The article has garnered more than a thousand comments. Yup !!
Holly Watt writing at TheTelegraphUK:
....In an interview with The Telegraph, Philip Hammond makes public concerns that will be raised in forthcoming Cabinet talks on spending cuts due to be implemented by George Osborne after 2015.
He says the “first priority” must be “defending the country and maintaining law and order” and that further defence cuts are not possible while meeting stated security objectives.
Mr Hammond says there is a “body of opinion within Cabinet who believes that we have to look at the welfare budget again” because a 0.5 per cent saving from the benefits bill would protect the Armed Forces.
He adds that “we should be seeing welfare spending falling” as a result of rising levels of employment. The unusually frank public intervention from a loyal senior Conservative minister is unlikely to be welcomed by Mr Osborne and the Prime Minister because it lays bare deep divisions over future spending decisions.
There have been rumours of a “union of ministers” blocking further cuts and Mr Hammond today indicates that this is the case. His comments are also expected to add to tensions within the Coalition because the Liberal Democrats are opposed to more welfare cuts.
His intervention comes after the Conservatives slumped to an embarrassing third place in the Eastleigh by-election, behind Ukip, leading to demands for David Cameron to develop a more “Tory” agenda, with issues such as security and immigration at the fore..........