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18 August 2010

The coalition’s next 100 days

Some key dates for your political diary.

By George Eaton

If you read only one piece on the coalition’s first 100 days in office I’d recommend Tim Montgomerie’s recent NS article on the ten moments that define David Cameron’s time in power. Combine this with Mehdi Hasan’s account of the coalition’s shock-and-awe assault on the state for a full understanding of the political significance of the government’s reforms.

But what of the coalition’s next 100 days? Here are some key dates for your political diary.

25 September: New Labour leader announced

The day David Cameron will learn who he’ll face across the despatch box.

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7 October: Shadow cabinet election results

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The day ministers learn who’ll be shadowing them in parliament.

20 October: Spending Review

The day we’ll learn just how large the cuts to non-ring-fenced departments (everything except Health and International Development) are going to be. The review will set out spending plans for the years 2011/2012 to 2014/2015. Most budgets are expected to be cut by roughly 25 per cent, but George Osborne’s promise to spare the defence and education funds from the worst means that some could be cut by up to 33 per cent.

26 October: Q3 GDP figures published

The first real test of the impact the coalition’s economic policies have had on growth. Despite George Osborne’s shameless attempt to take credit for the 1.1 per cent growth of the second quarter, less than a week of the period in question took place during the coalition’s rule.

October (date TBC): Browne Review published

The long-awaited Browne review into higher education is due to be published some time in October. Around this date, we’ll learn whether the coalition is fully committed to Vince Cable’s proposal of a graduate tax.