Your favourite spending cuts

In response to my ideas on spending there were various  other suggestions from readers. The most popular with readers were :

  1. Costs of government. There was strong support for fewer peers and fewer expenses and allowances for peers. Some wanted fewer MPs and less generous expenses for MPs. There was widespread enthusiasm for a cull of quangos, especially those supporting politically correct causes.
  2. Cut public money to charities and arts where  this can be raised by voluntary donation and from admission charges
  3. Remove subsidies  for alternative energy
  4. Charge all overseas visitors who use the NHS
  5. Reduce numbers of migrants needing financial support
  6. Make the BBC a subscription service
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Pominoz
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    6.Make the BBC a subscription service

    Yes – and in the meantime, Gove’s ‘truth’ department should investigate malicious anti-Brexit BBC articles and bring charges of treason against the person authorising the broadcast.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      This is only a partial solution though – it won’t stop them paying high money to their alleged stars – making subscriptions expensive, and it certainly will not stop the BBC pushing it’s own agendas on us…and nor will it cull the infernal indoctrination.

      I cannot see any reason why the BBC should survive — The BBC needs to be closed down – it’s assets sold off for the benefit of the public purse, and the licence fee should buried deep somewhere in a big marsh.
      If the BBC, new name, new contract, were to be reincarnated then it would be under strict rules to prevent it from being an indoctrination service.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        At least, making it a subscription service would remove the chief complaint, that even if you don’t watch it, you still have to pay for it.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Also Gove needs to get to grip with the notion that there is such a thing as a ‘Deal’ on the table that allows the UK to become and independent self governing country.

      The only deal being offered is the one were the EU rules the UK – that is not leaving the EU and is one of the great myths that the MSM keeping coming up with.

      Dispel that myth and the rest will fall into place.

    • Bob
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      “6.Make the BBC a subscription service”


      1. Make the BBC a subscription service

  2. jerry
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    6. Fail! The BBC is not public money, well at least no more than VED is, or a shotgun or fishing license are, all are discretionary – indeed the TVL fee doesn’t even go into state coffees before being handed to the BBC.

    Funny how the idea of handing public money to a private company for work that used to be done more cheaply by the same people when employed directly by the state didn’t make it in to the top 6, probably not even the top 50…

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

      But the BBC does enforce its licence using taxpayer funded courts and taxpayer funded police.

      The largest number of prosecutions in UK magistrates courts is for non payment of licence fee.

      BBC is all free and easy on crime and drugs but when it comes to its own welfare it becomes extremely punitive.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      I realise this your obsession and only you are right and you will accept no other view other that your own as being correct, and you will reply endlessly in sarcastic tone and in capitals eventually, but it needs saying; you are wrong.

      When I pay the Government my TV licence money to watch live broadcast TV, which I want to do, then that is a payment I have to make to remain legally compliant to be able to watch television channels.
      I may have only a desire to watch non BBC channels but all my money goes to the BBC.
      It is public money.
      Licence payers have to pay this tax which goes to the BBC if they wish to watch live broadcast TV on non BBC channels.
      It is the law.
      It is the public’s money.
      The only discretion I have is to break the law or throw away my TV.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

        I have said what I want to say.
        No matter how provocative sarcastic and rude your replies are Jerry, I will not be responding to my post.

    • APL
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      jerry: “The BBC is not public money, well at least no more than VED is, ”

      I don’t own a car, but I do pay Council tax, for the upkeep of the street lights pavements etc. Should I be forced to pay Vehicle excise duty too?

      • jerry
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        @APL; Run that past me again, your point being what, that non drivers have help pay for the up keep of the pavements and the street lighting via Council Tax?… 😕 I’ve just check the market price, Haddock is £5 Lbs, smoked is £10 Lbs…

        As non car owner, no you should not have to pay the VED, just as a non broadcast TV watching person you would not have to pay the TVL fee!

        • NickC
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, All the BBC TV Tax goes to the BBC, not to other broadcasters. Your claim that it is a universal licence is therefore false.

