Ed Balls' response to spending round and some clarifications

(Note: A summary of the spending review can be found on the Treasury website here)

Ed Balls has responded to the spending round just announced by George Osborne. He challenged the chancellor to admit that cuts to police, defence and local services are a direct result of his failure to get the economy to grow.

Balls also pointed out low growth, falling bank lending and two downgrades. He questioned low levels of local spending, asked why the most deprived areas are receiving six times less per head than the most well-off areas, and queried why free schools are being built in areas where there are enough places available while parents elsewhere struggle.

Balls gave his support for the triple lock on pensions, for a mansion tax, and for the ceasing of a winter fuel allowance for the richest five per cent of pensioners.

However, he wasn't able to answer the question of whether the Labour government would borrow more.

Osborne responded to a question on free museum entry, saying that this would continue, jibing that young people would be able to see the failures of the Labour government.

When questioned on the specifics of the welfare cap, Osborne said it will need to be legislated and worked on further. Transport spending will come from the public coffers, although he did not rule out private sector involvement.

Questions to Osborne continue here.