Comprehensive Spending Review

The Treasury Select Committee has published its report today following our inquiry into the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review, after we took evidence earlier in the month from various industry experts including the Institute for Fiscal Studies, as well as Former Cabinet Secretary Lord Turnbull, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

I took the opportunity in our oral evidence session on the 4th November to ask the Chancellor about the process for delivering the Spending Review across Whitehall, and how each Department will ensure value for taxpayer money moving forward. It was good to hear about the increased focus on accountability right through the CSR, and to learn that a new framework is being considered for the whole of DEL-AME. I look forward to hearing from the Chancellor on that particular point in his Budget in March. You can watch my exchange below.

The main thrust of the TSC’s report is that scrutiny of the Government’s consolidation reform plans will be one of our key tasks over the entire course of this Parliament, and that we expect to conduct regular enquiries into the Government's fiscal and expenditure planning, and the OBR's forecasts.

As our Chairman, Andrew Tyrie, said, today’s report is a first step towards a higher level of scrutiny of public spending than previously undertaken. Whilst there is general party political agreement that consolidation is necessary, there continue to be differences over its precise method, timing and pace. It will be a major challenge to ensure that all parts of the United Kingdom benefit from future growth. The Government has announced some policies designed to help achieve this, and we will monitor their progress closely.

You can read the full report here, and review the oral and written evidence here.