Friday, 22 October 2010

The FT Goes Into The Red Herring Business

Jim Pickard, Financial Times, writes on the omission of four transport decisions omitted from Osborne's Comprehensive Spending Review on Wednesday. He also comments:
"Yet the DfT’s budget is now settled, albeit at 9.30pm on Tuesday, last of all the departments. Its capital spending is hardly taking a dent (down from £7.7bn to £7.5bn) although programme spending will fall from £5.1bn to £4.4bn (a rise in train fares will help to compensate)."
Ending his article, Pickard writes:
"Philip Hammond is meant to be clarifying the decision in a few weeks. At which point the coalition is supposed to be into its period of “growth stories”, a narrative which will involve a sequence of uplifting tales about renewed investment and spending to help UK plc. One might expect good news on rail projects to be part of this jolly grid. If not it would be a surprisingly bad piece of news management."
If Pickard had taken the trouble to do his homework - involving some research - he would realise the DfT budget can't be cut too much as our Toy Parliament and Toy politicians have to implement the EU's TEN-T programme (about which I wrote here).

Of course the rail programmes will proceed and at least Pickard got it right when he said Philip Hammond's announcement will be about renewed investment and how good this all is for UK plc. What Hammond will most definitely not say is that it is spending on projects dictated by our masters in Brussels.

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