Friday, 26 March 2010

Friday Poll - Thatcherite choices...

Something has to give on government spending - what should be top of the list?
Foreign Aid
EU membership
Department for Business
Social Benefits
Local Government
Home Office
Foreign Office free polls


Botogol said...

Coincidentally John Redwood points out today that Thatcher never made any cuts

Steven_L said...

You can only click on one! Top of the list huh? I'd boil it down to local government and social benefits (and I work in local government).

Mind you I'm sure there is just as much waste in all the others, just I see it here.

I'll go for benefits, I recently filled out a means testing form for a guy with no job and 5 kids and he actually earned more than I did!

CityUnslicker said...

SL - that is a bit depressing for a friday!

Budgie said...

The FCO has a tiny budget of £2.1 billion (0.5% of government spending) so even if its size is halved the saving will be a paltry £1 billion.

Meanwhile the NHS employs 1.7 million people, of which only half are clinically qualified, and costs over £100 billion.

The Taxpayers' Alliance points out that the total cost of British membership of the EU is £118 billion.

We need some form of health service and a foreign service, both of which which will cost however funded or efficient. We do not need EU membership.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Why don't you set it up for multiple choice?

Foreign Aid is 100% of a small amount wasted, BIS is 50% of a large amount wasted, NHS is 30% of a humugous amount wasted, so I went for BIS.

CityUnslicker said...

I liked the idea of people picking their view of the number one to cut. Multiple choice you could just pick all of them; which to some extent will be accurate.

I went for the home office; so much waste in that department and all this clamour for more policing when they don't do anything anyway.

Anonymous said...

Was torn between NHS, Social benefits and Defence.

Depressing but have heard other social benefit stories similar to Steven_L, have family member working as a nurse in NHS, so hear all the apocryphal stories there. Don't see point in paying billions for Trident when we don't even own the launch codes and the two (new) aircraft carriers can easily be taken out in a war.

.. voted NHS in the end. As I think that would have the biggest number in the end. But Defence procurers need shooting (preferably not with the SA-80's) and Social Benfits need squeezing down gradually - no good forcing them all to go cold turkey from Election day +1.

Anonymous said...

Efficiency savings across all departments would be best, there is tyoo much wastage for personal gain, e.g. my friends' wife is a triage nurse in Edinburgh. She financed a year long round the world trip by resigning her post then returning a week later to the exact same job as an agency employee on 3 times the pay. After her 'holiday' she returned to the nhs fold as they kept her current through re-training. Before leaving her post she had been qualified for 1 year. I find this abhorrent.

I am thouroughly sick to the back teeth of public servants that are under worked and overpaid and expect to retire by 55 with a pension better than a large part of societies pay packet.

I live in Ireland now and fear we will see blood on the streets soon over public sector pay. It infuriates me when we see public servants complaining that they can't survive on 55000 a year! My wife and I make that between us.

I am currently studying for my degree and I lost it with the tutor who tells us every lesson which hotel and restaurant she went to this weekend while complaining about her pay. She then had the nerve to say that the minimum wage needs to be reduced to protect business.

I have a pile of rocks in my garden, I suspect I will be throwing them this summer. I have really had enough.

Google Ireland passport office to get an idea of the madness!

Marchamont Needham said...

Just too many to choose from. Here's a little game - try the BBC's budget calculator and see the effect of having a few more kids!

Steven_L said...

Nice little earner isn't it! Of course it fails to mention income support which they also get.

Based just on income support, tax credits and child benefit this guy got £1,550 a month, which is a couple of quid more than me after tax.

I'm not sure what he got in terms of housing benefit/cheap housing, council tax benefit, free school meals etc. But I'd imagine he was basically living a $40,000 a year lifestyle.

No incentive to get a job whatsoever.

CityUnslicker said...

SL - so much wrong with that, I think the Tories have some good ideas there but is lost under the weight of labour smearing unfortunately.

asquith said...

How about the various make-work schemes, & employing consultants to run shite that allegedly helps the unemployed but realy binds people further & further into dependency (this applying even if they work, though tax credit & through the growing number of jobs that vaguely involve the state)? They slag off people on the dole, but I'd rather pay someone for a temporary period looking for a new job than give permanent salary of several times that amount to a quango worker.

I have some friends who are long-term unemployed (quite genuine people, not scum) & you wouldn't believe how many "courses" etc. they've been spen on & how much the state gives to firms that do little or nothing.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist but it seems to me that Brown is just daring Cameron to try touching any of this setup so he can scream abuse from the opposition benches. Making it impossible to move a muscle without causing short-term pain.

It is also a deep concern that areas like this city, which I love, are going to fall further behind as the public sector contracts. These jobs for the most part won't be missed in & of themselves, but we are naked. There are few SMEs & few manufacturers or engineering firms to replace them. The majority of people will never move out, so we could be left with ex-industrial shells in the usual areas of the country. I fear we are naked & about to have cold winds blow over us.

Anonymous said...

anonymous above - not too much wrong with the 'new' sa 80's - perfectly good for shooting a few politicians.

As for trident, its not that they can't be fired (they can), its the hassle of accounting for a rented missile that prevents their use....

The defensive budget should not be shrunk - rather it should be enlarged, and spent in the *right* places. What *should* happen is the abject waste, indecision and buck-passing within all branches of the overly-political MOD should be cut. If that was done, Trident would be consigned to the dustbin, by default.