As the hon. Gentleman should be aware, the outgoing Government's capital spending plans have not been changed by this Government. We have to accept the previous Government's plans for a modest increase in the capital stock of the state over a period of great stress in the budgets. But the cancellation of the Building Schools for the Future programme and its replacement with a programme that gives better value for money is exactly what we want. The trouble with Building Schools for the Future was that there were three years of delay and £10 million of consultancy costs before bricks and mortar or steel and glass could even start to be laid.
What my right hon. and hon. Friends rightly want to do is cut out all that nonsense, stop wasting all the money on the documentation, delays, consultancies and all the rest of it, and have a more straightforward approach, so that a bigger proportion of the inherited capital expenditure budget can be spent on bricks and mortar and bricklayers' wages, as the hon. Gentleman wants.
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