I’ve been passed the Tory ‘lines to take’ for MPs to use in media interviews for the Autumn Statement today. As I blogged a little earlier, the words ‘global race’ will be cropping up a lot over the next couple of years as a key Conservative phrase, and it looks as though today will be no exception, with the Chancellor using the image in his autumn statement. I note that MPs will also be expected to use it. The lines also focus on the decision to switch revenue to capital spending:
‘Today the Chancellor and Chief Secretary have told Cabinet that they will announce at the Autumn Statement over £5 billion of capital investment to invest in the economy and equip Britain for the global race.
They also informed Cabinet this will be achieved within the Government’s fiscal plans and, in part, be funded by some Government Department’s resource budgets being reduced by 1 per cent in 2013-14 and 2 per cent (£2.5 billion) in 2014-15. Health and Schools remain protected from these reductions.
Funds will be channelled into transport, skills and science. This capital investment will also allow the expansion of existing good schools and the construction of up to 100 new Academies and Free Schools.
The switch at this Autumn Statement follows a similar switch of £5 billion at the last Autumn Statement and an additional £2 billion a year of capital spending announced in the Spending Review.
This means that capital investment as a percentage of GDP in this Parliament will be higher than the average of the Parliaments under Labour.’
Note that MPs are being told to emphasise that health and education are being protected from the £5bn Whitehall cuts, and to contrast this government’s plan with Labour’s own record on capital investment.
UPDATE, 11.15am I’ve just come back from the morning lobby briefing, where we were told that Cabinet met for an hour this morning for the Chancellor to brief his colleagues on the Autumn Statement. Apparently, there was no banging of desks at the end, which is hardly a surprise. Osborne told ministers at the meeting that ‘Britain is on the right track and that we are dealing with our deficit and our debt in a fair way. That means everyone must make a contribution, and that we are equipping Britain to succeed in the global race.’