James Forsyth

The cuts are almost settled

The cuts are almost settled
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We are entering the end game of the spending review. The Department of Education settled this morning, according to both Tory and Lib Dem sources. Although there is confusion about whether the money for the pupil premium is coming from inside or outside the education budget – Clegg’s speech suggested outside but other Whitehall sources are not so sure.

Liam Fox has told friends that he knows the final number for the defence budget and that it is a lot better than expected over the summer. Fox has played a blinder in terms of defending his budget but this has come at a huge personal cost for him. Even supporters say that they don’t think his relationship with Downing Street will ever fully recover.

Those departments with large capital budgets have yet to nail everything down. There is much discussion of which cuts could be subject to judicial review and the like.