UK Politics

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.