One thing is certain, spending cuts are inevitable - but just where will the axe fall and how much will it hurt construction?

It was put to me recently that, despite all talk of cuts to capital spending, many contractors held the view that UK governments have never managed to make cuts of more than 10% year on year.

I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this, but three things struck me.

Firstly: I wasn’t clear on what might have been meant by “capital spending” and whether the contractors may have meant just public sector capital spending on construction or overall government capital spending.

Secondly: the 10% figure surely was wrong, so I needed to check it.

And thirdly: I wouldn’t be blasé about a 10% year-on-year cut, particularly if it continued over a few years.

Nevertheless, the comment prompted me give some thought to just how quickly the axe might fall on public funded construction.