A fight for free­dom

Daily Mail - - Front Page -

LESS than a week ago, the Chan­cel­lor pledged to spend a blis­ter­ing £27bil­lion more than he’d planned.

Yet de­spite his profli­gacy, he found no spare cash to lift the threat hang­ing over Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion laws, which cost a mere £5.7mil­lion to ad­min­is­ter (50 times less than the Govern­ment splurges on its own spin and mar­ket­ing).

Part of the Govern­ment’s jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for this as­sault on open­ness is that an­swer­ing re­quests is too ex­pen­sive.

In fact, the FoI Act can save many times more than it costs. Only last month, the Mail and Tax­Pay­ers’ Al­liance used it to ex­pose the vast scale of pay and perks in the pub­lic sec­tor, prompt­ing min­is­ters to prom­ise a crack­down.

As se­nior Tory David Davis put it yes­ter­day at the launch of a cam­paign to save FoI laws from min­is­ters’ at­tempts to wa­ter them down, the open­ness they guar­an­tee ‘saves money, it saves lives and it leads to bet­ter govern­ment’.

This pa­per wishes the cam­paign ev­ery suc­cess in pre­serv­ing the Act – and, with it, the means to un­earth of­fi­cial wrong­do­ing and up­hold the pub­lic’s right to know how our cash is spent.

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