James Forsyth

What is ring-fencing in LibDem land?

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On Sunday, on the Politics Show Vince Cable said that David Laws had been wrong to say on Newsnight that the health and international developments budgets were ringfenced. But the Lib Dem manifesto says the Libs Dems will, ‘Increase the UK’s aid budget to reach the UN target of 0.7 percent of GNI by 2013.’ This seemed contradictory to me so I called the Lib Dem press office who told me that you can ‘not ringfence a Budget but still increase it' which left me even more confused about what the Lib Dem position on the DFID budget actually is: will it go up or down?