Trends in public spending

The government has recently published more figures showing the real changes in public spending in recent years. These reveal that real spending has gone up in several large programmes, including health, social security and general public services. It has also risen in international services including overseas aid, EU contributions, science and technology and environmental protection. There have been real cuts in defence, public order, recreation and culture, and enterprise and economic development. Overall general government consumption went up by 1.5% in 2014, and is going up by another 0.8% this year,  in real terms ,  according to the Budget Red Book. General government investment rose by 7.3% last year and by another 2.3% this year in real terms. Real household disposable income rose by 1.4% last year and is forecast to rise by 3.7% this year.

One of the difficult areas to research is what has happened to local authority grants and spending. Many Councils argue they have faced large cuts. The figures are difficult to deduce because in 2013-14 the government reclassified large sums, with the localisation of business rates and of Council tax benefit. In a recent  government publication it shows the pattern of so called Local Government Resource AME as £284 m in 2009-10, rising to £11,123 million in 2013-14, whereas Resource DEL fell from £26.805 billion in 2009-10 to £16.281 billion in 2013-14. If we add the two together the sums rose from £27.089 bn in 2009-10 to £27.5bn in 2013-14, a modest rise which also needs to be adjusted for any changes in responsibilities. There was also at the same time some redistribution of grants undertaken to give a bit more relatively to Councils that received very little central grant.

The 2015 Budget Red Book has a figure for locally financed current expenditure. This rose from £33 bn in 2013-14, to £35.8bn in 2-14-15, and is forecast to rise to £37.6bn in 2015-16. These are cash figures and are not adjusted for any change in responsibilities. Locally financed capital spending is constant at £7bn a year for the three years. The good news is public satisfaction with Council services has not fallen during this period, despite many Councils stating they have faced cuts in their grants and budgets.

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47 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Are the public satisfied by the public services of mugging motorists who stray onto bus lanes with one tyre, get stuck on hatched junctions or are a minute late getting back to the car? Or those of road constricting and blocking that they so love or the residents parking area cash cow.

    Or satisfied with the absurd rubbish collection complexities and insufficient collections or the often second rate schools? Now many are starting to tax and inconvenience thousands of landlords too. Thus a service of increasing rents for tenants.

    So much of what they do is a job creation scheme for parasites and mugging/licensing of the public.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      It is reported that finally there will be some fudge on IHT in the manifesto after the five years of ratting on the £1m threshold promise.

      The minimum needed to retain any credibility for Osborne is to keep the promise in full and do it on May 8th in the unlikely even they win a majority. With inflation £1.2M per person.

      The tax is how ever a tax in the beneficiaries so perhaps it should be adjusted to tax on the amount of money received by each beneficiary rather than the total probate value. Better still abolish it it has been taxed already and is taxed when it is invested or spent anyway. The signal sent that the UK is a great place for the rich and hardworking to live is a good message to send. One the send to non doms already with great results.

      The manifesto should also increase the pension cap to a sensible level like £4m about the value of ex Prime Minister’s pensions. Reducing it to £1m or a pension of only about 26k was absurd. You can get that much on benefits. After all ministers keep telling us we are all in it together.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 21, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink

        The pension tax relief is only a deferment (in the main) anyway the pension is still taxed when drawn and the higher people’s pensions the fewer benefits & services they will claim in old age.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 22, 2015 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        “The tax is how ever a tax in the beneficiaries so perhaps it should be adjusted to tax on the amount of money received by each beneficiary rather than the total probate value.”

        That’s what I’ve been saying for years!

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic

      I hear that the small print in the Budget is going to legally outlaw landlord sub letting restrictions.
      Thus tenants are going to be able to sub let the property they have rented automatically, without them having to inform the landlord.

      Now this does not affect me in any way as I do not own any buy to let properties, but surely this is a charter for an absolute disaster, and will lead to possible overcrowding, additional wear and tear on the property, possible insurance and mortgage refusal, environmental heath issues, complex housing benefit claims, and indeed possible tax evasion by the people sub letting.

      Has the Chancellor really thought this through, because this could end up with ghetto type accommodation in many City/Town centres.

      I know we are in a housing crisis caused by a shortage of properties being available, but this idea just seems like a disaster in the making.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 22, 2015 at 6:20 am | Permalink

        If this is true it will be totally absurd. The landlord will not have a clue who is even in his property. The more people the more the property is damaged and then there will be the endless complaints from neighbours about noise, parties and disturbances – but the landlord will be unable to do anything about them anyway. Then it might also force him to have a licence when he had initially let to one family but finds he now has several in occupation.

