The planned pace of cuts is unachievable. All parties need to talk about tax rises.
With no end to austerity in sight, both parties take comfort in the thought that their opponents will choke on victory.
Six more departments agree to cuts but Defence, Business, Education, Work and Pensions and Transport are yet to settle.
Free schools, Police and Crime Commissioners, Titan prisons and army admirals are targeted for cuts.
Former cabinet minister tells The Staggers that the move "raises the question of whether Labour is really going to offer an alternative".
Not only will Labour be unable to reverse the coalition's cuts, it will have to make its own.
By funding higher capital spending through cuts elsewhere, Osborne will do little to boost growth. But will Labour finally make the case for borrowing for growth?
Speculation grows that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport could be abolished in the Spending Review, with its functions hived off to other departments.
If Osborne refuses to give way in the Spending Review, cabinet ministers may choose to walk out.
With further cuts to higher education and 40 per cent of student loans unlikely to be repaid, the parties need to agree on a sustainable funding system.