Page 87 on “Spending Review 2010″ gives a list of cuts to departmental adminstrative budgets. All departments are cutting by 33 per cent except Work and Pensions (35 per cent), culture and media (41 per cent), the business (40 per cent) and – toughest of all – communities (42 per cent). That is the department headed by Eric Pickles.
Page 10 gives the forecasts for departmental “programme & administration” budgets. The third biggest real terms cut was Defra (29 per cent), second was international development (33 per cent) and first was once again communities, where spending will fall by 51 per cent.
Page 11 meanwhile gives the capital DEL forecasts for departments. Education is to be hit by 60 per cent, FCO by 55 per cent and communities, once again, falls by 74 per cent. (which includes social housing getting shredded). Mr Pickles take another bow. The capital budget at transport, by contrast, is only cut by 11 per cent. At the very least that proves that the government has not simply been salami slicing – it has been taking difficult political prioritisation decisions.