867. Public expenditure generally.

867.     Public expenditure generally.

In modern times, while detailed scrutiny of the estimates is largely perfunctory, attention has focused more on the longer term expenditure plans of the government. The main estimates as published are generally consistent with the plans for the next three financial years announced in outline at the time of the budget and set out in greater detail in departmental annual reports published in the early part of the year. These annual reports are frequently studied by departmental select committees1. A motion generally indorsing the government's public expenditure plans is frequently agreed to by