Budgeting for Change: The Impending Debate on Government Spending in UK Parliament

credit: instituteforgovernment.org.uk

London (Parliament Politic Magazine) – MPs will debate on the topic of Government spending at the forthcoming Main Estimates Day debate. The Estimates days will be a great chance for Members to discuss and agree on the Government’s spending plans.

The Backbench Business Committee has recommended four topics that will be under discussion on the Estimates Day debates to the Liaison Committee. The debate will take place on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 July. The following are the details on the impending debate of government spending in the UK parliament

Debates on Estimates of Departments To Be Held On 4th July 

On Tuesday 4th July, the debates on estimates will be held. The spending of the Department for Work and Pensions will be put forward by Sir Stephen Timms. He is hoping to focus the debate on Universal Credit. This will lead to a roll-out of the new benefit. Universal credit accounts have a lot of spending that was over £43 billion last year.

The spending is projected to go up and will be over £50 billion this year. This increase is due to the significant inflation increase in April. This year 5.7 million people have claimed universal credit. This debate could be an opportunity for MPs to share about the significant public expenditure which is a key milestone. They will also scrutinize the value of the expenditure.

Spending On the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero

The spending of the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will be discussed on the measures relating to energy infrastructure. This debate will be put forward by Stephen Crabb. The UK has adopted a net zero carbon emission target and it is targeted to be achieved by 2050. The UK will pledge to cut emissions and aim to bring it close to zero.

The target requires the UK to bring down all greenhouse gas emissions, which excludes aviation and international shipping, to zero by 2050. This will trigger a profound economic shift all around the UK. The Estimate for the Department will include a £790 million increase from last year in the Net Zero budget.

When it comes to the spending on HM prison and probation service Sir Bob Neill MP has interesting plans. Presently there are many serious challenges in the prison and probation system. Shockingly, the population of the prison is at the highest ever level. It currently stands at more than 85,000 and can rise to 100,000 over the next four years. 

The Ministry of Justice has an additional £4 billion in 2020 for spending money on prisoners. However, to date, only £1.1 billion is spent. Similarly, prison and probation workers experience recruitment challenges. The debate stressed the need to work for welfare and rehabilitation. These important issues cannot be overlooked whether the Ministry of Justice has sufficient resources or not.

 Spending On the Department of Education 

There will be a debate on the spending for the Department of education. It will include adult education, post-16 education, further education, and colleges. These ideas will be put forward by Margaret Greenwood and Mr. Robin Walker. This MP will decide on recent spending by the Treasury and Department. They will have to enhance their available resources for schools and early-year settings. However, there isn’t any equal increase for the FE. 

Additionally, the idea of spending money on classroom-based adult education is falling even more. Even if additional funding is allocated it will remain 40% lower than 2009-2010. The idea of this debate is to press this important case for review. When it comes to 16-19 funding, only the Government can provide sufficient funding. It will make sure that people can learn and develop new skills throughout their adult years.

Read More: Boris Johnson Faces Condemnation from UK Parliament in Damning Report

What is an Estimates Day Debate?

The House of Commons is responsible for setting aside three Estimate Days each year. On these special days, they consider the estimates of public spending by the Government authorities. All the MPs submit their ideas through application and the Backbench Business Committee moves it to the Liason Committee. Two Estimate days usually take place in the summer as it is to consider the Main Estimates. The third one takes place in the spring as it is for the Supplementary Estimates.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.