          • jerry
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            @NickC, Except no one has to pay the TVL, as indeed no one has to pay VED, both are discretionary, unlike Council tax, thus it is your ‘point’ that is fails. Try reading the context next time, before jumping in with both feet, only to find yourself in another bed of nettles!…

          • libertarian
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink


            Keep drinking the BBC Kool Aid

          • jerry
            Posted August 15, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

            @Walter; It might help if those who object to the BBC used some facts rather than myths in their quest, but to you any fact is “BBC Kool Aid” it would appear, proving just how weak yours and others objections actually are.

            How many times do I have to state this, I hold no candle for the BBC, although I will fight to protect true PSB here in the UK, and no the BBC doesn’t need to be the provider, although they are the most logical provider whilst there is the TVL fee.

            The real problem I have is the claim that closing down the BBC, privatising it or a turning it into a subscription service will sort of the problem, it wont as the problems are industry wide -such as bias, how would any of the above stop Ch4 and Sky News being biased against Brexit or the POTUS?

          • libertarian
            Posted August 16, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink


            If you weren’t so….,and you actually bothered to follow peoples debating points you would realise that people dont care about media bias as long as they have a CHOICE not to buy it .

            It is such a simple position that even you should be able to grasp it.

            Your argument that they can just not own a TV is ridiculous ( a kool aid argument ) I can own a newspaper without paying for guardian or the Daily mail , I wish to own a TV and watch channels of my choice without paying the BBC

            On PBS broadcasting . I and I suspect may others would be happy to pay a licence fee for PBS IF that was what the BBC provided but it doesn’t . PBS does NOT pay football show hosts over £1m per year in salary . However I’m not sure what you would expect to see on PBS that isn’t already available

            So as your claim is purely wanting PBS why not argue for what you actually want to see rather than supporting an organisation that clearly does not provide what you want ?

    • BJC
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Are you suggesting that if we all refused to pay this allegedly discretionary, but legally enforceable license for daring to watch and record live programming (from any broadcaster), the BBC wouldn’t be “fatally wounded” due to a lack of funds, and it wouldn’t be the public who took up any of the promised 10k spaces in our prisons?

      If, indeed, you were correct that the license revenues bypassed the Treasury, it would appear that the BBC has acquired new powers to act as the government’s tax collector.

      • jerry
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        @BJC; Please cite the law that makes watching broadcast TV compulsory?…

        All you say against the TVL fee is also applicable to having to pay a BSkyB subscription fee for content behind their paywall encryption, content that is often only available live to those who agree to pay such fees. Are you suggesting that BSkyB, and their partners, wouldn’t be “fatally wounded” due to a lack of funds if the law demanded they make all their channels, or at least genre groupings, subject to individual subscriptions.

        Have you never wondered why BSkyB do not rook the TVL fee boat, could it be that doing so simply highlights the unfairness of their own business model. Why should people have to buy access to 500 odd channels they do not want, nor watch, before being allowed to subscribe to the ones they do want, such as the sports channels, and why should people then have to pay for access to Football when all they want to watch is F1, or vis-versa.

        I actually have no issues with making the BBC a subscription service, so long as FTA PSB is protected, most likely via a surcharge on all subscription fees. My anger is at the politicisation of the BBC, a level playing field being the very last thing these people actually want to create.

        • NickC
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, Not so. I do not have to pay BSkyB to watch the BBC. But I have to pay the BBC to watch BSkyB. That is manifestly unfair – both to me and BSkyB.

          • jerry
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

            @NickC; But I have to pay the BBC to watch BSkyB. That is manifestly unfair”

            It is also manifestly unfair that those who choose not to subscribe to BSkyB or watch ‘FTA’ commercial TV (never mind those who choose not to watch any broadcast TV) still have to fund BSkyB, their partners & ITV, Ch4 & 5 via paid commercial adverts.

            So let’s make all TV subscription (as I said, I have no problem with that, so long as PSB is protected), unbundle all currently packaged channels so that each and every channel has to be intentionally subscribed to and ban paid for adversing, thus force every channel to survive or fail on their subscriptions numbers alone. Not sure you would actually end up havering that much choice at the end of the day though!

