Will the 'kinder politics' survive the spending review?

George Osborne (second left) Image copyright PA
Image caption George Osborne in a north Wales factory

Well now we know what the "kinder politics" involves. Where other leaders and managers might offer rebellious staff "an interview without coffee", Jeremy Corbyn is to go for a cup of tea with one of his Welsh frontbench critics.

As we digest Mr Corbyn's announcement that he will be campaigning in "all parts of the UK," the attention of MPs turns to the next week at Westminster. On Monday, we should learn the outcome of the strategic defence and security review, with the autumn statement spending review to follow on Wednesday.

Much of the focus will be on what George Osborne comes up with to mitigate the impact of his proposed changes to tax credits, on which the government was defeated in the House of Lords and has been widely criticised by some of its own MPs in the Commons.

We will get details of how the government intends to balance the books by 2019 and how it plans to share the pain of spending cuts between now and then.

We are also due to see details of the proposed "floor" in the Barnett formula that decides changes in the Welsh government's budget, although at a time of spending reductions some say this is academic.

It will also be interesting to see if he's as enthusiastic about the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon in November as he was in March just before the general election campaign.


We know the spending review is coming because the politicians have been trying to get their retaliation in first. Welsh Finance Minister Jane Hutt has started the bidding at a round £1bn (on top of any Westminster cuts) and First Minister Carwyn Jones has warned of "enormous cuts" from the same source.

Welsh ministers are also looking to Mr Osborne to match £600m of Welsh funding for a "city deal" backing major transport and infrastructure projects for Cardiff and south east Wales.

Here's the UK government view, via Monmouth Tory MP David Davies: "I think the government are absolutely right to want to balance the books. And history tells us, even recent history, that countries that are mired in debt, and having to borrow money, are countries that can't defend themselves.

"A country has to have a balanced economy in order to be able to afford defend itself so the government are quite right to be making cuts to public spending and I urge them to carry on doing so."

There is the sense of battlelines being drawn ahead of next year's Welsh general election. There will be more on this on the Sunday Politics Wales on BBC1 Wales at 11am on, er, Sunday.

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