June 3rd, 2014

All Gov Attacks on Labour Sums Must Be Cleared By Treasury

Sir Nicholas Macpherson, the Treasury PermSec, has fired the official starting gun on election season in a letter to Civil Service chief Sir Bob Kerslake. From now until May 2015, any government costing of an opposition policy will have to be signed off by the Treasury and pre-notification of the announcement will have to be given to Labour:

“I have personally committed to sign off all costings before they are provided to Ministers of Special Advisers for public use. Therefore, I would ask that the relevant permanent secretary’s office contact my office as soon as possible if officials in your department are commissioned to cost an opposition policy. They will be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow and the necessary clearances. 

I have also made a personal commitment to the Shadow Chancellor and the Shadow Chief Secretary to give them advance notice of the publication or release of any costing, in line with a similar agreement made to the Conservative party in 2009. This includes any briefing to the press or parliamentary questions. I take this personal commitment very seriously and therefore would ask that you also notify my office at the earliest opportunity if your department receives any FOI requests or Parliamentary Questions that could lead to the release of a costing. You should also be aware, and may wish to make your staff aware, that there are no exemptions under the FOI act which prevent us from releasing a completed opposition costing.”

Government SpAds are kicking off this afternoon, arguing that every time they brief the press about opposition’s spending plans they’re expected to phone up and seek civil service blessing. Though Treasury sources play down the significance of the move, suggesting that the Labour will simply be told it’s happening with no room for them to complain. It would help if they actually had some policies to cost…


  1. 1
    Uncle Fester says:

    It’s difficult to put a cost on nothing

  2. 2
    C.O.Jones says:

    Does that mean Labour can only spend the taxation of bankers bonuses once?

  3. 3
    Drummond Base says:

    A cost of costing crisis?

  4. 4
    Don Butcher says:

    You don’t need a civil servant to tell you Labour’s policies cost a lot. Every Labour government in history has ended with economic collapse.

  5. 5
    C.O.Jones says:

    And then austerity follows, Never forget that is the reason Labour can cause major economic meltdown then another party takes over and gets blamed for the subsequent austerity which was forced upon them.

  6. 6
    Ed Balls says:

    let’s say the costs will be more than we raise in tax and use that as a starting point.

  7. 7
    Andrew Efiong says:

    Which staff will be tasked with costing the claims? If people can be spared for this trivial advisory task then presumably once the election is over they can be sacked because the role will be redundant. A handy saving for the taxpayer but I won’t hold my breath!

  8. 8
    LibLabCon apologist says:


    The last Labour government doubled Britain’s debt over 13 years.

    Thank God we’ve got a Conservative-led government, which will have doubled Britain’s debt after only 5 years.

    5 is a smaller number that 13, so it’s not as bad.

  9. 9
    UKIP: Hacking at the roots with the truth says:

    We are at war with Euroasia, we have always been at war with Euroasia.

  10. 10
    C.O.Jones says:

    You have obviously no understanding of economics.

  11. 11
    Gordon the Great ? says:

    I got it all right last time so what all the fuss about? Pensions have never been so good and I’m a wiz at gold selling! My advice is due to normal consultants fees which will be made obvious once I’ve been hire to help you!!!!

  12. 12
    Anonymous says:

    Quite. The current government is dealing with the mess, the debt and deficit would be even bigger if it wasn’t for Osborne’s steady hand in the face of “warnings” from the IMF, the EU and Labour.

  13. 13
    Civil servants are parasites says:

    “once the election is over they can be sacked because the role will be redundant.”

    If by “sacked” you mean “given a huge pay-off” and “then re-hired by the civil service on a higher salary than before”, then , yes.

  14. 14
    what a stitch-up says:

    Macpherson was in Brown’s inner circle for years.

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    i would be interested how they cost the re introduction of the 50p tax rate.

    will it be the 100m they costed for the tories or the 10bn they told labour?

  16. 16
    Boobage! says:

  17. 17
    C.O.Jones says:

    And considering that Labour in opposition want to borrow more money than the coalition have so far – saying cuts have gone too far and too fast.

    In reality the cuts if any have been minimal. Labour is just a party of stupid people with no inkling of the real world. They do know how to spend though.

  18. 18
    Pub Landlord says:

    All left-wing Whitehall mandarins are also barred!

  19. 19
    Cameron is a Eurotarded coward says:

    1st June 2014: “Britain could leave the EU if Jean-Claude Juncker becomes president of the European Commission!” – David Cameron.

    2nd June 2014: “Fuck you, Schweinhund! You little Island Apes will accept Jean-Claude Juncker as president! Heil Me!” – Angela Merkel.

    3rd June 2014: “I look forward to Jean-Claude Juncker becoming president. I will not object at all. I always said he was the best choice.” – David Cameron

  20. 20
    Homeland comes to life says:

    This Bowe Bergdahl is a startling example of life imitating art with the TV drama Homeland. I wonder if the authorities will put him under surveillance to see if he’s been brainwashed during his captivity into becoming an agent for al-Qaida.

