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  1. National

Osborne curbs welfare benefits

The newly unemployed will have to wait at least seven days before they are able to sign on, under a series of changes to welfare benefits announced by the Chancellor. A new welfare cap will be set from 2015 and OAP expats face losing fuel payments.

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  1. Tom Bradby

Great deal of politics in Osborne's Spending Review

George Osborne has just sat down and here are some instant thoughts.

Chancellor George Osborne speaking in the House of Commons. Credit: PA

First, the figures; Transport is cut 9%, Justice 10%, Local Government 10%, Foreign Office 8%, Home Office 6%, Business 6%, Education 1%, the MOD 1.9%, Treasury 10%, Cabinet Office 10% and the MOD 1.9%.

So, in political terms, the likes of Chris Grayling and Eric Pickles took big hits to their departments (possibly willingly), but Theresa May, Vince Cable, Michael Gove and Philip Hammond obviously fought effective rearguard actions and got off more lightly than they might have done.

There was a great deal of politics in the speech, such as halting winter fuel payments for pensioners living on the Costas, but making sure that those who live here have their pensions kept out of the new welfare cap.

In general, it seemed pretty clear that Mr Osborne was rehearsing the lines he hopes will divide the Tories from their opponents at the election.

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