            Do you not think politicos, from all sides of the politics divide, along with industry executives, have not considered the issue of the TVL, paid-for-advertising & subscription fees along with fairness of each to both viewers and non viewers? As I said, ever wonder why Commercial and BSkyB choose not to rock the TVL fee boat…

            But you are not interested in the fairness argument, it’s just a useful brickbat, your aim is simply to neuter the BBC for perceived political reasons – despite the fact that both Ch4 and Sky News are far more left wing, far more anti Brexit, far more anti Boris, far more anti Trump, than the BBC is escapes your dogma.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink


            With the most brain dead stupid remark about advertising AGAIN . How many times do you need this rebutting . You are totally clueless about business, advertising and markets

            You need to find a better analogy because that one is just pathetic

          • jerry
            Posted August 15, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

            @Walter; Best you tell ITV that they can dispense with their paid for adversing revenue then, it woudl leave more time for programmes after all, yet you call me “Brain Dead” and clueless!…

            Advertising budgets are funded (by and large) out of profits, in the wholesale/retail world those profits are created by transactions at checkout.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 15, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink


            As someone who has actually just completed an advertising campaign on Sky TV I can tell you that you are talking drivel

            Customers can buy similar products to those advertised from companies who dont advertise

            Advertising quite often ( and did so in my case) offered REDUCED pricing incentives

            I also had paid adverts for a service that is free to use

            Advertising IS NOT funded from profits , that would be insane

            Its an operating cost

            You prove yourself more detached by the minute, yet you call me walter lol

          • jerry
            Posted August 15, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            @Walter; “Customers can buy similar products to those advertised from companies who dont advertise”

            Never said they could not! But those who do buy from those who advertise creates the profit that is used to fund further advertising, amount other outgoings.

            “Its an operating cost “

            Yes it is a operating cost,for the purposes of tax and the HMRC but FUNDED by -unless the company is start-up, or in trouble- profits.

            “You prove yourself more detached by the minute”

            Says the chap who seems to believe in the magic money tree!…

          • libertarian
            Posted August 16, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

            “Never said they could not! But those who do buy from those who advertise creates the profit that is used to fund further advertising, amount other outgoings.”

            So you agree then your assertion that paid TV subscription is mandatory like TVL is cobblers then. We can own the same product not advertised , we cant own the same product but not the BBC . You aren’t forced to buy what companies advertise either so you could buy nothing.

            Good glad you agree eventually

            ps I’ve no idea what you are talking about with magic money trees . I understand day to day finance far better than you . Just so you are aware , most businesses take a huge risk to buy marketing in ORDER to try to make a profit .

    • Ian!
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      @jerry. Not a fail, to watch ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and so on you have to pay the BBC.

      It goes further, just by buying a TV regardless of use the retailer has to inform the BBC so the TVL can be collected. By having a TV, just to play DVD movies etc. you have to pay the BBC.

      The other fixed costs you mention relate to the purpose they are paid for.

      Any cost that is compulsory is a tax!

      • jerry
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        @Ian; Factually wrong on all counts!

        • NickC
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          @Jerry, Ian is factually correct on all counts, except not needing to pay the BBC to watch DVDs. But the BBC will come after you if you try to do that . . . .

          • jerry
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

            @NickC; No, Ian’s comment is factually wrong and full of myth, try researching how the TVLA currently use databases, what databases they use and when a TVL is expressly not required under the law.

            As for your point about the TVLA, the DVLA will also come after you if you fail to pay your VED, the HMRC will come after you if you fail to fill out your tax return, but;

            You can inform the TVLA that you do not use your TV to receive off air Television content.

            You can keep your car on private land and inform the DVLA by making a SORN.

            If you believe you have no reason/need to fill out a tax return you can inform the HMRC.

            Thus what was your point, that if you fail to obey the law the authorities will investigate – big deal!

        • Ian!
          Posted August 14, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          @jerry you have been mislead. If you own a TV you have to have a TV License for what ever purpose you intend using it for that’s the law.

          The aside is that all license fees are used to fund the BBC

      • Bob
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink


        You don’t need a BBC Licence to watch DVDs or catch up services (apart from those on iPlayer).

        • Ian!
          Posted August 14, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

          @Bob, by law you do. If you buy a TV for that purpose the retailer by law has to infrom the BBC so it can collect a licence fee.

          You might just get away with it if you are using a computer device and are viewing via its screen/monitor

          Its called a TV Licence, because thats what it is, a licence to own a TV. It is just that 100% of the fees collected go to the BBC

          • Bob
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink


            You’ve been deceived!
            You don’t need a TV Licence to own a TV or to watch:
            – Recorded programs on tape or DVD.
            – Catch-up services or other “on demand” content like Netflix, Youtube or Amazon Prime.

