Politics.co.uk Blog

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Spare a thought

The Budget day is a special one for all sorts of people. Life in the Treasury beforehand gets rather hectic, politics.co.uk understands. So perhaps the poor souls who carry huge piles of paperwork over to the rapacious hacks of the parliamentary press gallery have it easy.

Despite this, yesterday the staff of Alistair Darling's department decided to take it a little easier than usual.

You would not have thought this, after they had lugged over the many 'Budget packs'. These contain an index of documents, a booklet of press notices, a DirectGov release, 161 pages of 'Budget notes', the Debt and Reserves Management Report for 2010/11, an audit of assumptions for Budget 2010 document and, as if we almost forgot, the Budget report itself. A lot of carrying. But in fact this is just the beginning.

With the afternoon wearing on an official contacted press gallery staff, notifying us that hard copies of the departmental savings - another bunch of press releases - would not be forthcoming.

The image of Treasury post-room staff, utterly exhausted by the physical effort of dragging so many copies of the Budget around Whitehall, seems irresistible.

This might explain a teeny-tiny lapse of judgement. "We may have to do it all again in June/July!" one joked in an email. Good to see Her Majesty's civil servants have absolute faith in the widespread appeal of the policies of the government...

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