As many readers will know the National School of Government - the former Civil Service College, closes in March next year. Employing 232 people and with a budget of some £31m, Ministers have deemed this "expensive residential, classroom based training" or words to that effect.
For many people that will be £31m well saved, not that it will contribute much to reducing the £4 trillion budget deficit, but then as that well known supermarket says "every little helps".
However, things are not as simple as that. I have been both a student and a visiting lecturer at the old CSC so can vouch first hand for the value of this institution. There are three things that we won't hear too much about
The programmes it runs are basically unique - including providing valuable training on aspects of government procurement
The NSG provides training programmes for private sector organisations and foreign governments too
The NSG makes a trading profit - yes you read it correctly (i.e. it pays for itself)
So was it all about closing an ineffective, outmoded place for "Sir Humphreys" to learn new skills? Or could it be that the NSG occupies several acres of real estate in one of the most expensive parts of leafy Surrey? No, it has to be in the interests of deficit (not debt) reduction!