        It is essentially just theft by the state of the personal assets of the landlord. They are no longer under his control so who would be a landlord so you get a shortage of rental properties.

        What role of government is it to restrict free contracts in this absurd way?

        • alan jutson
          Posted March 22, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Lifelogic

          Can only suggest you Google property118.com

          Then look under heading, Government to make subletting easier.

          Many comments echo your and my thoughts.

        • JoeSoap
          Posted March 22, 2015 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          So does that also mean we can hire cars then anybody is allowed to drive?
          And of course my employees can sub-let their jobs as the contract with them can be ignored.
          A bit daft as a precedent.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 22, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

            Well, MPs “work for you” but they already sub-let their jobs to the EU and other external entities.

          • alan jutson
            Posted March 22, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            Joe

            Cars and jobs not included to the best of my knowledge.

            Yes I know it sounds daft, and yes I know it is not April 1st.

            Just reporting what I have read.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Why are you just repeating the same crap? I’ve asked you before. Why should the rest of the population pay for a reduction in IHT or face worse services for about 3000 people who have often done nothing to deserve this money?
      You could not care less about worse services low pay, conditions and housing of the rest of the population instead want all welfare cut except corporate and landlord welfare and especially welfare for the rich, but expect us the poor and the working poor to fund the often already wealth lifestyles even further with free cash ……….. Increase IHT now for a more just society.

      • alan jutson
        Posted March 22, 2015 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Bazman

        Latest reports suggest that by the year 2019-2020, 64,000 people a year will be paying IHT if the rates are not increased.

        Do not think this tax was ever designed to tax everyone who’s parents owned a family property in the South East, parts of the South West, and even certain areas tup North.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 22, 2015 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        On the other hand why should people have to pay tax when they die on assets and savings they have built up during their lifetime using money that has already been taxed.
        Its our money not the State’s money.

        The starting point should be doubled as a minimum as it has been many years since it was last adjusted.

  2. Richard1
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    The Labour Party’s claim that there has been a ‘cut’ in govt expenditure and that there will be more is shown by these data to be false. The Labour Party’s claim that living standards have fallen is also shown to be false – living standards are to rise by c 4% this year.

  3. alan jutson
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I cannot understand why the Government has ring fenced overseas aid, when so many other services have been so called cut.

    I am all for helping some of those overseas who have had some sort of natural catastrophe, like earthquakes, floods, ebola, vaccination projects and the like, but why do we have to finance lots of other so called projects, where it would seem money just gets syphoned of by corrupt officials, or just seems to have gone missing.

    Given that our Defence forces are being cut, why is the foreign aid budget not used when our troops set up hospitals and rescue aid abroad, even only if it was to pay for their wages and consumables used.

    I guess the environmental budget has gone up due to the spend on flood protection, or has it been used to create some wetland park for some green project to protect newts.

    Given the significant rise in the population, more needs to be spent on infrastructure and our roads in general, otherwise we will simply end up standing/sitting still in traffic jams all day.

    Finally, if what you say is true about rising expenditure in so many areas, how come your government still talks about having reduced costs, when in fact all that has happened in the main is that tax rises have paid for most of it.

    Yes we need to balance the books, but we also need a balanced choice to spending.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      John

      Just a thought, added spend on the environment, is this because of all the green subsidies on windmills, roof panel bling and such like is taking up ever larger sums of taxpayer money ?

      Which budget do all of these payments (so called investments) come from ?

  4. Ian wragg
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    I see in todays papers that more than half the overseas aid goes to the EU or other government agencies as the dfid can’t spend it fast enough. With the national debt due to reach £1.8 billion? Do you really think this is a good idea

    North Korea is now sabre rattling as we shut down our defence capabilities.
    Why do the liblabcon hate England so much

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Ian–If only–I think you may need three more zeros on the Debt

      • Hope
        Posted March 22, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        £1.8 trillion.

  5. agricola
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Government spending is party political driven. One concludes that the government of the past five years does not care about the defence of the nation or public order, it’s supposed prime raison d’etre. It appears enamoured of the EU at a cost of £14 Billion pa, and rising. It loves overseas aid at £12 Billion and rising, perhaps better defined as bribing and supporting every tin pot nation around the World at the expense of ignoring our own elderly and those who merit a university education. The altar of health is only preyed at because it is seen as politically too hot to tamper with particularly at election time.

