It was only a small promise but gives some insight into how the government works.
Darling promised £50m on housing for the armed forces, with a grandiose pledge:
“I have one further announcement to make about housing for a particular group. The whole country is united in admiration for the courage and professionalism of our Armed Forces,” he said. “I want to ensure this admiration is reflected in the quality of their accomodation.”
The detailed figures in the Budget red book show that the Treasury expects to spend an extra £50m on armed forces accomodation in 2009-10. But in the subsequent year, it will claw back £25m from this budget.
In other words, the real figure is £50m minus £25m……or just £25m.