Thursday, 8 November 2007

Hey big spender?

There's a bit of a row, as you might expect, over the increase in the Wales Office budget - at a time when other government departments are told to tighten their belts on administration costs.

The Wales Office (the Whitehall department that represents Welsh interests at Westminster) will see its budget rise from £4.68 m to £8.44m next year, although the figures are disputed by the department itself.

I've just interviewed Peter Hain's deputy, Huw Irranca-Davies, who explained that when you include LCOs, front-loading, framework powers, revenue spending and exclude capital spending, it's nowhere near as big as 80 per cent - although the jargon did leave me struggling by the end of that answer.

The £4m increase is a drop in the ocean of an overall Welsh budget of £14bn but that won't stop opposition parties highlighting the scale of the rise.

Oh, and here's a photograph of the Secretary of State for Wales (he's on the left), showing how the countryside is still open. Peter Hain may have an Aga, but his wellies are definitely not green.


Glyn Davies said...

No-one who knows anything about the countryside goes out in white trousers - he looks ridiculous and just like a politician pretending to be something that he's not.

David Cornock said...

Well at least he was wearing trousers, Glyn.....