Waste Line

If anyone suggests spending less than Labour from taxation and public borrowing, the government always counters by saying that means they wish to cut teachers, nurses and doctors. It is a crude misrepresentation of the true debate. I know no MP who wants fewer teachers, nurses, or doctors, but I do know that many of us?? want less waste and unnecessary expenditure.

I am sure many of you must have good examples of how public money is being wasted both locally and nationally, and maybe you could share them with me. My own target list of waste and undesirable public spending includes:
<ul>
<li>The national identity computer and ID cards</li>
<li>All unelected regional government</li>
<li>The excessive use of consultants throughout local and national government</li>
<li>The overbloated ranks of advisers and spin doctors clustered around Ministers</li>
<li>The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, who now enjoys an expensive office with few real functions..</li>
</ul>
What’s on yours?

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15 Comments

  1. Jon M
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    – Hosting the Olympics
    – Keeping UK forces in Iraq
    – Planned state funding of political parties
    – Replacing Trident

  2. Jonathan Sheppard
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Its always interesting to see how much money Government Departments pay on things like stationery. How much they spend on first as opposed to second class postage. How much money has been spent on rebranding. How much money has been spent on internal magazines – and that's just looking at central Government departments. Im sure the bumper book of government waste has looked into much of this.

    The real issue here is why haven't we been effective in portraying savings that can be made by cutting waste as being completely different to how it has been often portrayed – which is service cuts due to proposed cuts in spending.

  3. Elaib
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Good list there Mr Redwood, other than missing out on the collosal waste of cash that our continued membership of the EU is it could have been written by any stupid UKIP member or supporter.

  4. Chris M
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Rather than a specific instance, I have a tale which highlights all that is wrong with the way the public sector does business.

    I work for an internet agency which has been involve with various small projects for government departments. During the quotation phase for one of these projects we offered to carry out the work for what we felt was a reasonable price.

    To our total disbelief we were asked to double our quotation! The reasoning behind this was that if this department failed to spend their allocated money in full then their budget for the next financial year would be cut. This reasoning cost the tax payer over fifty thousand pounds.

    Until this mindset is wiped out from all levels of government the tax payer will never achieve value for money.

  5. Alan Connor
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Money wasted on being in the EU..
    Money wasted on illegal war
    MP's Pay Rise of 66% for less than 5 months work…. Part timers you all need a pay cut!
    Childrens Database…. not legal yet going through!
    ID Cards .. unworkable, unwanted and still the idiots in charge will not listen

  6. Alan Connor
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I also want to know why when I married recently, I could not put "english" for nationality on the Registry office forms? The same happened in the local library, can be british or nothing why?

  7. Jorgen
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Apart from your list:
    – Spending on the socalled "Global warming"
    – Hosting the Olympics
    – Cameron's "relative poverty"
    – Probably whatever else Cameron and his Green friend(s) dreams up

  8. Fidothedog
    Posted December 19, 2006 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    That dome fiasco, made the UK the laughing stock of the world. Oh and John "Pink Gin" Prescott happily spending our money and doing not a jot for it.

  9. Serf
    Posted December 20, 2006 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    I can highly recommend the Blog Burning Our Money, which focuses entirely on this issue. http://burningourmoney.blogspot.com/

    For myself, I think the two biggest wastes of money are the EU and John Prescott.

  10. Thor
    Posted December 20, 2006 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    The Iraqi civil war, which we precipitated and are now sitting in the middle of, and the ID card debacle.

    Also, it doesn't look good that Prescott is spending

  11. Nick
    Posted December 20, 2006 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I have one that hasn't been passed yet. The government is planning to pass another criminal justice bill in April that will make possession of certain sorts of pornography illegal. That will mean that many hard working, law abiding, currently tax paying citizens will risk being thrown in prison for up to three years because of their private sexuality. This will be at a cost of

  12. Arachnaphobe
    Posted December 21, 2006 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Let's stop introducing unenforceable laws and then inventing a myriad appeal systems that merely benefit the lawyers and just bog down the police and judiciary, and bring them both into disrepute.

    Immigration – well it's been a mess for ages, and it's about time someone grasped the mettle and put it in order. We have unlimited obligations to our fellow EU member countries and their peoples. I do not allow people to enter my house and then justify their right to be there afterwards. It is NOT a racist concept, it is a simple concept common to all humanity. I do not care what the colour of the people affected are. If we continue with the current situation, it would be cheaper and as effective to scrap all border control and allow unrestricted entry.

  13. James Strachan
    Posted December 21, 2006 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Hohn Redwood himself contributed to a Centre for Policy Studies leaflet which concluded that, out of

  14. Neil Craig
    Posted December 21, 2006 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Index linked pensions for government employees.

    Government departments, indeed government, expanding beyond core functions.

    Housing planning depts whose main effect is to stop housebuilding.

    Farming subsidies, including that MAFF has more emplotees than there are farmers.

    Governemnt enquiries where high court judges & their staff spend a year, to avoid government having to make a decision, & come out with a report which reports the obvious (or in the case of Hutton doesn't).

    To often when asked about savings people jump on ministerial stuff but when you look at the actual costs of these they are miniscule in the big picture.

  15. A Ellis
    Posted December 26, 2006 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    All unelected regional government

    If Conservatives don't support the above, then why do conservative councillors sit on these quango's?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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