            Watching video on iPlayer requires a licence, but Radio on iPlayer does not require a licence.

            It’s the law!

          • jerry
            Posted August 15, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

            @Ian; Wrong, it is a reception licence, even says so in the small print, although it also says reception is not guaranteed…! That is why the TVL legally applies to the reception of any TV broadcast signal via DVB-T, DVB-S or wide-cast cable, and why an amendment had to be written in to cover specific non broadcast systems, namely the BBCs IP based iPlayer.

            @Bob; Radio services via Freeview or Freesat also do not need a TVL either.

        • NickC
          Posted August 14, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Bob, Ian did not claim that catch up required a licence (though BBC catch up does).

      • libertarian
        Posted August 14, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink


        Afraid youre wrong

        The Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1967 (as amended) has been repealed, meaning that from 25 June 2013 onwards there is no longer a need to send customer name and address details when you buy or rent TV equipment

        You don’t need a BBC Licence to watch DVDs or catch up services ( non iplayer)

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      How to miss the point in one go. You cannot watch other TV programmes unless you pay for the BBC whether you want to or not, therefore it is a tax to pay for the BBC – if it looks like a duck……..

      When ITV came on air in 1955 you needed a different aerial, then the BBC tax could have been removed and some viewers were taken to court with a defence that they did not have a BBC aerial – they lost. The BBC tax will eventually go the way of the window tax.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Except we still have red tape taxes in effect, on windows through misguided building regulations. To meet heat loss regulations you are forced to have smaller or fewer windows or to use very expensive and very insulating double or triple glazed units. This even where these windows are not what you actually wanted or needed.

        Then of course the seals often go and the panes then steam up lose their insulation qualities and need replacing (perhaps using more energy than they ever saved). As a result many new houses have rather pokey windows as this is the cheapest way to comply. They then need to use more electric lighting.

      • jerry
        Posted August 15, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        @A.Sedgwick; “How to miss the point in one go.”

        Indeed you, and many others, have!

        “You cannot watch other TV programmes unless you pay for the BBC”

        But you can, just not via any broadcast method, and now via the BBC iPlayer.

    • Bob
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink


      ” The BBC is not public money, well at least no more than VED is”

      Interesting – VED is not ring-fenced.

      The Licence Fee could treated in the same way, and then it could be used to fund the NHS, state pensions and long term care for the elderly, instead of funding overpaid news readers, football commentators, fake news and globalist propaganda.

      • jerry
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        @Bob; Your point being what? By your rational BSkyB subs could be too…

        • Jagman84
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          You still need to purchase a TV licence to watch satellite output. I do not need to pay Sky to watch the BBC. If the BBC is so revered, a similar subscription model for the BBC would be financially viable. Only, they know that their alleged popularity is overblown, judging from the increasing number of viewers dumping the licence each year. It’s why the BBC is reneging on the over-75s commitment. They are slowly losing income but still trying to compete with the commercial sector.

        • Ian!
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

          To watch BSkyB you need a TV. By having that TV you have to pay the BBC for the privilege as well as the BSkyB’s subscription.

          • jerry
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            @Ian; Do tell me how to subscribe to BSkyB’s sports channels without first subscribing to their general entertainment packages, in effect very akin to how people have to pay one fee (the TVL) before legally being allowed to access another service.

          • NickC
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, It is not “akin” at all. BSkyB is discretionary – you can watch other broadcasts without paying. The BBC TV Tax is not discretionary – you must pay it even if you intend to watch other providers only.

          • jerry
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

            @NickC; Watching broadcast TV is, shock, discretionary

            There are ways to watch BSkyB content without watching broadcast TV, same with BTTV…

        • Bob
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          My point: since you compared the BBC Licence to VED, it could be treated the same way, i.e. not ring-fenced. VED helps to fund the NHS, state pensions and long term care for the elderly, so why shouldn’t the TV Licence revenue be used for those purposes instead of funding bloated salaries for BBC news readers, football commentators, fake news and globalist propaganda?

