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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Busting the budget

Oh dear, the Speaker of the House of Commons has apparently been upsetting MPs again, this time over the budget for his personal office.

The Financial Times reports that the annual budget for his office is increasing this year by 6 per cent to £700,000 for the year to March 2012 in spite of a 17 per cent cut across the Commons’ administration, catering and resources budgets over the next four years.

The FT quote a senior Tory backbencher as saying: “It is such hypocrisy for Mr Speaker to be cutting every other budget in the Commons apart from his own. Again, this shows that John is increasingly become detached from the financial pressure on backbenchers the longer he is in office.

“He needs to stop touring the country like a has-been 1970s rock star and focus on standing up for the rights of backbenchers and cutting his own costs.”

Perhaps John Bercow needs to look to the Welsh Assembly where the Commission budget, which includes the Presiding Office, has been slashed by more than the cut in the block grant this year.

We took the view that we could not justify increases or even a standstill in the cost of administering the Assembly when key public services faced cuts.
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