Peter Hoskin

The malleability of ringfences

The malleability of ringfences
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Rachel Sylvester is on top form in the Times today, and I'd urge CoffeeHousers to delve behind the paywall (or borrow someone's copy of the paper) to read her column.  Its central point?  That ministers are discovering ingenious ways to exploit and undermine the ringfenced health and international development budgets.  The Home Office is saying that drug rehab programmes should fall under health spending.  The Foreign Office is trying to pass off some of their spending as development, and so on.  And, crucially, the Treasury seems to be going along with it:

"The Treasury seems to be tacitly endorsing this approach, with officials emphasising that departmental boundaries are artificial."