Tuesday, March 15, 2005

More on government accounts

Albion Blogger points out to me an article in the Spectator where Peter Oborne summarises the issues around the government's intended reclassification of roads maintenance spending in the national accounts. I blogged about this issue here.

Oborne thinks this that the changes are kosher and are allowable under government accounting rules. Unfortunately he doesn't back up his assertion with any evidence:
Suddenly, thanks to this latest accounting wheeze, the Chancellor has extra money to play with. No one doubts the probity of New Zealander Len Cook. Though to a layman, road maintenance sounds very like current spending, the exceptionally complex government rules of national accounting have not been breached. The fact that this new money has suddenly emerged from nowhere, on the very eve of an election campaign, is just a happy coincidence.

My guess is that Oborne has taken someone else's word that the reclassification is allowable. My researches have suggested that they are not. I intend to keep on digging.