Conservatives want a spending Google

15 November 2006

15 November 2006 | Paul Snell

Government spending will be accountable and visible, if legislation proposed by the Conservatives becomes law.

The party will introduce a bill into the House of Lords before Christmas instructing the Treasury to create a single, searchable website that includes every item of government spending over £25,000. This will allow the public to see how the government is spending taxes, simply by searching in a similar way to that used on Google.

Speaking at a lecture in London last night (Tuesday), shadow chancellor George Osborne said: "It will make it easier to hold the government to account for its spending at a click of a button, and help to encourage better value for money from public spending."

The website would operate in the same way as another site recently approved by President Bush in the US, which details US government spending (News, 5 October).

A Conservative party spokesman told it hoped the bill would put the government "under pressure" to improve efficiency.

The party expects the bill to pass in the Lords, but be blocked when it reaches the Commons. The spokesman denied, however, that it was just a political exercise. He said the Conservatives were "committed to the idea" and it would be something they would "definitely want to get through" if elected.


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