Nicholas Macpherson, the permanent secretary at the Treasury, has sent an interesting letter to Michael Fallon about the leaked figures on public sector job losses that created such a political storm when The Guardian printed them on Wednesday. Macpherson states that the slide was incorrectly labeled; it was meant to represent job losses to 2014-15 not annually.
One lesson of this row is the power of the Office of Budget Responsibility. Now that Labour have accepted it, it is very hard for it to quibble with its forecasts. So when on Wednesday, it announced—in response to the Guardian leak—that while there would be job losses in the public sector there would be 1.3 million more people in work by the end of the parliament, it blunted Labour’s line of attack.