  21. 21
    Mycroft says:

    Not idiot Osbourne, wrongful attribution.

    Mervyn King, he would be the correct attribution, he did exceptionally well.

    Not perfect, but he alone through force of intellect and persuasion held all the forces of mayhem at bay.

  22. 22
    Winston says:

    No true. There was barely a whisker between Darling’s budget proposals and Osborne’s decisions. Vote Tory or Labour, you will still get the same economic policies, bar tinkering around the edges.

  23. 23
    Anonymous says:

    I wonder what figure the treasury will put on labours commitment to introduce the 50p tax rate.

    100m the tories say or the 10bn labour use?


  24. 24
    what a stitch-up says:

    Giving the opposition warning about any announcement is a
    joke.Even if Labour are simply told that a particular statement
    is to be made,it will give them ample time to conjure up some
    old crap in reply.
    Yet more proof that lefties have infiltrated the higher echelons of
    the civil service.

  25. 25
    Anonymous says:

    And his son went out with Peaches Geldof.

  26. 26

    What about costing spendthrift Gay Dave’s policies that are still resulting in a Deficit of £10 MILLION EVERY FUCKING HOUR OF EVERY FUCKING DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY

  27. 27
    Winston says:

    Read this as: “don’t criticise Labour policies, but throw everything at UKIP’s”

  28. 28
    C.O.Jones says:

    Darling was handed a crock of shite by McMental. He knows it, we know it and so does everyone else.

    Darling was the fall man for 10 years of McMental’s profligacy. Under the circumstances Darling had no choice and neither did Osborne.

  29. 29
    Vlad in Sochi says:

    Such a nice boy your Dave

    He knows which side his bread is buttered

    What would happen to the City of London if you imposed financial sanctions on us?

  30. 30
    The civil service says:

    Jobs for the boys

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Mycroft says:

    Frank Sinatra’s only good film, The Manchurian Candidate for my generation.

  33. 33
    Mycroft says:

    Oddly, Darling was more likely to give MK a stronger hand, he was left with a mess by the previous Chancellor and knew it.

    Trouble is Darling was out of favour, he was a little too frank about the problem with his colleagues and they didn’t like what that meant about their useless past.

    Being faced with your own failures and being blamed for them is never going to be taken kindly.

  34. 34
    Neil "Brown Envelope" Hamilton says:

    The difference between pray and prey can be several years of therapy for an altar boy.

  35. 35
    Es are good says:

    The chemical scientist who reinvented the popular party drug ecstasy has died at the age of 88 from liver cancer. Alexander Shulgin earned his nickname ‘the Godfather of ecstasy’ after honing a way to make the drug – and testing it out on himself to check it had worked.

    Dedicated to his memory:

  36. 36
    Vote Tory, Get Overbearingly Abusive State Power says:

    Yet another reason not to vote Conservative.


  37. 37
    2009glorydays says:

    How come we never seemed to hear about this in 2009?

  38. 38
    Bus pass Elvis says:

    Why Just Labour?

    They aren’t the only party opposing the government.

  39. 39

    Why do they not just get on with it, and tell the interfering health and safety arseholes to just FUCK OFF no problem?

  40. 40
    Sizzla says:

    The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has announced it now requires pre-notification of any attempt by Ed Miliband to eat a bacon sarnie.

  41. 41
    constituency trainbound says:


  42. 42
    Apthorpe says:

    Both Labour and the current Conservative party leadership are stuck with the same plan. There will be differences of empahsis and winners and losers, but the main EU centric, high tax, big government and interventionist state are tennets held by both of them. There has been no attempt to change the role and size of government. Both parties would spend more as the econonomy recovers and seek to extend the states’ reach further.

    Our current leaders like the EU as it lets them follow this agenda and still cry innocent but in truth they approve of it. UKIP will not be the solution but a strong UKIP showing at Newark and in the GE might just start the fight back in the Conservative Party where it matters.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Plod dance says:

    Zactly. It’s not as if the police will break up the Morris dance and Tazer the dancers.

    Is it?

  45. 45
    Empty Ed says:

    Thardines, thardines

    I need my thardines

  46. 46
    Crime spotter says:

    What happened to illegal immigrant Arnie “the Laugh” Graf?

    Has he been interned or expelled?

  47. 47

    They might actually try, but they would probably have their tasers rammed up their arses!

  48. 48
    Long John Silver' s parrot says:

    Hopefully this will lead to better informed and reasoned replies from the Opposition.

  49. 49
    Kenny says:

    I thought he had been shot.

  50. 50
    Here is BBC home service says:

    Darling didn’t have a g un to his head, he wasn’t forced to be Chancellor of the Exchequer, he took it knowing about Browns destruction, so sympathy isn’t required for dearest Darling, pay back by Liebour to the people of this country, it’s taxpayers is.

