Peter Hoskin

Osborne confirms that there will be no more Tory cuts this year

Osborne confirms that there will be no more Tory cuts this year
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David Cameron said as much in his Today Programme interview, but now we know for sure: we've heard everything we're going to about Tory spending cuts this year.  George Osborne confirms the news in an interview with the Guardian today:

"In the interview, the shadow chancellor also disclosed, for the first time, that he would not reduce public spending by more than £6.5bn in the current financial year. He said £6bn would come from efficiencies, and £500m from cuts to child trust funds and working tax credits for the better off.

There would be no further 'in year' cuts in his emergency budget, scheduled within 50 days of a possible Tory victory, he said." It's tempting to point out that £6.5 billion worth of cuts pales beside a deficit of £163 billion and a debt burden of around £1 trillion.  But it's also true that we should really judge a Tory government on the cuts they make in subsequent years.  Not only do spending decisions take a while to filter through the system – but, also, Osborne would have had his hand on the wheel for long enough to properly alter the course of Brown's spending tanker.

I suppose the question now is whether there would be any further "in year" tax rises in that Emergency Budget.  Only an election, and few months, stand in the way of us finding out.