The Treasury, with uncharacteristic generosity, lent a helping hand to the Ministry of Defence today. Other Whitehall departments with cash problems will have taken note.
Breaking with normal practice, the Treasury let the MoD keep a “substantial proportion” of the proceeds from selling the remaining government stake in Qinetiq, the defence research company. Usually such proceeds are jealously guarded by the chancellor. As one frustrated official handling a department asset sale once told me: “we do the selling, they do the spending”. Read more