The Guardian remarks that spending on public services is still growing, but slowly. The paper argues that "buried away" in chancellor Alistair Darling's report were plans that could have a big impact on the way in which services are run.
The Financial Times reports that the chancellor expects the battering of public finances to happen next year due to reduced forecasts to dissipate by 2010. It adds the controversial policy to tax land was also scrapped and a “planning charge” proposed, similar to the so-called “roof tax” already operated by many councils.
Claiming that Mr Darling stole Conservative policies on inheritance tax, non-domiciles and aviation, The Times states "The Magpie Budget", the Daily Mail offers "Mr Magpie", The Daily Telegraph declares "Brown grabs Tory tax plans" and The Guardian reports "Smash and grab: how Labour stole the Tories' big ideas".
The Local Government Association told The Guardian it had been handed the worst settlement in decades with councils told to keep council tax settlements well below 5%, even though they had been given only a 1% real term rise and a requirement to deliver cashable savings of 3%.
The Guardian also goes with "Threat to surrender green belt for homes" on proposals to build eco-friendly houses on some less valuable areas of the green belt.
Elsewhere, The Independent "Shipping pollution 'far more damaging than flying’,” examines revelations about maritime emissions in research produced for the International Maritime Organisation.
Reporting on the postal strike, The Daily Telegraph headlines "Postal strike is 'putting Royal Mail's future in jeopardy'" and The Times declares "Post workers plan more strikes as small businesses face ruin".
In other news, The Financial Times "Loss of 600 jobs ends Tyneside dream" tells its readers that Atmel has decided to sell its North Tyneside semi-conductor manufacturing plant.
Commenting on yesterday's police performance assessments, The Daily Mirror asserts that the fight against crime will never be won if one in four police forces fails to catch enough criminals.
But police chiefs warn that further improvements were under threat because police forces will not get as much money as they wanted due to tightening public finances reveals The Guardian.
Town hall bin police are to be given powers to stop, search and seize vehicles suspected of fly tipping household rubbish next year, the Daily Mail warns.