Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Monday, 7 June 2010

Could the books be more open?

David Cameron has today announced that the finances of the country are much worse than was originally thought now that the new government has had a chance to look at the books.

Whether it is true or not, this is a time-honoured tactic from incoming administrations. They claim that things are worse than expected and blame it all (not unreasonably) on the previous lot. It gives them political cover for doing things that were not necessarily signalled in advance of the election.

One of the reasons why there was so little talk about what the parties would actually do to reduce the deficit in the run up to the election is because the government did not do a spending review as it was scheduled to do. This combined with the traditional hoarding of information meant that the opposition parties had a lot less to go on.

I wonder though if this government could do things a bit differently. Perhaps as part of the "new politics" it could be more open itself about what is happening behind the scenes and allow the opposition parties to have more information.

More openness would have the added effect of helping to insulate the current government from the sort of criticism it has just heaped on its predecessor in the future. After all a future government cannot complain that it did not know what it was facing if the information is already widely known.

It could also lead to more open and honest debate in the run up to the next election.

1 comment:

Jock Coats said...

It was my understandin (and my idea, natch) that the new "Office for Budget Responsibility" or whatever he's calling it, will be precisely that - open to all, including not just opposition parties but us proles too.