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Thursday, 3 August, 2000, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Labour 'spending less than Tories'
Treasury sign
Labour is spending proportionately less, say MPs
Government spending as a share of the nation's wealth will still be lower in three years' time than it was under the Tories, says a cross-party group of MPs.

That is despite Chancellor Gordon Brown's 43bn cash boost in last month's Comprehensive Spending Review.

But the Treasury Select Committee praised Mr Brown's management of the economy and said the increases for various departments were affordable.

Two Tory members of the committee attempted to publish a separate report to highlight economic failings.

Michael Fallon and David Ruffley said Labour chairman Giles Radice's review paid "insufficient attention to the economic risks identified by witnesses" during their investigations.

But their draft was voted down by the other committee members.

'Sound management'

The main committee's report said: "We welcome the expenditure increases announced by the chancellor, especially on health and education, but note that at the end of the review period, public expenditure as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product will be less than at the end of the last administration."

But the MPs added: "We agree that the expenditure increases announced in the spending review are affordable and note that this is as a result of sound management of the public finances over the last three years."

The report dismissed fears that the spending totals may influence the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee decisions on interest rates.

When Mr Brown announced his spending review last month, he denied Conservative charges that it would force up taxes.

He said the government was committed to improving public services.

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See also:

18 Jul 00 | CSR
Strong economy aids spending
18 Jul 00 | CSR
Spending boost for schools
18 Jul 00 | CSR
The CSR at a glance
18 Jul 00 | Education
Extra science money 'most welcome'
19 Jul 00 | Business
MPC warns on spending
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