The Chancellor, we are constantly being told, has stuck solidly to “Plan A” – the spending reductions set out in SR2010. And today’s “Spending Round” was only about 2015-16. Really?
A quick look at the figures for 2014-15 set out in SR2010 (table 1) and the same figures for 2014-15 as set out in SR2013 show that there’s a difference: SR2013 is only a little matter of £10.6bn less in 2014-15 than originally set out in SR2010.
Below are the figures for some of the bigger departments and the total. As you can see, most of them have had the odd £1-2bn shaved off the original SR2010 plan.
Now there are many good reasons why this might have happened. Changes in external factors the Government can’t control. Changes in the allocation of functions between departments. Decisions to further decrease spending, or consolidate ‘under-spends’. Maybe the figures are on a different basis? All perfectly legitimate.
But why have we not been told? It’s not important? Well, we have just had a whole “Spending Round” over just £11.5bn – more or less the same amount as the difference between SR2010 and SR2013 for 2014-15.
And this means that the cumulative difference by 2015-16 is £22.1bn, not £11.5bn.
As usual, the Government just hopes no-one notices and asks no awkward questions. it’s no way to run a democracy.