Spending round negotiations conclude


Negotiations over the next round of public spending cuts have concluded.

The last minister to settle was Business Secretary Vince Cable who agreed the latest round of cuts for his department in a phone call with the chief secretary to the Treasury this morning.

I understand that the business department will face slightly lower cuts - i.e. less than 8% - than some other Whitehall departments which are facing fresh cuts of over 10%.

Cable and his Lib Dem colleague Danny Alexander spoke at 10.15am just minutes after the chancellor revealed in a BBC interview that he had agreed a settlement with the Ministry of Defence.

The negotiations are said not to have been rancorous despite heavy briefings to this morning's papers suggesting that Cable would take his negotiations to the wire.

Negotiations over the education, transport and local government departments also had to be finalised today - in particular how the government's plans to spend £3bn extra on capital spending would be carved up between departments.

On Wednesday, the chancellor will use his Spending Review to announce £11.5bn worth of additional cuts to department budgets for 2015-16 - the year of the general election.

He will also announce the capital budgets for each Whitehall department.

However, on Thursday, his deputy, Danny Alexander will announce the detailed and long term plans for spending on roads, rail, housing and the like.

Labour has said that they will match the coalition's current spending totals, but would borrow up to £10bn more to spend on capital investment.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    A mad, mad world.

    Instead of looking at what physically we MIGHT do, prioritising what physically we SHOULD do, then sharing out the food, shelter and pocket-money that WOULD sustain us as we 'get on with it'… we prefer to prioritise the satisfaction of our assorted dependencies (on giant bonuses, salaries, savings portfolios, pensions & benefits), leaving too little for our full employment!

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Very difficult to have any belief they really know what they are doing. One thing is for certain - they are supposed to be governing the country and keeping control of excesses. When are they really going to sort out the financial sector - we have had to pay out billions to keep the banks - the root cause of our problems. How about manufacturing production - NOT moving numbers around a screen

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Still only scratching the surface.
    If anyone thinks this is the end of the cuts they are in cloud cuckoo land (or a Socialist Worker)
    The debt / deficit problem is still huge and that's the ones on the books. Brown left Trillions off book debt.
    Things will never be the same and irony is that Labour have ensured, through their incompetence, the end of the social state as we know it
    Prepare or lose

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    The the cuts to Defence is a mistake
    I understand your view, but we spend more than France, yet they have their own Nucs,aircraft carriers + aircraft, more airforce aircraft & more men - so where does our cash go?

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    I seem to remember Osborne and Cameron making pronouncements about the UK economy being ‘on the road to recovery’ last year and the year before so Osborne’s latest utterance has a sense of déjà vu about it. I see elsewhere on these pages that the latest ONS figures show that the deficit – the Government’s absolute bellwether of its economic success - increased marginally in 2012/13.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Cutting spending when the economy is weak doesn't work unless that money is redirected towards creating growth.
    In the same way that tax cuts for the rich at this time is foolish because they have no need to spend all of their money as the poor.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Earlier today Labour said the Coalition had left the economy in a "mess".

    Does Labour have a different edition of the Dictionary than the rest of us ? i.e. one without the word "Hypocrisy" in it,

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    The priority of the cuts are being determined by ideology.

    1. Reducing access to justice - legal aid cuts and court closures
    2. Reducing in-house capabilities in the MOD to increase reliance on defence contactors making it much more expensive
    3. Protecting the business interests of the Tory donors.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    So many cuts but still borrowing.....the country is suffering NOW and yet Jeffrey has cuts planned for the next 3 years(except overseas aid of course!). We still have to hear what the vicious IDS creature has agreed to yet. If we get to the next election without massive protests and riots I will be amazed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    3.David Butterfield "There is still a long way to go in making our society more equitable"

    Hmm, Equitable or 'fairness'. Would that be a system in which the most talented and hard working in society receive the greatest reward in proportion to the effort they put in and the personal risks that they take along the way, and I might add, already contribute the most?

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Remove banks form the economy so it doesn't keep going wrong

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Labour are Tory copy cats as they have no policies of their own. Their big problem is the Unions who are already saying that they do not agree with the Chancellor's cuts remarks.

    They cannot do as they want because the Unions who pay their wages
    do not want cuts, end of story

    Labour are also in trouble with teacher's Unions no more educational improvements Careful what you wish for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Spending cuts, austerity, expenses, pay rises and second homes for MP's.... c'mon wheres austerity?

    One thing for sure these folks love spending other peoples money but never their own.... shouldn't these 'super clowns' be setting an example?

    They more they save the more they'll want, about time we had working folks in politics and not Eton playground kids.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Here's a novel idea, save money by limiting welfare and restricting NHS use to those eligible for it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Labour has said that they will match the coalition's current spending totals, but would borrow up to £10bn more to spend on capital investment- No they haven't?

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Dealing with reducing deficit even further is essential in order to the start reducing debt.

    Growth is readily 'bought' by cheap public spending, economy needs a more sturdy sure footing before this kind of spending.
    Excessive pointless wasteage has to be the key to reducing spending further

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Totally agree Richard, cuts in the first instance should be made to politicians personal claims. They are elected for the people's needs, not to line their own pockets....

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Would that the Chancellor put the same effort & resolve into stopping tax fiddles as he does into poor bashing. There is still a long way to go in making our society more equitable and still much waste in the core of central & local government to deal with.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    The the cuts to Defence is a mistake....the armed forces should not be subjugated to spending cuts. The armed forces redundancies that have gone out are a joke and an insult to all our fighting men and woman, saving should be made elsewhere (like Aid to countries like India and Argentina).

    Healthcare, Eduction and Defence should be the 3 main departments that should NOT be subjected to cuts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    This article has the word "cuts" mentioned 5 times yet not once is the word "growth" mentioned.

    Its an accurate reflection upon the narrow thought processes of the Chancellor to deal with the deficit.


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