Headlines about the government performing a U-turn on reduced sentences for offenders who plead guilty early risk distracting attention from the hole in the budget that has just been created by the move. It is a policy that throws up more questions than it answers, some of which are:
1) Where will the extra £130m come from? Government sources suggest it will be from probation and courts services. But where, and what effect will this have? Clarke was pretty vague in the Commons:
The savings are not coming from any particular area. We are achieving more efficiency. Half is coming from administrative costs. If there are any new policies I will come forward with them.
If half are coming through administrative costs, where is the other half coming from? Read more