This is the hair shirt parliament and MPs will need to lead from the front. Ministers have started the process by axing the limos, one of the toughest cuts so far negotiated. Now, as trailed in the last parliament, it is time for rank-and-file backbenchers to do their bit to fill in the £156bn deficit. The House of Commons Commission, a body run by John Bercow, the speaker, has agreed to cut £12m from the budget for the House in the current year.
This marks the start of what the body claims will be a fundamental review of expenditure, which will deliver further savings over the next three years. The savings to be made this year are 5 per cent more than the Commission had originally planned, and will reduce estimated spending for 2010/11 to £219m.
This action follows the Commission’s decision in December 2009 to cut House expenditure by 9 per cent by the end of 2012/13. Read more
The new chair of the backbench business committee – a small news story slightly lost amid yesterday’s Budget – is to be Natascha Engel, the Labour MP, who beat Tory Sir Alan Haselhurst by 202 votes to 173.
She was a member of the Wright committee, whose report led to the setting up of this new body; designed to transfer powers from the whips to backbench MPs. Read more
Alex and Ian Mulheirn calculated this morning that some core departments including the Home Office could face cuts of a third in real terms over the Parliament.
In case you had any doubts about their maths, I’ve just had a look at the post-Budget conclusions from the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Here is their key line which backs up this morning’s blog: Read more
On the basis of Osborne’s spending plans, it looks like the coalition is either:
Before you accuse me of exaggerating, take a look at the rough maths. (This is courtesy of the ever-sharp Ian Mulheirn at the Social Market Foundation.) Read more