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Duty of fiscal candour: why public spending figures should be presented much more clearly

These crucial numbers are too difficult to follow and vast sums of money are easily missed in the confusion

By Paul Wallace  

Exterior view of The Treasury. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Archive/PA Images

One of the many regrettable consequences of the prorogation of parliament was that Sajid Javid was able to announce big increases in public spending for the financial year starting next April while dodging the detailed scrutiny that should then follow. In ordinary circumstances the Treasury select committee of MPs would quiz the chancellor of the exchequer thoroughly soon after his statement to the House of Commons. With so little time before parliament was suspended Javid was able to duck…

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