The coalition's claim that cutting the number of MPs to 600 is justified by a saving of £12 million is one of the cheapest bits of anti-politics you will ever hear in the name of "new politics".
Total managed expenditure is £697 billion. The whole point of this populist tosh is that the public doesn't really listen to the difference between millions and billions if you can tell them that deficit reduction means fewer politicians.
Yet this is the same "cutting the costs of politics" Coalition has promised public funding of £7.6 million to subsidise all-voter postal primaries for candidate selection in this Parliament.
The referendum on electoral reform will cost many millions more than that. Press estimates of £80 million are almost certainly an exaggeration, with Nick Clegg suggesting today it would be £17 million cheaper on account of combining the referendum with other elections.
I support a referendum - but it clashes with the Coalition's silly claim that it is cutting Parliament to shrink the budget deficit.