Osborne - Heading for 2015

A new cap on overall welfare spending - other than the state pension - to come in on the eve of the next election.

A crackdown on jobseekers who can't speak English, and blocking for seven days benefit payments to the newly unemployed.

Protection for the schools budget and health and extra funds for social care and council tax freezes.

A boost in the budget of the intelligence services and the promise of the biggest roads programme for over half a century.

Yes, this is a chancellor with his eye firmly set on 2015 - not just the year of the next set of spending cuts but of the next general election.

What George Osborne did not set out was the consequences in jobs or programme cuts that will result from cutting the budgets of councils, the Justice and environment departments by 10%; the energy department and foreign office by 8%; and lower cuts but cuts all the same to the Home Office, Defence, Business and Education.

We do know that public sector workers will face a further pay squeeze with the abolition of automatic pay progression.

So many questions about the impact of the extension of the age of austerity are yet to be answered. One has been though - was this Spending Review more about politics than economics?