Rogues and beggars

June 6, 1997

The budget is on July 2, but just how are government departments supposed to cope with it? They have not been asked to submit full public expenditure bids as they would for a real budget, but most are energetically sending in wish lists of manifesto-friendly ideas they think might be funded. Examples include a Home Office scheme to be tough on the causes of youth crime, a priority on which Messrs Blair, Brown and Straw are likely to agree. Home Office bureaucrats have been relieved to note that so far their competitors at Education and Employment have produced noticeably little in the way of rival proposals for spending the windfall tax.

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