    Local government is not fathomable at my distance, though as reported they seem to proliferate in areas of peoples lives where they are not required, but fail abysmally where needed. etc ed

    I know not what government have done for science and technology, but in terms of environment, by adhering to all the green nonsense that emanates from the EU and their own ministries have managed to preside over the Somerset levels disaster and give us some of the most expensive power sources in the developed world. Well done government you really know how to screw up big time.

    • agricola
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      I see ETC ED as a failure to face up to reality. A reality that had exactly the same reaction from those who could have done something about it in the first instance. Those in authority terrified to cause offence so they failed those they were there to protect. By so doing you open the door to yet more abuse.

  6. JoeSoap
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Surely this is another one of those areas which should be expressed per capita?
    In this case we can understand why local authorities might be squealing, because demands from the (ahem) “new” population are rising probably more than in proportion to population, whereas income for central government and local government isn’t rising in any such way.
    On a macro level, that’s what you get for open borders, and all you can really claim is a (less than proportionate) overall gdp increase.

  7. oldtimer
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The change in the balance of spending, such as away from enterprise and development (which might even be productive) and towards international services (which most certainly is not), is unwelcome because it will only serve to make the state of the national finances worse not better. It mirrors the even bigger sums wasted on the disastrousenergy policy followed by this government. There really do need to be changes at the top to chnge the direction of travel on these issues which are fundamental to the country`s future.

    Re local government spending I have no doubt that the changes of definitions and the muddling of the numbers was quite deliberate. Mr Osborne has form on these matters, like his predecessor Mr Brown.

  8. fedupsouthener
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    In Spain, taxes are being levied on windfarms.

    The government has realised that subsidies were inflated, so they try to recuperate some money via taxes. They also backtracked on their commitments to pay huges subsidies for 20 years, across the board for windy and less windy regions alike.

    Since Jan 2012 the situation is as follows:

    – no subsdidies for new windfarms;

    – subsidies slashed to produce a net return of 7% to existing windfarm operators (ie no subsidies to windfarms in windy regions, and variable in other regions according to wind conditions);

    – special taxes on windfarms.

    Consumers will continue to see their bills soar, because successive governments failed (for electoral reasons) to raise the price of electricity fast enough to reflect costs, so there is an accumulated shortfall in revenues for purveyors of electricity amounting to about 30 billion euros. Further increases on our utility bills are therefore necessary to mop up that deficit. But then again, it’s electorally suicidal… In the meantime, the deficit is being financed via sovereign debt.

    When are we likely to see similar action? Why do developers need vast subsidies when wind farms are erected in the windiest places? Farmers are no longer a single business and landowners should be taxed extra for the vast payments they receive for turbines on their land. Let’s get some of our money back.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Excellent idea cut the subsidies now (or if there are legal problems with that) just tax the subsidies at 100%. The companies/landowners concerned were clearly complicit in this gigantic, virtual fraud against the tax payers – that is so called “green” or “renewable” energy.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Dear Fedup–Wind Farms are a joke. Even now they are a joke but what never seems to get emphasised is the bleakness of their future when they will become even more of a joke; for who can argue that the damn things are going to rust and break and fall down after a decade or two at most. There was criticism of tidal lagoons about maintenance expense but the point is that EACH of the wind turbines is going to need to be re-erected and maintained at obvious vast cost INDIVIDUALLY, and they are not that easy of access, whereas once the lagoon is built maintenance is going to be negligible if only because there will only be a very few turbines (essentially just one) to keep going. Given that the barrier (the sort of thing with a road on top–to get to the gates and turbines–and built to Victorian standards) will last indefinitely I hope that any amortisation of the (admittedly very large but at least understandable) initial cost will be over an infinite time period which should lower the annual cost (slightly tongue in cheek). Presumably there will be a marina and fishing rights and farms in the lagoon in to the bargain.

      • fedupsouthener
        Posted March 22, 2015 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        Leslie, yes, I fully realise all you are saying about turbines. I was one of two people who formed the national anti wind farm group in Scotland which is still going today and has much support. Only trouble is I am not just against wind farms but all renewables if they cannot function without subsidies. We never had to subsidise the energy industry before and should stick to a reliable system and one which operates without subsidies. The only reason we are going to have to subsidise all forms of energy is because renewables take first place on the grid but are not reliable enough without the back up of fossil fuel power stations. They are now not making a profit and some are closing due to this problem. Let’s get back to reality and use our power stations efficiently which would make them more profitable and cleaner. Tidal is going to be so expensive and this gets us back to the problems for businesses and the public alike.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted March 22, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          Dear Fedup–It seems to me that a) Governments have given subsidies a bad name recently but are OK in moderation especially for ‘pump priming’ and where there is a national interest; and b) Of course there is a big initial investment in tidal but especially with a bunch of them spread around the coast I very much doubt they will need back-up. Tides can of course be absolutely relied on unlike wind.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted March 22, 2015 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            Sorry–I was going to say that of course I meant Subsidies in moderation but then again Governments in moderation would be very fine too–we should be so lucky

