Earlier today I posted about George Osborne’s unfortunate pledge to match Labour on spending. I think the public mood is changing because of squeezed household budgets and growing awareness of how wasteful Brown and Blair have been with taxpayers’ money. If the Conservatives spent the next two years campaigning against waste we could create a climate of opinion that would support slower growth in the size of the state and ensure that voters are better off and the British economy remains competitive. Noone is doing a better job of highlighting the extent of government waste than the TaxPayers’ Alliance. The TPA’s Matthew Elliott and Lee Rotherham recently wrote the second edition the bumper book of government waste. Lee Rotherham has written about it for today’s Yorkshire Post:
"We are all used to waste. It’s that last piece of bread that has gone
stale at the bottom of the packet. It’s the corner of the pie on your
plate you just can’t quite demolish. It’s the £101bn our government
frittered away last year. Hang on. How much?"
The TPA has a very long list of examples of waste. Here are a few:
- £280,000 on a conference addressed by Blair and Brown on value for money in the public services.
- £400 million on ‘cost control’ for the Olympic Games.
- £3 million by tax inspectors at HM Revenue and Customs on flights, including £2.1 million on flights to Scotland.
- Over £16 million on the creation and upkeep of VIP lounges in Heathrow and Gatwick despite the fact they are not government-owned.
- £100,000 on assessing whether £400,000 reportedly spent on modern art for seven hospitals was money well spent.
Read Lee’s article or, better still, buy the book to find out more…