  51. 51
    albacore says:

    How very praiseworthy of our civil servants
    Not letting Dave get away with a pile of pants
    Any chance that that diligence might be advanced
    To demanding that the E U’s books be balanced?

  52. 52
    Anonymous says:

    Story is fair enough, but as usual the paper eggs it up with bullshit.
    The Morris Dancers first got involved in 1530, not 1100.
    The current tradition has gone on for … 33 years.
    No information given on how much morris dancing was carried out between 1530 and when it was reintroduced in 1981.

    No reason for tehm not to morris-dance away from the main roads

  53. 53
    Voter says:

    Well of course they have to tell each other in advance. After all, they’re the same party under the covers.

  54. 54

    You are missing the point , the fact that some self appointed arsehole behind a desk has taken it upon himself to obstruct every harmless activity for no better reason that they just can ,is the real issue.

  55. 55
    well there's a surprise says:

    All British traditions will be abolished by EU backed
    Health and Safety Rule No 52,763.

  56. 56
    are you buying fish? says:

    The Ministry of Silly Haircuts has announced it now requires
    pre-notification of any attempt by Ed Balls to shake hands with
    an ordinary member of the public.

  57. 57
    Mycroft says:

    With regard to giving Darling sympathy, none forthcoming from me, he was right in there at the time and had insufficient backbone to stand up to the tyrant Brown.

    That is both understandable and equally unforgivable… his present lack of lustre stems from this failure of spinal attribution.

    He stood by, didn’t make a fuss or resign on principle, well he did make a little fuss but it was half-hearted.

    A weak man and again he is treated as such by all around him and all that look on.

    A stronger principled man would have flourished… he didn’t and it is known of him.

  58. 58
    do me a favour says:

    Top civil servant Jeremy Heywood decided Chilcot
    would be censored before publication-protecting Blair and Campbell.
    Now top civil servant Nicholas Macpherson has decided any
    Government attacks on Labour policy have to be cleared and
    pre-warning given to the Opposition.
    Bit of a theme developing.

  59. 59
    Stu says:

    This is simple to answer.

    “Hello McPherson.”

    “Hello Mr Osborne what can I do for you today?”

    “Fuck off and mind your own business. Nothing is going to be signed off by you or any other civil servant at the treasury.”


  60. 60
    mephistopheles says:

    labour does have a policy to cost

    a large increase in nhs spending – to be funded by an increase in nat. insurance

    labour costs are to rise across the economy to pay-off votes from the largest vested interest (racket) in society – represented by unison – that’s the deal that megaband has agreed with lenin

    may you get what you want – may you want what you get

  61. 61
    dai wondering says:

    censorship of political debate?

    leveson next?

  62. 62
    Fishy says:

    No reason for tehm not to morris-dance away from the main roads .

    Especially as they stopped making Morris’s years ago

  63. 63
    Fishy says:

    Does this mean that Labour (and their friends in the BBC) will have to have their facts checked by the ONS before they publish bogus statistics – like the ‘zero hours’ ones that they were pulled up for yesterday?

  64. 64
    George Osborne says:

    Just like me!

  65. 65
    Big Ed says:

    Wankers R Us

  66. 66

    ” …and may wish to make your staff aware, that there are no exemptions under the FOI act which prevent us from releasing a completed opposition costing.”

    Says it all succinctly and with understated elan as usual from the top mandarins;

    In other words — if there are any data we do not want the plebs to see , fuck FOI ……they don t get to see them.!

  67. 67

    ” …before they are provided to Ministers of Special Advisers …” ??

    Should that not be the other way round ? Don t Spads work FOR Ministers ?

    Oh hold on ….

  68. 68

    ….which indeed results in (New?) Labour getting elected again to recommence the whole farrago .

  69. 69


    Osborne to Balls ;

    Right Ed if you really do want to swap seats with me after May you ll have to get up to speed . Now …how many shillings are there in one pound ? Twenty good! . Next question ..how many pennies in one shilling …yes !! Twelve exactly . I can see you re well up to snuff. Now then ……how many pennies in one complete pound . ….Excellent 240 well done you logically multiplied 20 shillings by 12 pence .. most promising .

    Now Ed … there s something very important I need to tell you and it is essential for the prudent longterm management of our UK economy that you fully understand .

    In 1973 something radical happened to our pounds shillings and pence …….

  70. 70
    Mycroft says:

    I think he is saying that he will reveal sources of the Financial tenets used as a basis for the costing, not the opposite.

    He is demanding that any FOI is not placed in a drawer in a darkened room with a sign on the door warning ‘Beware of the Shark’.

  71. 71
    Rt. Hon. Field Marshal Iain Dunning Kruger M.P. says:

    But we can still put out our figures though yes?

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