In an interview for The Daily Telegraph Prime Minister David Cameron seems to say that the idea of another Spending Review is now a dead-duck, which is fascinating as they have just deferred decisions on social care “until the next Spending Review’.
The key passage in the Telegraph states:
“The commitment to hold a full-scale review of public spending with Coalition-agreed plans for three years of Government cuts after 2014 may now not be realistic. He says the Coalition has still to agree “how many years” they will agree for a wide-ranging spending review amid growing signs that any deal will only last until 2015.”
This is not entirely “wriggle-room” proof – it may be that some sort of Spending Review covering a period up to 2015 or 2017. Most alarming is Cameron’s “indicates that the programme of spending cuts, initially planned to take five years, is now likely to last for the entire decade.” This seems to answer the question of where the Tories are headed – towards a qualitative reduction in the size of public spending (as a proportion of GDP).
It would be interesting to ask Nick Clegg, and especially Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP, what they think about this – both the process and the aims?