Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments

The permanent secretary at the depertment for education has backed up Ed Balls's claims that all capital funding announcements when he was schools secretary.

Michael Gove’s claim yesterday that all Ed Balls’s spending plans when schools secretary “were based on unsustainable assumptions and led to unfunded promises” have been undermined by the permanent secretary at the Department for Education, who has written to Mr Balls to confirm that all capital funding announcements made when he was a Minister – including the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme – had the “appropriate cover” of the Treasury.

The education secretary’s scrapping of the BSF, which will result in 719 school redevelopments being axed, also undercuts George Osborne’s pledge in the Budget last month that “there will be no further reductions in capital spending totals”.

Mr Balls, one of the frontrunners to be the next leader of the Labour Party, had written to David Bell asking him to confirm all announcements were made with prior arrangement of the Treasury; future waves of BSF announcements were part of the Pre-Budget Report settlement; all capital projects had the full agreement of the department’s chief accounting officer; and no Ministerial direction was ever requested.

In his reply to the shadow education secretary, Mr Bell wrote:

During your time as Secretary of State, I can confirm that the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) worked closely with Her Majesty’s Treasury to ensure that appropriate cover was provided for all spending decisions…

If any actions on this, or any matter, were in breach of the requirements of propriety or regularity, I would have sought a Ministerial Direction. I can confirm that I made no such requests during your time as Secretary of State.

Describing the scrapping of the BSF programme as a “tragedy” for teachers and parents who would have benefited from new facilities, Mr Balls told the Commons that Labour would continue to fight to “save our new schools” and called yesterday “a black day for our country’s schools”.

48 Responses to “Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments”

  1. Bauer sucht Frau

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  2. Rob Chesworth

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  3. James Haslam

    @SchoolDuggery RT @leftfootfwd Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  4. EdBalls4Leader

    RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  5. Stacey™

    RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  6. ANN LANGLEY

    @leftfootfwd Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC >>#condemlies gove says anything but the truth

  7. Ed Balls' team

    RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  8. Andy Sutherland

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  9. TheBiPolarBearMD

    RT @TeamEdB: RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  10. Mark Martin

    RT @TeamEdB: RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  11. Ellie Gellard

    Will Gove apologise? RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  12. Jason Mcintyre

    RT @BevaniteEllie: Will Gove apologise? RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  13. yorkierosie

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  14. Luke Wilcox

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  15. Malcolm Evison

    RT @yorkierosie: RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  16. Malcolm Evison

    RT @BevaniteEllie: Will Gove apologise? RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  17. Captain Disco

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments //bit.ly/dbLIvC <So does this mean Gove lied to Parliament?

  18. yorkierosie

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  19. Anon E Mouse

    This just shows how desperate Ed Balls has become – does he really think the Labour Party members would be stupid enough to elect him as leader?

    Good article Shamik – It is now clear that Ed Balls has finally lost the plot…

  20. Paul Burgin

    “@BevaniteEllie: Will Gove apologise? RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC”

  21. react

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  22. Carl Hunter

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  23. winston k moss

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  24. Mr. Sensible

    Mr Mouse, how does that mean that Balls has lost his marbles?

    The response of the perminant secretary shows that Gove was not telling the truth.

    On the specific issue, if we’ve run out of money, how can we afford the ‘Free Schools?’

    This will come as a body blow to the construction industry, among others. In my local paper today, they feature a construction business who stood to benefit from BSF schemes in my area.

    This is another totally and utterly disgraceful decision by the Con Dem Nation.

  25. Evidence based? Really?

    ha ha, yes, because your treasury team were living in cloud cuckoo land that does mean that Balls was vindicated. Byrne was wrong, Brown was hiding billions of pounds down the sofa just for this.

  26. FullFact.org

    Full fact have been looking at Michael Gove’s use of statistics in his announcement to the Commons on the BSF cancellation, and found that he’s been somewhat selective.

    //bit.ly/bV1D9j

  27. David Baines

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  28. John Ruddy

    No apology from Gove yet for accusations RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  29. Jacquie Martin

    Shock, horror. ConDems tell lies so they can continue to discredit the previous government to cover themselves. Plenty more to come, I’m sure.

    And yes, Mr Sensible, why free schools indeed? I thought we were in such a mess that we can’t afford scratchy toilet paper for the schools’ bog. Unless it’s a special treat, that is. For the yummy mummies (and papas) we want to vote for us.

  30. edballsmp

    RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  31. Stephen Harman

    RT @edballsmp: RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  32. Andrew Harbison

    RT @edballsmp: RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  33. Alyster Gynn

    RT @edballsmp: RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  34. TheBiPolarBearMD

    RT @edballsmp: RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  35. greg beales

    Tory-lib claims of labour 'unfunded spending' falling apart as @edballsmp had full Treasury backing for school building //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  36. Rachael

    RT @leftfootfwd: Balls had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC <<good man, David Bell. Good when HMCI too.

  37. Quietzapple

    RT @TeamEdB: RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  38. Anon E Mouse

    Mr.Sensible – The point is made by another post – the last government figures were never credible – that’s why the OECD, G8, G20 and every other influential financial institution has backed the coalition governments figures and not Labour’s. The fact that Balls is still churning out the same old lies and misleading comments on the state of the country shows how he has lost it.

