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Government Expenditure

Volume 563: debated on Tuesday 14 May 2013

In the Budget this year, we set out the envelope for the spending round that will set budgets for 2015-16, looking to deliver a total of £11.5 billion of savings from departmental current expenditure, and that process is ongoing.

The Government have done well to reduce the deficit by a third, but they know that much more needs to be done. Are they going to re-examine their spending priorities to ensure that Departments such as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence do not suffer disproportionately in comparison with other Departments that deal with international aid and welfare?

The Government have rightly put in place protections for the budget for the national health service and for schools. We have also made a strong commitment to reaching the 0.7% objective on international aid, which I think most Members would agree is absolutely the right thing to do. Of course we will consider submissions from all Departments throughout the spending round process, but in the end every Department will have to bear its fair share of the reductions.