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Rooker says sorry to Treasury

Former pensions minister Lord Rooker has apologised to the Treasury after he accused it of being “penny pinchers” and wrecking every good idea he has seen during his five years as a minister.

He has since been told to apologise by Home Secretary David Blunkett, which he did in a letter to the Chancellor.

In a debate in the House of Lords last week, Rooker said the Treasury has been guilty of spiking ideas due to its narrow, short-term view.

Rooker was pensions minister from 1999 until last year when he stood down from the seat he held since 1974. He was made a peer and minister of state at the Home Office.

He said: “The Treasury has virtually wrecked every good idea I have come across in the past five years due to the narrow, short-term view it takes. Sometimes it takes a Mr Gradgrind approach and does not seek value for the community simply because one cannot always say at the outset what sum of money will be involved in a measure although one knows ultimately it will result in a saving and a better quality of life for people.”

Rooker said he was prob-ably shortening the lifespan of his ministerial career.

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