16 August 2011

Thinking Paper #58 - Is Theresa May using maths or wishing to work out police budget cuts?

By Tim Massingberd-James

Abstract

The Home Secretary insists that, whilst everyone else is using numbers to work out potential police budget cuts, she has wished really really hard that it wasn't happening, and her wishing has reduced the cuts in spending on the police from 20%, to just 6%.


Is Theresa May using wishing to work out police budget cuts?

Talking to media earlier today, the Home Secretary dismissed claims from senior police officers and Boris Johnson that spending on the police was falling by 20%, claiming this was not the full picture she wanted to happen.

The Home Secretary outlined a new imagined figure of 6%, claiming she had used using aspiration and wishes to make up the 14% shortfall, and claimed that a wizard had told her she could do the remaining 6% through “reform” which would put more “bobbies on the beat” and remove “back office jobs” which she had wished were not an integral part of policing.

Mrs May deliberately said some confusing things about the local government "precept", claiming that whilst the money central government was giving the police was falling, and the money central government was giving local authorities was falling, she had wished really hard that local authorities would raise magic money and use that, like George was at the Bank of England.

"One thing is clear: the experience of the last 10 days makes the case for police reform more urgent than ever.", said the Home Secretary, whilst closing her eyes, crossing her fingers and making a turn-around-touch-the-ground-times-three.

Conclusion

The Home Secretary has invented this figure, assuming that no one will understand what a local government precept is. She might have got away with it, if no one at all understood, but it turns out that Police Officers and Boris Johnson do understand.

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