          • jerry
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

            @Bob; The TVL fee not ring fenced, it has been top-sliced for some years now, first to complete the roll out of the digital switch-over, since when it has been top sliced to replace the traditional FO funding for the BBC (radio) World service, to help further roll out broadband in less commercial attractive areas, it partially funds S4C in Wales. It also funds BBC R&D & BBC Academy (Training), both industry wide facilities, and I think it also funds certain access partnerships between the BBC journalistic services and those in the commercial local newspaper industry.

            Then of course the TVL fee also funds both BBC national and local radio, although it has always done that, but is often forgotten.

            As for bloated salaries of “news readers, football commentators, fake news and globalist propaganda” etc, why should someone’s TV subscription package pay for any of that either when all they really wanted was access to the Football or what ever. Stop conflating different issues.

          • Bob
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            Have you lost the plot?
            You actually think that people buy a subscription package for ITV? How can you expect to be taken seriously?

            Boris Johnson’s Facebook broadcasts clearly demonstrate how redundant the BBC has become.

          • jerry
            Posted August 15, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

            @Bob; I didn’t mention ITV….

          • jerry
            Posted August 15, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

            @Bob; People might not ‘subscribe’ to ITV today but what of the future; and in the past people most certainly did subscribe to ITV if they wanted/needed to access their channels via Satellite here in the UK -perhaps due to indifferent terrestrial reception, funding bias on Sky in the process!

            Before Freesat the BBC, ITV, Ch4 & Ch5 were all carried on the Sky platform, and subjected to the same encryption, due to rights management issues (involving the wide footprint of the satellite beam used).

          • Bob
            Posted August 15, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

            The overriding point is that people should be allowed to choose whether on not they want to watch and fund the BBC.

            The British police and courts have enough work to do without being called to supervise TVLA home inspectors. The TV Licence model cannot be justified in the digital age.

          • jerry
            Posted August 15, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; Thanks for your opinion….

  3. Anonymous
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Scrap Help to Buy for young people and replace it with Help to Move for old people.

    There are millions of grannies living for decades on their own in superheated family sized homes in areas where working families are crammed into small flats.

    Free up existing capacity of which there is much before concreting over the country.

    • jerry
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      @Anonymous; Why not simply do as the GDR did, tell people were they are allowed to live!

      The problem is not being unable to move (due to cost, as you imply, downsizing tends to leave money over) but the wiliness to move, and why should people be forced to move away from friends and memories. I knew an older lady who was forced to do just that by an unthinking selfish daughter, the lady in question mental well-being quickly declined and she was dead within two years…

      The real problem is, we have simply not built enough houses in the last 40 years and those that have been built have been built to maximise profit (build then small, get more in each Hectare), between 1945 and 1979 the housing (sale or rental) new build culture was very different, study the design of such developments since the war.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      I think you meant elderly grannies livingin the house they paid for over 25 to 50 years and now cannot afford to heat it? To counter that I suggest we force mothers with cars to hold more than 2 persons to have to get rid of it? Why should they have such a facility when often the elderly cannot afford a car of any size.

  4. Richard1
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    The egregious help to buy scheme should be abolished. Hopefully sajid Javid is planning an early cull of all Osborne’s either costly or revenue reducing virtue signalling measures.

    The increase of the non-dom tax, eg, has reportedly led to a predictable collapse in tax revenues from such people (who also generally consume nearly zero in public services but bring investment and jobs).

  5. APL
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    JR: “Some wanted fewer MPs and less generous expenses for MPs.”

    MPs should be paid on the same basis as the Territorial army, except less, since the risk associated with sitting on your backside in the Commons is an order of magnitude lower than being shipped out to Afghanistan at a moments notice.

    We don’t need a permanent legislature, and the civil service runs things when the Commons in on holiday. Are MPs the only group that have more holidays than Teachers?

  6. APL
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    JR: “Reduce numbers of migrants needing financial support”

    Even for a Tory, that’s slippery.

    We would like your administration to, reduce the number of migrants. ( As our American cousins would say, Period.)

    Until you’ve cleared up the mess in the Power generation industry, given us adequate parking and addressed the congestion on the roads.

    Arranged so that we don’t need water rationing when the sun is out for more than a day or so.

