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Paul Johnson: The Treasury isn’t trying to win a popularity contest, nor should it | Business


Why is the Treasury such a bunch of b*stards? That will be the question on many people’s lips after last week’s announcement that it is willing to cough up only £1.4 billion to help to fix the crisis in education precipitated by Covid. That’s just a tenth of the £15 billion said to have been requested by Sir Kevan Collins, the government’s own education recovery tsar.

Its parsimony led to his resignation, despair in the education community and a widespread feeling that the government doesn’t care about the future of — especially poor — schoolchildren.

I’ve posed the question about the Treasury institutionally. In the end, of course, this was a political decision, signed off by chancellor and prime minister. But you can see the

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