Public spending

It is right for the government to cushion individuals and businesses temporarily losing their incomes owing to the lock downs. It is right for the government to provide a fiscal boost to offset some of the massive deflationary forces unleashed by the global anti virus policies. It is not right to waste public money or add to the burden of the debt with marginal or unwise spending.

So I renew my list of spending reductions that are even more needed now, given the state of public finances.

  1. Reduce overseas aid spending. It will exceed the 0.7%  of GDP legal requirement this year given the fall in GDP unless it is reduced. Start by taking £1bn off plans.
  2. Improve collection of the charges for use of the NHS by overseas visitors. It is a National, not a Global Health Service. Possible £400 million extra.
  3. Cancel HS2 saving up to £100 bn over a period of years
  4. Toughen enforcement against people trafficking to cut the costs of illegal migrants.
  5. Insist on leaving the EU at the end of the year with no further payments to them. Savings of £1bn a month thereafter.
  6. Stop Councils building property asset portfolios based on low cost public borrowing.
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  1. Mick
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    4 Toughen enforcement against people trafficking to cut the costs of illegal migrants.

    5 Insist on leaving the EU at the end of the year with no further payments to them. Savings of £1bn a month thereafter.
    On migrants especially the ones caught at sea and on our shores to be sent straight back to France with NO exceptions
    And on leaving the Eu , I thought we’d already left in January and that it was written into law that we left completely on December 31st 2020

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      “Stop Councils…”

      Is there anything at all, that the Tories want to allow local, democratically-elected officials to do?

      Oh, how the arch-centralisers, these Tories, shrieked, at the minor matters which were granted – by consent – from national governments to regulation from Brussels, such as bathing water quality.

      Irony is dead.

      • NickC
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Martin, You give away our independence for the mere allegation that we cannot regulate our own bathing water? Good grief! – your dependence on Jonny Foreigner is degrading and pathetic. No wonder the EU gloated they had made us a colony with people of your attitude in the UK establishment. Well, time’s up.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:16 pm | Permalink


          “No wonder the EU gloated they had made us a colony”

          Who were these ‘gloaters’? Can you give us an example?

          PS Luckily for us the EU made us clean up our filthy beaches and stopped authorities pumping raw sewage into the sea.

          • NickC
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

            Margaret H, You really don’t know? I find that hard to credit even for you.

            “Brexit: Behind Closed Doors”, BBC4 two part fly-on-the-wall documentary 8/9 May 2019. Two of Verhofstadt’s staffers chortle: “We finally turned them into a colony, and that was our plan from the first moment“.

            It was on the internet and in all the papers as well.

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 4:08 pm | Permalink


            “Margaret H, You really don’t know? I find that hard to credit even for you.”

            Not the sort of papers I read. (Did they give the names of these so-called 2 ‘staffers’?)

            Any comment on my ‘filthy beaches/raw sewage’ claim and the EU’s role in cleaning them up?

        • bill brown
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:22 am | Permalink


          Grow up and start arguing like an adult

          • NickC
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

            Bill B, It’s time you took your own advice. Or are you another Remain who missed Verhofstadt’s staffer gloat that the EU had finally made the UK a colony?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

            Well said Nick.
            Some even deny what is filmed and broadcast on the BBC.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        So you think Councils, borrowing money @ .1% should be able to buy farms, houses, shops from individuals. They can pay more than citizens because of the special rates they pay.
        This is why Monmouthshire County Council, for instance, is the biggest landowner in Monmouthshire. And poor farmers are just tenants. Your cup of tea?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

          Why should councils be prevented from doing anything lawful that their electors wanted, and for which they voted after being expressly stated in Councillors’ personal statements?

          Come on, you made enough noise about that non-binding opinion poll in 2016, didn’t you?

          Now what about local democracy?

          • NickC
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Would that “non-binding opinion poll in 2016” have been quite as “non-binding” if the result had been Remain? Hmmm?? I think we should be told.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            My Council never mentioned it in their election leaflets.
            They had a list of spending priorities but property speculation wasn’t one of them.

            If were not for a local newspaper exposé
            we would not have known exactly how much local property they were buying up.

    • Hope
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Point five JR needs re thinking or clarifying. Johnson said many times Brexit is done. Ministers state we left the EU. You write when we leave the EU by end of year.

      Frost is negotiating what if we have left? There is no transition or implementation stated by Mayhab, she lied goodness knows how many times. At least 108 times in parliament. What action was taken against her?

      Then there is the truth the UK is in vassalage as pointed out many many times by Johnson and Rees-Mogg. So you are by implication pointing out he lied to the nation? As did his low grade managers?

      Quarantine for two weeks entering the country with police checks. First not enough police to do this. Two your govt determined to destroy travel agencies and hospitality. How about cutting immigration like your govt promised over ten years? Tory govt is dishonest and cannot be trusted.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Hope Boris agreed a WA. We are in transition and they have total power over us until December 2020.
        Johnson and Rees Mogg Voted for May’s WA. JR did not!

        • Hope
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

          Lynne, I think you will find JR did.

          JR writes in future tense about leaving when his party and govt state we left. Even though Johnson and key ministers called it vassals. No mention of the vassalage Johnson actually signed up to! Pure dishonesty.

    • Christine
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Have you seen the videos posted by Nigel Farage this week? The French are escorting the illegal immigrants across the channel and handing them off to the British coast guards. They even have the audacity to threaten to impound Nigel’s boat for filming it. Is this what Pritti Patel means when she says our Government is working closely with the French authorities to solve this problem? Our Home Office is a complete disgrace. We know most are never returned. Until you turn back these boats, more will just make the crossing aided and abetted by the French and our own Government. Our Government is complicit in human trafficking and should be prosecuted.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Priti Patel was reported on Guido Fawkes to have said “International Maritime Law… upon arrival those aboard boats have to be processed through the asylum system before the government is legally able to return them”. It is about time that we were told what all these laws are that we are signed up to and why they don’t seem to apply to Italy, Malta, Spain or France? Why weren’t these migrants processed for asylum in France if we have to?

