Page last updated at 07:54 GMT, Saturday, 11 July 2009 08:54 UK

'Level with public on cuts' vow

Alistair Darling
Mr Darling said voters will be told about spending cuts

Chancellor Alistair Darling has said voters are entitled to know about the government's future plans for cuts and spending before the next election.

Mr Darling told the Daily Telegraph public spending would be tighter than in the past and that it was important to "try to level with people".

He said the government could still hold a review of public spending before the general election.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has suggested that had been ruled out.

Lord Mandelson indicated that a spending review planned for April next year has been delayed.

Labour and the Conservatives have been under increasing pressure to spell out their positions on how they are going to deal with the UK's biggest peacetime deficit.

In bitter clashes, Labour has accused the Tories of planning stinging cuts, while the Tories have accused Labour of being dishonest.

But in the Telegraph interview, Mr Darling said both parties are going to have tell voters, "the lie of the land" when it comes to which areas are going to be subjected to spending cuts.

He resisted being specific about where future cuts could come but indicated that nearer the election, the government would be more specific about the detail.

He added that with public spending so much higher than 10 years ago, there was scope for reduction.

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