    Reducing the number of migrants would help address the insane demand for housing which might make housing a little more affordable for those who don’t have the government in their corner – 75% of the British under 30s population.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      In what way does third world immigration benefit this country at all? Anybody who has investigated this matter will be well aware that it’s purpose is actually to destroy this country as a monoculture of largely law-abiding people and replace it with something far worse.

    • L Jones
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, but won’t that be more difficult since the execrable T May signed the UN Migration Act last December?
      It may not be ”legally binding” but surely it might cause difficulties.

  7. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Re number five, the idea that a typical migrant is more likely to need financial support than a UK national is a fallacy.

    As I wrote earlier, according to analysis last year by Oxford Economics, over the duration of their stay, people from other parts of the European Union on average pay seventy-eight thousand pounds more in tax than they cost to the UK.

    On the other hand, UK-raised people just about break even.

    So British taxes will have to rise, when our young, fit, ready-educated, productive, fellow Europeans go home.

    As for non-EU immigration – most of it – the UK has always had sovereign control over that.

    • Edward2
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      £78,000 !
      Amazing because it is obvious that the way all of us can become very wealthy is to allow in as a matter of urgency at least 20 million more people into this country.
      You have solved all our problems and economic worries in one post martin
      Well done.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Everyone who wanted to come from the European Union came, Edwards, but they are now leaving, and it is one of the reasons why NHS waiting times are growing so rapidly.

        They were perfectly free so to do. There was no “allowing”.

        But they can be replaced. India says that it wants easier residence arrangements in return for a trade deal, for instance.

        That’s what you voted for though, isn’t it?

        • Edward2
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

          Odd that immigration statustics show a net migration figure of several hundred thousands a year.
          So your attempt to claim there is a reduction in immigration is a failure.

          I dislike the current blatantly discriminatory immigration policy forced on us due to our EU membership where anyone from the EU has a right of entry but other nations do not.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 14, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          Martin of Cardiff

          One of the many reasons that debating Remainers such as yourself is fairly pointless is that you dont wish to deal in facts , you only perpetuate myths you read on facebook, and fake news you hear on BBC and Sky

          Here from the Fact check website

          EU citizens resident in UK in 2015 ( before the referendum) 3.4 million

          EU citizens resident in the UK as of June 2018 3.7 million

          That Martin is an INCREASE

          On to the NHS

          You have been listening to Rachel the Doctor from Oxford haven’t you. The only problem is she doesn’t know what she is talking about

          According to the NHS staffing website 12% of NHS staff are from overseas and more than half of them are NOT from the EU but mostly India, Pakistan, Malaysia and Thailand . Of the staff from the EU the biggest group are from Ireland and as they already had and continue to have special status under the 1923 Common Transfer Agreement dont really help your argument

          Oh and according to Full fact

          4,400 MORE ( thats extra, thats additional , new) EU staff NOW work in the NHS than they did prior to 2016 referendum

          So im afraid your entire post is BS

          Try facts in future Martin

    • NickC
      Posted August 14, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Martin, Apples and oranges. The flaw in your argument is that you are comparing what you admit yourself are “young, fit, ready-educated, productive, fellow Europeans” with the average of the entire British population. Both the young (-9 months to 18 years) and the old (67 to 79 and 83) take more than they contribute, pulling down the average tax contribution.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 14, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Martin of Cardiff

      Sadly this is just another piece of poorly constructed analysis . This report DOES NOT include the children of immigrants born in this country and receiving child credit, schooling and NHS services

      There is a very marginal benefit from EEA immigrants that is totally wiped out by non EEA immigrants . HMRC say that the benefit of EEA immigration is less than 1%

  8. Pat
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Sorry I’m late.
    Make universities liable for a proportion of non-functioning student loans.
    Apart from the direct savings to the exchequer which would have lesser liability, more importantly Universities would have an incentive to make sure that their courses were actually useful and that students were properly matched to courses in which they can succeed.

  9. Fred H
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    HS2 ?

  10. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Picking out the most mentioned savings is a fair estimate of what people want, but as posting space is limited most that responded would have limited their replies.
    Also there may now be individual ideas that other would agree with now.
    Can I suggest if this is to be taken seriously then all ideas should be collated and then voted on by giving them a priority, then these could be added up to show the overall agreement.

    Is it possible to create polls on this website?

  11. percy openshaw
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Yes, to all that. Will any of it happen?

