Peter Dowd responds to Government’s decision denying Parliament a role in scrutinising £227.2 billion of government spending
Peter Dowd MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary, commenting on the Government’s decision to deny Parliament a role in scrutinising £227.2 billion of government spending (in the Supply and Appropriation Bill), said:
“Once again, the Government has shown its complete contempt for parliamentary sovereignty by using outdated and arcane procedures to deny a debate on the allocation of a third of the Government’s total budget.
“The Government is robbing Peter to pay Paul by using NHS capital monies, usually spent on health buildings and NHS infrastructure, to pay the day to day bills such as salaries and medicines.
“Meanwhile the deal done by the Government with the DUP to buy their votes went through without any debate. The Government is running scared of any scrutiny, while Parliament is dangerously becoming a spectator sport.”
Notes to editors:
The Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill included:
- £20m additional funds as a result of the confidence and supply agreement. This is the first draw-down of the £1 billion additional funds proposed by the Government in its agreement with the DUP.
- £150 million for Cabinet Office to underwrite the costs of Carillion’s receiver;
- £265 million for DFT for HS2 VAT costs which may not be recoverable;
- £68 million for DFT for repatriating customers after the Monarch airlines collapse;
- An increase of £14,684 million for DFE as a result of reassessment of the level of student loans expected not be repaid
- Increased day to day health funding of £2.1 billion. This reflects announcements made in last autumn’s Budget, and a switch of £1 billion from capital (Government departments have separate Resource budgets, covering day to day running costs; and capital budgets, covering investment in assets and loans. The Treasury does not normally allow departments to redeploy funds earmarked for capital purposes for day to day running costs, but has made an exception for Department of Health for the last four years.) to resource budgets. As a consequence of the switch, Department for Health and Social Care’s capital budget falls by almost £0.5 billion, compared to the original 2017-18 budget in the Main Estimate. This is the fourth successive year the department has moved a large amount of its capital funding to cover current pressures at Supplementary Estimates. The total value of these switches over the last four years has been £3.8 billion.
- £80 million to Home Office for asylum support;
- £156 million for BEIS for energy-intensive industries, because an exemption scheme planned was not put in place, leading to higher costs to government;
- Additional funding for costs in relation to exiting the EU. These include:
- ─ £35 million for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS);
- ─ £9 million for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS);
- ─ £67 million for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA);
- ─ £30 million for the Department for International Trade (DIT);
- ─ £4 million for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO);
- ─ £60 million for the Home Office;
- ─ £5.6 million for the Department for Transport (DFT);
- ─ £5.4 million for HM Treasury;
- ─ £47 million for HMRC;
- ─ £6.6 million for the Cabinet Office;
- ─ £1 million for the Competition and Markets Authority;
- ─ £0.9 million for the Food Standards Agency;
- ─ £6.6 million for Scotland;
- ─ £3.7 million for Wales;
- ─ £2.4 million for Northern Ireland. A total of £0.5 million for Brexit costs is also being allocated to the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland offices.