By Jason Theodorou
The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have written to cabinet colleagues to remind them that the 'most urgent issue' facing the UK is the reduction of the budget deficit. Mr. Cameron and Mr. Clegg say that the government's purpose is 'to put power in the hands of communities and individuals, and to equip Britain for long term success'.
They thanked Cabinet ministers for their commitment during an 'intense and tough' first 12 weeks in government, and said that every spending decision will ensure that more power is given over to local people. The letter said that there would be a 'radical redistribution of power from government to communities and people, to reverse decades of over-centralisation'.
The letter comes as government ministers discuss the scale of the spending cuts with the Treasury. Government ministers are encouraged to create proposals which allow for money to be saved, but also include plans for long-term economic growth. This necessitated a focus on welfare reform, support for young children and youth unemployment.
Cuts averaging 25% are expected of most departments, but health and international aid spending will not be affected. Defense and education are expected to face a lower scale of cuts.
The letter was released as Cameron planned to travel to Birmingham today to discuss the government's ideas with the public, in a question and answer session promoted as 'PM Direct', seemingly an extension of the 'Cameron Direct' sessions which defined Mr. Cameron's election campaign.
The government spending review will be published on October 20.