The first of what I hope will be many bits of information from ‘insiders’:
At a recent meeting with HM Treasury officials my informant says they implied that SR2013 was going to be a “pretty brutal affair” (my informants words, not theirs). This was mainly because, according to them, DWP cannot come up with the massive cuts in benefits (£20bn is the reported figure) that have been demanded. As this is more than the budget of some smaller departments, it means swingeing cuts elsewhere.
My confidante is from the DCMS ‘landscape’ and says the questions were of the type: “how much can we cut before the whole cultural sector collapses?”. Moreover, DCMS are expecting a post-Olympics “in-year” cut to their budget and SR2013 will come on top of that.
More please: email@example.com – all confidences respected.