trident

Kiran Stacey

Trident missileGeorge Osborne has been touring the TV and radio studios this morning talking about the deals he has managed to strike with some of the smaller government departments for how they are going to cut their budgets in 2015/16. Talking about the settlements made with departments including Justice, Energy and Communities, the chancellor told the BBC:

We are now about 20 per cent of the way there with a month to go. I don’t think any chancellor in history has made this much progress with a month to go.

Osborne still has a huge amount to achieve in the next month, particularly in the face of intransigence from big departments such as the MoD and the Home Office. But in the middle of the spending round process, another decision on a massive item of government spending will also come a step closer. Read more >>

Jim Pickard

Nick Clegg exposed a serious faultline within the coalition earlier today as he said that the “huge, huge” sums needed to replace the Trident nuclear weapon would make it harder for ministers to explain cuts in welfare and other areas.

The £20bn cost of fully replacing the ageing submarine-based weapon has already prompted a spat between Liam Fox, defence secretary, and George Osborne, chancellor, over which department should carry its cost in the coming years. Read more >>