A study of the minutiae of Labour budgets always throws up some gems. And this year's mini budget is no exception.

I refer to table B16 – fair enough, you may have skimmed over that one – and the figures on public sector pension spending.

While the changes announced to the state pension in the pre-Budget report are fairly minor (as is the epic £60 one-off payment for pensioners), no expense is being spared on looking after Mr Darling’s co-workers.

As the Lib Dems have pointed out: ‘The expenditure on public service pensions is due to more than treble in three years from £1.2bn in 2006-07 to £3.8bn in 2009-10.’

Step back a few years and you would see that the Treasury thought it would need to spend just £600 million on public sector pensions this year – but, oops, the reality is five times more expensive.

As the Lib Dems point out, if public sector pension costs had been kept down to the estimates from only three years ago, they could have given each pensioner closer to £200 extra each in this year’s budget, not 60 quid.

Anyone else harbour concerns about the government’s number-crunching?