980s, a new north-south divide and widespread poverty" as a direct result of the Budget cuts.
To achieve growth, he says, "there would have to be extraordinarily strong private sector employment growth in a much less conducive economic environment than it was during the boom."
In his Budget last week Chancellor George Osborne said he wanted the heavy lifting of his austerity package for economic recovery to be taken up 77% cuts in public spending and 23% higher taxes.
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