    If the AV vote gets passed (yes please) and the number of seats get reduced and unions are no longer allowed to finance political parties I can see the end of the Labour Party period.

    Who do they represent Mr.S? Oh a few phoney working class wannabes like Jacquie Martin, “Bevinite Ellie” and their ilk but who else? The core working class vote has gone and won’t be back without the mines and steel works returning which is highly unlikely…

    Jacquie Martin – Well you’d know all about “yummy mummies”, Au Pairs and nannies wouldn’t you?

  39. Krupesh J. Hirani

    RT @edballsmp: RT @leftfootfwd: @edballsmp had full backing of Treasury for BSF committments: //bit.ly/dbLIvC

  40. Mr. Sensible

    Mr Mouse, you’ve still not answered mine and Jacquie’s question.

    If there’s no money for Building Schools for the Future, where is the money for these new ‘Free Schools?’

  41. Anon E Mouse

    Mr.Sensible – If the money is not available it’s only because for 13 years Labour lied about “Boom and bust”, people believed it (I did) and the money has gone – that’s what Liam Byrne said. Labour blew the lot.

    The BSF program was a nightmare – one school had a meeting every week for over two years just to get approved – typical New Labour quango type silliness – those days are mercifully gone now.

    The money will now go further without the bureaucracy that has been cut and if there is no money left blame Labour.

    It’s like Forgemasters Mr.S – Labour had no right to go around promising money they didn’t have – it was taxpayers money, not theirs. What is worse is that Forgemasters won’t go to the bank for the money and Richard Caborn, who worked there for 20 years set up the deal – that stinks.

    Answer me this Mr.Sensible. As a lifelong Labour voter (until Brown was forced on the party) I never agreed with 90 days detention, ID cards, Iraq (for the reasons given only – not the war)the 10p tax fiasco, the Bin Tax, the Labour job’s tax via NI, HIP’s, decreasing the number of MP’s, a proportional voting system, increase in tax on cider and the Gurkahs.

    The coalition has answered and acted on every single item I just listed.

    My guess is the public in Britain agree with the coalition on these matters, yet the Labour Party, led by that hypocritical countess toff, Harriet Harman, continue to argue for increasing prison sentences and more state control.

    Labour is on the wrong side of the curve I’m afraid (as you yourself appear to be) and the sooner the leadership starts to get it the better for general opposition in this country…

  42. Mr. Sensible

    Mr Mouse, what about the ‘Free Schools’ then? Where’s the money for them? You have not answered that.

    And Forgemasters was not a grant; it was a lone, presumably to be repaid over a certain period. And that would have helped to create private sector employment.

    And since we list some of those things you do at the end.

    I do not support 90-day detention, but think we need control orders.

    I am in 2 minds about ID cards.

    I supported the Iraq War based on evidence available at the time.

    And I do not support the coalition’s blatent gerrymandering with regard to cutting the number of MPs. It will not, as they claim, ‘cut the cost of politics.’

  43. Anon E Mouse

    Mr.Sensible – The money that was available will be better spent and after Harriet Harman’s own office spent £72000 EACH on “Peace Pods” (their name) I don’t think the coalition can go wrong. F*%king Peace Pods? With our money?

    Who cares if cutting the number of MP’s costs less? I just want smaller government so to me less MP’s can only be a good thing. If you want MORE government Mr.S you are truly in a minority!

    Regarding Forgemasters PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE (I have been asking for weeks now dude) tell me why they can’t just go to the banks like every other company? Why not? The government isn’t a bank, it’s a government.

    Tell me why you want to give hard earned taxpayers money to a private company, that by coincidence I’m sure (Yeah right…) was one an ex government minister worked in for 20 years…

    Don’t you think the £80million would be better spent on schools rather than lining the pockets of the Forgemaster’s management?

  44. Building Schools for the Future – It’s flaws and how the coalition should respond.

    […] the claims to the contrary from the Labour party the scrapping of Building Schools for the future was a breaking of a promise […]

  45. Building Schools for the Future – Its flaws and how the coalition should respond. | Con-Dem Nation

    […] claims to the contrary from the Labour party, it is simply not true that the scrapping of Building Schools for the future […]

  46. Platform 10 » Blog Archive » Building Schools for the Future – Its flaws and how the coalition should respond

    […] Despite claims to the contrary from the Labour party, it is simply not true that the scrapping of Building Schools for the Future was a breaking of a promise made by George Osborne not to cut the totals of capital spending. A casual glance towards the actual budget would make it clear: the Government will make no further cuts to capital spending compared with the plans that it inherited. It did make clear, however, that it would undertake a fundamental review of all capital spending plans to ensure they are affordable and to identify the areas of spending that will achieve the greatest economic returns. Michael Gove made it clear in his statement to the house that he was cancelling the approach of BSF because it was an expensive, long winded and inefficient way of building schools. He did not say he was cancelling all new schools building. According to the actual figures the Coalition government is going to spend as much on new capital projects as the outgoing Labour government, in that case they might end up building more schools than Labour for the same amount of money. […]

  47. Adam White

    As explained here //bit.ly/cp0zAS Ed Balls had full backing of Civil Servants for spending commitments related to BSF..

  48. Stacey™

    RT @theday2day: //bit.ly/cp0zAS @edballsmp had full backing of Civil Servants for spending commitments related to BSF..

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