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How big are government cuts? The figures simply don’t exist

And without those, how can we have a proper debate about funding for public services? 

By Emily Andrews  

Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/PA Images

How much did the government spend on hospitals last year? What about mental health?  Schools are apparently facing a squeeze right now: how much has spending changed since 2010?

Knowing the answer to those questions is an obvious pre-requisite to any meaningful debate about public sector cuts. After seven years of spending constraint in public services, we should have easy access to them, right?

Wrong. Despite mountains of financial data pumped into the public domain, it is surprisingly difficult to work out exactly how…

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