Finance Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 6th July 2010.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 5:15 pm, 6th July 2010

That is precisely right and I will have more to say on that in a moment.

I promised a ray of good news among all the bad news and depressed expectations from the business community. A command paper was sneaked out last week. It had barely a press notice-it ran to a grant total of six lines-and there was no written ministerial statement with it. What could justify such secrecy? All is revealed on page 52 of the public expenditure survey, published last week, wherein we discover that Departments under Labour's management underspent their budgets last year by £5 billion. Anyone would think that the Government wanted to keep that news secret. In a knee-jerk response yesterday, they decided to cover it up by announcing another £1.5 billion of spending cuts instead.

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