Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Rural Payments Agency

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 3:33 pm on 7th November 2006.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Miliband David Miliband Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 3:33 pm, 7th November 2006

The discussions that I have with the Chancellor should probably remain as collegial and internal discussions. [Interruption.] That is certainly the way that I would prefer it. Let me address the important point that the hon. Gentleman makes. I am a member of the Government and I support the Government's economic strategy. Central to that economic strategy is the control of public expenditure, and central to the effective control of public expenditure is the principle that Government Departments take responsibility for the funds that are at their disposal. We have moved to three-yearly budgets, for which there is support in many parts of the House. The important thing is that, except in the most exceptional circumstances, Government Departments work hard to live within those budgets. At a time when we have a comprehensive spending review ahead, we will be able to address in the round the issues of DEFRA's budget. My judgment is that one cannot support the Government's economic strategy on the one hand, and on the other, go running to the Chancellor for funds every time there is a problem.It is about being a responsible Government andalso a collegiate Government who recognise our collective responsibilities, as well as our individual responsibilities.