With the political dust settling from the autumn statement, attention in Whitehall is turning to the mid-term review. The mid-term review is the last chance for the coalition to embark on further radical reform: any significant change not started in 2013 is unlikely to be bedded in by 2015.
I understand that the coalition parties are close to an agreement on social care. There’ll also be more details of the single tier pension in the mid-term review.
We also know that there’ll be a ‘Learn or Earn’ scheme introduced for the under 21s. There are also ongoing discussions about how to get more private investment into the road network. But, at the moment, no politically palatable way has been found to do this.
One thing to watch is whether there’s a Liberal Democrat backlash following the autumn statement. There’s a certain amount of grumbling from various senior figures in the party that the party did not get enough in the autumn statement, with much criticism of Danny Alexander who is seen by some Liberal Democrat Cabinet Ministers as a soft touch in negotiations with the Tories.