George Osborne was well received by the 1922 committee of Tory backbenchers when he addressed them on the spending review earlier. There was much thumping of desks, the traditional sign of approval at meetings of the ‘22.
Talking to Tory MPs this afternoon, they are pretty happy with the package. They are glad that the money being taken out of the welfare budget means that the departmental cuts are less than expected. Overall, they think the package is politically sellable and has denied Labour that many targets.
One concern is about how local councils, including Conservative ones, might react to a 28 percent cut in their funding from central government. But I understand that Eric Pickles has a plan to ensure that any impact on front-line council services is minimised by pushing for back office savings.
A date for your diary is the 29th of November. This is when the OBR, and its new head Robert Chote, will announce what effect it thinks the spending review will have on economic growth.