  9. ian wragg
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    If you want to see the utter waste of government download this 9 page file on renewable energy.

    http://www.cps.org.uk/files/original/150313101309howrenewablesubsidiesdestroyedtheukelectricitymarket1.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Agree Ian. When are we going to see action similar to changes in Spain regarding renewable energy and in particular wind farms?? See below

      In Spain, taxes are being levied on windfarms.

      The government has realised that subsidies were inflated, so they try to recuperate some money via taxes. They also backtracked on their commitments to pay huges subsidies for 20 years, across the board for windy and less windy regions alike.

      Since Jan 2012 the situation is as follows:

      – no subsdidies for new windfarms;

      – subsidies slashed to produce a net return of 7% to existing windfarm operators (ie no subsidies to windfarms in windy regions, and variable in other regions according to wind conditions);

      – special taxes on windfarms.

      Consumers will continue to see their bills soar, because successive governments failed (for electoral reasons) to raise the price of electricity fast enough to reflect costs, so there is an accumulated shortfall in revenues for purveyors of electricity amounting to about 30 billion euros. Further increases on our utility bills are therefore necessary to mop up that deficit. But then again, it’s electorally suicidal… In the meantime, the deficit is being financed via sovereign debt.

  10. Stuart Saint
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    My Conservative Council – Hillingdon – has frozen Council Tax for a number of years yet they have managed not just to keep ALL Libraries open but ALL have been refurbished and brought up to date.

    Just one small example of what can be achieved even when budgets are – rightly – under constraint.

  11. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    During the last 5 years, my Council tax has risen from £215 per month to £218 per month (10 payments per year), much less than inflation. Most of this year’s small increase is going to the Police and Crime Commissioner. My local District Councillors attribute this good performance to efficiency saving, particularly running some services jointly with neighbouring districts.

    Predictions:
    (1) Below inflation increases will not last indefinitely.
    (2) If central government cuts police funding again, local government will to some extent step in.

  12. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    What are the projections for expenditure on the retired elderly each year – health, pensions and concessions – all of which are theoretically ring fenced?

  13. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    It was always obvious that it would take a long time to fully recover from a decade of gross economic and financial mismanagement by the Labour government. When the government has got itself involved with nearly half of the economy it is simply not possible to suddenly cut public spending by a quarter to eliminate the budget deficit without sending the economy into a tailspin, from which it may or may not be able to recover, and so the necessary corrections would have to be made slowly and gradually to achieve something like a soft landing rather than a catastrophic crash.

    However it has to be said that the Tory party did not make its future task in government any easier by its signal failure to hammer home to the electorate just how perilous the financial position was, so that many people went to vote without any real understanding even of the basic fact that the government was having to borrow a quarter of all the money it was spending, and that could not continue indefinitely, and so instead of being well prepared for what would have to happen after the election and willing to accept it as being a harsh necessity they were more inclined to raise objections at every turn.

    During 2009 I could not understand why the Tory party was not covering the country with billboards driving home to the public the very simple message that the Labour government had got itself into the dire position of having to borrow one pound in every four that it was spending, and why the Tory party was not further explaining that the Labour government was only able to do this because it had arranged for the Bank of England to rig the gilts market on a massive scale, having first rushed through a legal exemption from the FSA regulatory regime.

    Of course the answer to the second question became clearer some time late in 2009 or early 2010 when Osborne gave a speech in the City hinting that he might well want to do some more of the same, which indeed he later did.

    • Hope
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Of course Osborne also said he would match Labour’s spending, which he did and some more! The debt has doubled! Where are these spending cuts he promised?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 22, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        “Where are these spending cuts he promised?”

        Only at the margins, but concentrated on running down our defences.

  14. Bob
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Apparently the DfID in their zeal to squander money that we are borrowing and in the absence of any remotely viable projects to waste it on are now giving the money to the EU and the World Bank by the shed load.

    The Telegraph reports:

    More than two thirds of Britain’s aid budget is being given to organisations such as the EU and the World Bank to help meet official targets, despite billions of it going unspent for years, an investigation has concluded.

