Benn: “Unacceptable” there is so little debate and no vote on spending review

It is "simply unacceptable" for the government to devote such little time to the Comprehensive Spending Review, and for there to be no vote, writes Hilary Benn.

Our guest writer is Hilary Benn MP, shadow Leader of the House

This week the Prime Minister will come to the House of Commons twice. Today he will tell us about the shape of our armed forces for years to come. Tomorrow, the Comprehensive Spending Review which will – in his own words – “affect our economy, our society – indeed our whole way of life… for years, perhaps decades, to come”.

The total time allowed for Parliamentary debate on this? An hour today, an hour tomorrow and a one day debate on the CSR a week next Thursday. Simply not enough time to consider the impact on each area of society bit by bit. And no vote.

The Government’s response to this? Why don’t the Backbench Committee of the House arrange a debate, according to Sir George Young, Leader of the House of Commons. But this is simply unacceptable.

We all understand that the announcements this week will profoundly change the society we live in. They will be at the heart of our political debate for years to come. The public are deeply concerned about the future. Yet the politicians elected to play a part in this process are being cut out of this very debate and are being denied the chance to cast a vote on it. What place democracy?

The public will simply not understand it if their elected representatives are denied the opportunity to vote on the CSR, and I note that Sir George has not responded to my specific question on this point both in the House and in a letter I sent to him over the weekend.

So far the Coalition’s “new politics” does not treat Parliament and Parliamentarians with the respect we had been told were at its heart. The Academies Act hammered through; the Bill that would legislate for the AV referendum inexplicably tied together with legislation to substantially reduce the number of MPs and redraw every constituency boundary; and now this.

Every year the Budget receives at least four days of debate and often more in the House. The end of this debate sees votes on an array of issues. The CSR deserves a similar level of public scrutiny. And that means there must be substantive votes.

In the absence of both, I’m sure many will be forced to conclude that Government fears giving Parliament the chance to express a view.

28 Responses to “Benn: “Unacceptable” there is so little debate and no vote on spending review”

  1. PCS GONW Branch

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  2. Amanda Hall

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  3. Pen

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  4. Claire Hazelgrove

    Hilary Benn: No #CSR vote "Government fears giving Parliament the chance to express a view" http://bit.ly/d6MR00 (via @leftfootfwd)

  5. Elly M

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  6. Shamik Das

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  7. Shlomo Pines

    RT @leftfootfwd: Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/9FviUp

  8. House Of Twits

    RT @leftfootfwd Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  9. Liam Young

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  10. kevin leonard

    RT @leftfootfwd: Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/9FviUp

  11. Dale Cox

    RT @leftfootfwd Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw <I concur

  12. Ma

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  13. Hannah Horton

    RT@leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: Unacceptable there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw < shocker

  14. Melissa Nicole Harry

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  15. JulianaFarha

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  16. Hazico_Jo

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  17. Andrew Roche

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  18. Andy Bean

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  19. JoshC

    Hilary Benn makes a good point. This Spending Review is the most profound piece of legislation that has appear in Parliament in my lifetime and will effect absolutely everything in our society yet our democratically elected MPs will spend practically no time debating it and won’t get a vote on anything it in anyway.

    Considering that neither the Lib-Dems or the Conservatives won the election outright how can they railroad through what will be a fundamental shift in our society for generations without democratic oversight?

  20. Nolan John

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  21. diana smith

    RT @Nolan_Legis: RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  22. R Gordon

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/aI9r0j

  23. Lisa Ansell

    RT @anpa2001: RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/aI9r0j

  24. SSP Campsie

    RT @anpa2001: RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/aI9r0j

  25. Mr. Sensible

    Josh, to be fair, certain changes mentioned in the CSR will require legislation, and this is not actually legislation, but I think Mr Benn is right.

  26. Plymouth City UNISON

    RT @leftfootfwd: Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

  27. Little miss Gobby

    RT @leftfootfwd: Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/9FviUp

  28. Gary Mark Watts

    ♺ @leftfootfwd Hilary Benn: "Unacceptable" there is so little debate and no vote on spending review http://bit.ly/cAqGKw – LFF exclusive

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