Treasury urged to loosen politically driven 'ring-fenced' spending plans
Friday 26 November 2010
Excessive, politically driven "ring-fencing" distorts government spending priorities, according to a report on the Comprehensive Spending Review published by the Treasury Committee today.
The cross-party group is also critical of the aircraft carrier contract with BAE "as a symptom of wider difficulties in controlling the defence budget".
The committee argues that "although ring-fencing might fulfil electoral promises, it could also lead to allocative problems across government as a whole, and reduce scrutiny of the efficiency of ring-fenced departments". The Treasury is urged to "demand that spending currently ring-fenced in certain areas be used where the benefit is the greatest, or where greater value for money can be obtained".
The Coalition Government has tried to ring-fence international aid, the NHS and "front-line" schools spending, but cordoning off such substantial areas has meant that the cuts in other departments have had to be larger.
However, the report adds, "the decision to use the NHS budget for social care and the development budget to support fragile and conflict-affected states suggested that ring-fencing had not been absolute". The danger, identified by commentators, is that relatively inefficient spending in "ring-fenced" departments is preserved, while efficient and effective spending is cut back.
Particular problems were identified in the £40bn spent on defence. Andrew Tyrie, the committee's chairman, commented: "Successive governments have struggled to deal with an over-committed defence budget. The Treasury should draw on the lessons from the seemingly 'unbreakable' carrier contract to analyse all future procurement to ensure that value for money is being obtained, particularly when little competition exists."
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Prince Charles ‘burns 1.3 tons of carbon’ in private helicopter after urging public to turn off lights for Earth Hour
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 per annum + commission: SThree: Sthree have an exciting opportunity for...
£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...