Hidden in the small print of yesterday's Autumn Statement (page 148 of the Office for Budget Responsibility's analysis of George Osborne's plans) was quite an important detail about spending cuts.
It reveals that only 40 per cent of the public spending cuts between 2009 and 2020 have taken place under the coalition government.
That basically means that whichever party, or coalition, wins the next election will have to contend with enacting the remaining 60 per cent.
In his speech to MPs yesterday, the chancellor committed the government to slashing public spending to its lowest level in 80 years.
He said a future Conservative government would cut an additional £30billion from welfare and public services in three years - putting public spending as a share of national income on par with levels not seen since before World War 2.
Unsurprisingly this is something that people and especially journalists want to find out more about, but Osborne was surprisingly tetchy when the subject was broached in his appearance on the Today programme this morning.
I would have thought the BBC had learnt from the last four years that its totally hyperbolic coverage of spending cuts has not been matched by what's actually happened in our country.
I had all that when you were interviewing me four years ago and has the world fallen in? No it hasn't.
- George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer
HT for OBR small print: Oly Duff
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