  12. A.Sedgwick
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Without a major revamp of our way of government e.g. real devolution for all the UK our essentially C19 version will continue to complicate rather remedy the blindingly obvious. Blair failed to create a brave new political world, Boris may not have the chance with the weird people who seem to dominate the parliamentary debate and agenda.

  13. Dominic
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    It’s not just an issue of the use of taxpayers money. The more important issue is the extensive control now being exerted by pro-Labour political appointees and their embedded parasitism

    There’s no point in focusing on State expenditure and how it is utilised if you’re not going to remove pro-Labour, pro-EU bias across all aspects of the British state starting with the CPS, Elec-Comm, Quangos and those unionised entities like education and the NHS which are now political vehicles for the left at our expense

    What is required is a total culture change. Fiddling with a few areas of State spending is meaningless

  14. Roger Goodacre
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I would advocate restoring entry fees to national museums, which would save several hundred millions per annum. Most visitors are local residents who visit frequently, tourists and school groups. Various concessions could be offered such as free entry for children and students, over-70s, unemployed etc. With maybe one free entry day a week or month.
    Foreign tourists much appreciate the free access, but it isn’t a strong motivating factor in their decision to visit London/UK.
    All major museums around the world charge for entry: it doesn’t prevent the Louvre attracting more visitors than the British Museum.

  15. agricola
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    It is not just a matter of cutting many of the things that government, “G” does. Most agree that G spends our money wontonly and grossly ineficiently. Most politicians are not up to the task nor are the civil service. When it descends to local government level it is no better.

    When the car industry asks suppliers to quote for an item they already know through value analysis roughly what that item costs to make. Yes suppliers do not make customers aware of any new techniques they may be using. It is a game of cat and mouse but both sides are professional. In government I suspect they are not, hence the constant budget over runs and late deliveries.

    Therefore I would submit that professional oversight would give us our greatest savings after the curbing of politician’s virtue spending.

  16. Andy
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Good news!

    The NHS can and does charge foreign visitors.

    And migrants get very little support and – overall – pay more in than they take out.

    • BR
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Usual lefty remainer assertions. Most hospitals don’t bother to check or charge. Migrants get a lot – extended families are on benefits, asylum seekers jump housing queues etc etc.

    • ukretired123
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      In France UK I had to pay €350 towards my short stay on hospital entry just like checking into a hotel at a reduced price with my E111 European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) charged to my credit card.
      This system should be in all UK hospitals -pay up front unless unconscious and similar. In a crowded A&E recently I witnessed a poor -speaking foreign worker asked if it cost anything when having his blood pressure measured. How lucky we all are!
      St Thomas’s Hospital opposite Parliament is regular host to overseas pregnant women with multiple births that are too complex for their own countries to handle.
      Recently a group of senior Asian doctors were peddling nonsense that it was racist for the NHS to charge overseas folks! Tell that to French Hospitals and good luck with it as they were closing down their smaller hospitals due to escalated costs. How different from here!

      • ukretired123
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        When in France as an expatriate…
        This system should apply to all non-British citizens …
        … As the NHS funding needs serious rethinking before it breaks – being free it is abused and wasteful of limited expensive resources.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      any idea what numbers of treatments go unrecorded? And of those recorded how many are charged. More nonsense from Andy.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 16, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink


      According to Fact Check website immigrants to the UK cost £118 billion more than they bring in. ( figures from 1995-2011 )

      Is there any subject of which you have an understanding or a correct fact?

  17. acorn
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Brexit has shown that the so called “mother of all parliaments” was built on sand. After centuries of operation, there is no one who actually knows or understands how the game is played. What are the powers of the executive or that of the legislature; or, even if the judiciary has the power to decide any which way!

    Anyway, your average MP and staff costs you £280,000 a year. Add in all HoC paraphernalia and that goes up to £659,000 a year each. The average of the 800 peers in the HoL costs you a mere £22,600 a year; but if you add in all the HoL paraphernalia and the cost goes up to £124,000 a year each. The whole Westminster bubble costs you £552 million a year.

    That is one hell of a gravy train that pays 4,600 people in total. You can understand why nobody in that bubble wants to change anything at all; cushty!