    Isn’t it marvelous? at a time of tuition fees and bedroom tax, having decimated our armed services and while we have an NHS in crisis providing beds for the elderly due to inadequate care places with some being sent home to die in the cold that we can borrow money to shovel into the EU so that they can give it away it on our behalf, no doubt with an EU flag attached rather than the Union Jack.

    Mr Cameuron must feel very proud of himself.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      The entire Police budget for England and Wales is £8.5billion and shrinking. The Foreign Aid budget is now £12billion and rising. This was recently written into law and agreed by all legacy parties. Their priorities are clearly not the safety of the Nation with a shrinking defence budget. The EU bill is £14.5 billion net and rising. Any clues where savings could be made?
      We clearly need change as their priorities are not for the British people.

  15. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    JR: “It has also risen in international services including overseas aid”

    Outrageously, this is the only government expenditure enshrined in law at 0.7% of GDP.
    Adding insult to injury, under the headline “UK’s foreign aid goes to EU in rush to hit targets, say MPs”, today’s Telegraph reports : “More than two thirds of Britain’s aid budget is being given to organisations such as the EU and the World Bank to help meet official targets, despite billions of it going unspent for years, an investigation has concluded. …..The report also raises concerns that aid spending is being wasted because of the rush by civil servants to meet aid targets by the end of the calendar year.” This article also gives access to an enlightening quiz as just who else receives overseas aid from the UK; some examples:
    Multi-million pound Moroccan water park ; A program to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions from cattle ranching” in Colombia; Worldwide gym classes; The Ethopian ‘Spice Girls’ ; Iceland volcano park promotion.
    I repeat once more – you MPs have taken leave of your senses.

  16. oldtimer
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Since my earlier comment I now read that more than two thirds of the foreign aid budget goes to international organisations like the UN and the World Bank in order to meet the 0.7% target. Apparently much of this cash goes unspent for years, as much as £3.7 billion as of March 3014. This is a scandal. What on earth is the government doing by legislating this 0.7% in perpetuity. The first act of the next Parliament should be to repeal this nonsense.

  17. Leslie Singleton
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Dear John–It was good to read Charles Moore today, especially the bit ( a view you obviously espouse) about silencing debate. Does Motherhood mean anything anymore is what it boils down to? The irony is that this very silencing would not be necessary if the same sex “marriage” and “parentage” gibberish were thought to be as normal as you would obviously like. I think you should be ashamed of yourself especially as you say you don’t veto opinions.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Postscript–Apart from no lack of other considerations it cannot be argued other than that same-sex relationships are much shorter than heterosexual. What is the poor child going to make of that–possibly and presumably (though you tell me) being then handed off to a man and a woman to look after him, or does it all come back to identity? As you will have noticed I refuse to use the wretched word equality–except when there is some meaning to it of course.

  18. M Davis
    Posted March 21, 2015 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    After reading some of these comments, I absolutely despair. In my opinion the Conservatives have gone, absolutely gone forever, thanks to David Camerons’ Greenest Government ever crap and Gay Marriage, not to mention the five year fixed term Parliament, Foreign Aid Bill etc. etc. etc., huh! – something to be proud of? I don’t think so. After a liftime of being a Conservative, that title means nothing to me now and I’m pretty glad that I’m on the way out! I don’t have much faith in UKIP, a wasted vote anyway since I’m in a Labour stronghold but it is they who I will vote for as, I don’t believe in not voting. He says he promises to hold a Referendum but I believe that is only so as to get peoples’ votes, then he will do his utmost to keep us IN! I can’t stand the man.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted March 21, 2015 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

      As you say M Davis, not much faith in UKIP, and they have almost no chance of winning in Scotland at the General Election anyway. However, anyone who has the bottle to stand for them up here will get my vote out of cussedness. I hope they do some campaigning in the run-up to May but not going to hold my breath on that one.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted March 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      I trust you are talking about Cameron in your last two sentences?? Farage will encourage us to come out of the EU and if enough people are fed up with Cons and Labour then hopefully Farage will get somewhere even if it is by default. I know many people who were staunch supporters of Cons but not anymore and as you say, it is the complete lack of trust in Cameron which has done the damage. The Tory policies do not reflect Conservative values. UKIP is the only alternative if you want to vote

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 22, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Dear M.Davis–You are not alone in not being able to stand Cameron–a good chunk of real conservatives see it that way too. Let’s get UKIP a few more seats and go from there.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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