DOWNING Street has slapped down Philip Hammond — by insisting that fresh defence cuts may have to be enforced.
The Defence Secretary called for benefits to be cut by half a per cent to save troops in Saturday’s Sun — sparking a major Cabinet spending row.
Senior ministers including Business Secretary Vince Cable and Home Secretary Theresa May are resisting attempts to save another £2.5billion.
Now No10 has acted to put down the growing revolt over spending cuts for the 2015-16 budget.
The PM’s spokesman said: “The Government has already set out additional welfare savings.
“Difficult decisions need to be taken on departmental spending.”
Lib Dem Cabinet ministers are also refusing any extra welfare cuts — creating a headache for Chancellor George Osborne.
Tory MP Brooks Newmark has called for universal benefits for rich OAPs to go — despite it being “politically toxic”.
Article written by Tom Newton Dunn, political editor at The Sun, and sub edited by myself.
Originally published in The Sun on Tuesday March 5 2013.