This morning’s Guardian reveals that Gordon Brown has spent £39bn of your money in order to deliver his opinion poll bounce. The main increases in spending are:
- Railways: one-off expenditure of £15bn – including £5.5bn for Thameslink
- Defence: £7.7bn pa by 2011 – including £3.9bn for two new aircraft carriers and £550m for service families’ accommodation
- SureStart: £4bn over three years to pay for a trebling of centres
- Housing: £8bn over three years
- Border security: £1.2bn over the next decade
- Schools: £515m including £265m for after-school clubs for disadvantaged children
- Voluntary sector partnerships: £515m
- Student grants: £400m more every year
- Flood defences: £200m more per year by 2011.
But how much of this is new money? Philip Hammond, George Osborne’s deputy, tells The Guardian: ""What Gordon Brown has done is not to turn on the funding taps, but to turn up the spin. None of this is new money… If you read the small print, many of these specific announcements have already been made at least once."
I’m spending today working on a new page that will aim to hold Gordon Brown accountable for his actions. It should be ready this time tomorrow.