The Chancellor said yesterday that the focus of Britain’s forthcoming budget would be on securing the recovery and growth, adding that Conservative plans for immediate cuts would pose “an unacceptable risk to the economy.”
He also said he had no immediate plans to publish a spending review, which typically sets out spending plans for the next three years, because of continuing uncertainties about the economic outlook.
But according to the Conservatives, education secretary Ed Balls has already been told to cut £500m from Children and Schools budget by 2013.
Philip Hammond, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, has written to Darling asking for clarity.
Hammond wrote in the letter: “Either your public statements are correct, in which case Ed Balls is mistaken in setting out the scale of the cuts facing his department over the spending review period, or you have indeed privately agreed the spending review settlement for the years from 2011 to 2013. Which is it?”