Sajid Javid has abandoned his pre-election pledge to end austerity after he ordered cabinet ministers to draw up cuts of up to 5 per cent of their spending plans.
It has been just four months since the Chancellor made a promise to keep departmental budgets at current levels.
But this week he appeared to reverse the plans, telling ministers to go through their budgets “line by line”, the Mirror has reported.
In the note, Mr Javid wrote: “We have been elected with a clear fiscal mandate to keep control of day to day spending.
“This means there will need to be savings made across government to free up money to invest in our priorities.”
“Turned the page on austerity”
But in Mr Javid’s spending round speech, just three months before the election, the Chancellor declared he had “turned the page on austerity.”
Mr Javid said: “No department will be cut next year. Every single department has had its budget for day to day spending increased at least in line with inflation.
“That’s what I mean by the end of austerity.”
Minimum wage hike
The news comes after Boris Johnson was accused of breaking his promise on minimum wage increases just a week after the general election took place.
The Conservatives pledged to hike the minimum wage to £10.50 an hour within five years in its manifesto, but today’s Queen’s Speech includes a cheeky get-out clause.
The increase will now only happen “provided economic conditions allow”.
And with a turbulent break up from the EU on the way, that may prove difficult.