Sunday, 26 September 2010 09:52

Secret deal on rural spending

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Spelman: struck a deal with the Treasury Spelman: struck a deal with the Treasury

GOVERNMENT ministers have struck a secret deal to slash spending on local communities and rural affairs.

Five departments have agreed to wide-ranging budget cuts ahead of next month’s spending review.

They include the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Details of the spending cuts have not been confirmed. But they are believed to be in the range of 25-40%.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles and environment secretary Caroline Spelman both reached a deal with the Treasury.

In return, the two ministers have been given seats on a “Star Chamber” which will impose cuts on departments unable to reach a deal.

The other three departments to have reached spending agreements are the Treasury itself, the Cabinet Office and the Foreign Office.

Chancellor George Osborne is due to outline the government's comprehensive spending review on 20 October.

Some commentators expected the review to result in the biggest spending cuts since the 1930s.

Departments have been told to expect cuts of 25-40% as the government sets about balancing Britain's £155bn budget deficit.

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