    • L Jones
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      I am constantly surprised that those people whom Sinn Fein ”represent” are not annoyed by the fact that they won’t take their seats and have their say.
      And although they virtuously point out that they don’t take their salaries, they take their expenses, and they’re not chicken feed at £150,000 or so.

      • acorn
        Posted August 16, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Sinn Fein MPs do all the stuff other MPs do, they have all the same offices, carry out all the same constituency work as GB MPs. The thing they don’t do is sit and vote in the HoC; as per the manifesto they were elected on.

        As usual L J, you again demonstrate how little you understand.

  18. Ken Moore
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Surprised that the idiotic 0.7% GDP target for aid spending didn’t make the list. GDP and prosperity are not the same thing. We as a nation have been getting steadily poorer.

  19. Nannette Simon
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Overall, they’re GREAT ideas!
    Once it becomes mandatory to charge overseas visitors to use the NHS, the bold will be able to be balanced.

    And also the NHS will benefit from scrapping the quangos who charge a fortune for hospital cleaning and maintenance, etc… and the politically correct quangos who try to brainwash us with common purpose nonsense.

    I’m aware that the migrants issue is over sensitive, but, we shouldn’t give financial support to any migrants who are able to work. It used to be that EVERYONE, except the disabled and mentally impaired, had to have worked for FIVE years continuously before they were eligible for the dole!

    As for the BBC, my elderly neighbour can’t afford the licence, and the television is the only thing keeping her company, besides the carer who is only there for 2 hours a day, if that. It’s so sad seeing her suffer like this. I wish I could afford to buy the licence for her, but I’m unable to.

    As for MPs expenses, cut them down dramatically and let them live like the rest of us plebs.

  20. BR
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I agree with all the above. In addition I would like to see:

    1. Benefits reduced – nothing for family members of immigrants. No paying NI from benefits since that gets them entitlements and is further disincentive to work.
    NB I don’t count pensions as benefits – those are bought and paid for as a contract between a person and the government via number of years NI.

    2. Look at supporting private health care, with people doing so entitled to reduced NI if working, higher pensions if beyond retirement age. We have to find a way to shift the debate beyond the current state of universal fear of challenging the current model.

    3. Introduce charges for GP visits and outpatient care. Appointments are only booked if paid for well in advance. Showing up gets a refund, possibly a partial refund.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      GP visits? – – Haven’t heard of any for years and years….

  21. BillM
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    The BBC are not Government funded are they? They do receive money from Brussels for “Research” or something like it and over £3 Billion from the residents. If Boris wants to garauntee over 3 million votes he should order the BBC to practice austerity then cancel the proposed Licence Fee for the over 75s and substantially reduce the license fee, aiming to scrap it altogether within five years. It is long past its sell-by date!
    There is no mention here of the VAT levied upon energy sources. A tax that badly affects the less well off in the country and MUST be canceled as a priority. The scrapping of the Carbon Capture programme and the dumping of the OTT zero-emissions policy should follow right behind. Enough is enough.

  22. libertarian
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Every single government department that isn’t Health, Education, Social Care, Defence or Foreign affairs should be closed down. Mission creep is all pervasive

    If government provided essential government services then we would be able to afford world class service. They however squander billions doing things that are not needed to be done by government

    dept culture media sport,
    electoral commission
    Charity Commission for England and Wales
    Competition and Markets Authority

    Food Standards Agency
    Forestry Commission
    Government Actuary’s Department
    Government Legal Department
    Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills
    Office of Gas and Electricity Markets
    Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation
    Office of Rail and Road
    UK Trade & Investment
    Water Services Regulation Authority

  23. ChrisS
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    I simply do not believe the priorities being suggested here.

    Amongst contributors here, I would be sure that the two most popular candidates for the axe would be HS2 and the Foreign Aid budget.

  24. Treacle
    Posted August 14, 2019 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Stop borrowing money to spend on international aid. Charity begins at home. We should give money for disaster relief only.

  25. jane4brexit
    Posted August 14, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Regarding reducing the costs of government, a quick way to reduce the number of peers and others would be to withdraw the role from anyone in receipt of an EU pension or salary from Brexit day onwards. Had our exit gone more smoothly such payments might have been tolerated and accepted as historical, begining under previous rules, but with the way Brexit has been fought against anyone one receiving an EU income has to be regarded as being loyal to another state and so not fit for government employment.

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page