Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Another Example of No Brain Engagement

I wonder if this counts as an example of being so determined to find fault that the brain isn't engaged first. Will Straw asks on LFF whether the health budget has been cut. His reason is the picture below:

The top table is from the Budget and the bottom one from today's CSR. The numbers are different. I'm not an accountant but the bottom table is clearly marked as not included depreciation which I would imagine is a cost and increases the budget. Therefore, it would seem very likely to me that the reason for the CSR figure being lower is because it doesn't include depreciation. Indeed, comparing the figures for the other departments it seems that for almost all of them the Budget figures are higher.

So, am I right that the discrepancy is because of depreciation? If so is this another example of not engaging the brain before bashing?

And even if I'm wrong, why has Mr Straw not mentioned the discrepancies in the other figures? Look at the defence budget? In the Budget it was £36bn and in the CSR it is £24.3bn. Why didn't he suggest that the defence budget had been cut by over 30%? Maybe he was so determined to find a cut in Health spending (because the Tories promised there wouldn't be any) that he didn't bother looking at the rest of the table. My cynical side wants to suggest that he realised that suggesting that a cut that big had been made would be ridiculous and so he didn't bring attention to it.

Mr Straw would you care to respond?

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