» Friday, October 5, 2007


Asked if the Pre-Budget Review (PBR) and Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) would be released as one statement the PMS said that it would be. As the Chancellor set out in July this year, the two would be set out at the same time and quoting Former Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Timms, speaking in January 2007, said: "the spending review needs really to be by October in order that department’s have the details they need for putting in place their arrangements for the new financial year."

Put that the PBR and the CSR were being delivered against a less than optimistic financial background and therefore people might view with scepticism any increases in public spending, the PMS replied that the Chancellor would be setting out the spending plans in Parliament. A fiscal framework was in place that built in a degree of caution and prudence, in order to ensure the Government could meet their commitments. The PMS said that the Chancellor had made the point that these were testing times in the world economy at the moment, especially given what had been happening in the United States as part of the fallout from the events in the credit markets.

Asked if he would accept the construct that the Chancellor was shading down growth expectation, the PMS said that he did not want to pre-empt the Chancellor’s statement to Parliament next week.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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