    • Peter
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Number 1 & 2 – reduce overseas aid and NHS charges for overseas visitors have been spoken about for years and there has been no action. So nothing will happen now.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      When we have judges saying criminals can stay ( with all the danger and financial implications for us that implies ) then we have NO chance. The whole of Zimbabwe can come here illegally – and they can apparently stay – on this basis. They just have to say they don’t want to go back – THAT simple.
      Others have been told they can stay, because they won’t be able to afford the prescription drugs they need.

  2. formula57
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    A good list but Government is not truly interested in any of it. Item 2 (charging visitors for the NHS) was an issue back in the 1970’s.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      This is a perfect time to finally get this sorted out we are digitally able now everyone is used to paying by card and politically the Country seems to be a majority “health over economics” but “health provision” costs money so everyone should contribute over the age of 18 (except students who are already taking on enough debt in England) the GP registration alone costs £150 per year. It is perhaps time that we keep the free at point of use but change contributions methods. People shouldn’t be able to come through immigration at the airport without medical insurance cover, we’ve been required to take out medical insurance for years even as visitors.

      • Hope
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

        JR, point 4.

        Since 2010 The Tory Govt has spent £400 million to prevent illegal immigration. The UK has the highest numbers on record to date! Tory Govt now quietly helping, yes helping, illegal immigration into the country and encouraging more! Tory govt is dishonest.

        Under Mayhab £40 million plus more taxpayers’ money was given to France to allegedly stop this from the camps at Calais!

        The UK does not know if these people have Chinese virus and do not know if they are a security threat to us. Three years after Manchester bombing, where bomber was allowed in and out the country from France, you would think the Tory Govt would take our safety more seriously. Then it let in 18 million people to infect our citizens where between 35-50,000 have died and deliberately infected vulnerable at care homes. Disgraceful.

        It does make me wonder what JR is trying to highlight or trying to achieve?

      • ukretired123
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        When working in France I had painful gallstones and drive myself to hospital waited outside until they opened in the early morning had a few quick tests but then had to drive to another hospital where they asked for my E111 and credit card BEFORE admitting me. After 3 days I emerged paid 350 Euro before I could leave with my xrays and medical notes!

        • hefner
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          These €350 correspond to the three days of ‘food and lodging’ that any French person without a ‘mutuelle’ (private health insurance plan) would also have had to pay. The UK (via your E111) paid for your medical care (examination, X-ray, doctor fee, plus any medicine).
          And if you had been working in the USA or Canada, the E111 would have counted for nothing and you would have had to pay between five and ten times as much.
          So put things in perspective, please, as the (free) E111 agreement will very likely cease to operate for UK people from 01/01/2021.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

            I hope the E111 agreement with carry on after that because there are a large number of European people living the UK who benefit from it too.
            Hopefully sensible politics will prevail.

      • glen cullen
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        correct – most countries will not let you in without holiday/medical insurance (I remember at check-in manchester being asked to produce my insurance docs to a country)

        I could never understand anyone travelling without it

        It should be mandatory upon arrival to UK evidence of insurance

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      We have an International Health Service. It indulges all sorts of self inflicted illnesses and this is why it will never have enough money.

      We are soon to become an International Health Service with a country attached to it.

      (I noticed the clap getting less well attended last night – the penny is dropping.)

      • Mark B
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

        I was not at home at 8pm on Thursday so cannot report on the relative performance of my neighbours. Guess I will have to wait. 😉

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Well they damned well should be.

      Let’s remember the foot-and-mouth cleanup in the UK, out-sourced to private contractors. It cost £100,000 per farm.

      The Netherlands employed their own operatives directly.

      The cost? £600 per farm.

      I read that the inevitably massive contact-tracing operation is to be gifted to the private sector here, and a certain company has been mentioned.

      Any guesses as to the likely cost-versus-effectiveness comparisons to be made here with other countries’ direct labour operations?

      Will it even work at all?

      • Edward2
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        Stupid to compare the UK farming industry to the Netherlands.
        Numbers dont compare.
        Do some research.
        Stop your fake news

        • bill brown
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:23 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          Great factual contributions Constable

          • Edward2
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

            Come back with some facts that prove me wrong and I and the rest of those who post on here might take you a little more seriously.
            Reducing yourself to just repeating childish playground insults is pathetic.

          • NickC
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            Bill B, We are waiting for you to take your own advice.

        • hefner
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          The Netherlands vaccinated its animals. Pressures from the National Farmers Union prevented the UK government from forcing farmers to vaccinate their animals. All relevant information is available in various sites including wikipedia ‘2001 UK foot and mouth outbreak’.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

            Correct Hefner
            And relative numbers of livestock involved was a factor.
            Approximately 23 million animals in the UK versus 1.4 million in Holland

          • NickC
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, That’s a misrepresentation. From the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine: “one can understand the opposition of farmers to vaccination of healthy animals if this merely offered a stay of execution when without vaccination an uninfected animal might be allowed to survive“.

          • czerwonadupa
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

            Would that be the Netherlands were after genetic tests found traces of horse meat in burgers sold at two British supermarkets. 50,000 tonnes of adulterated beef products were discovered across Europe, with suppliers in Netherlands found to have mislabeled horse meat.
            Thank goodness I don’t eat beef or drive a German diesel car. Standards across the EU aren’t what they’re cracked up to be.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink


        Corruption in high places?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

          Well, who knows, Margaret?

          The point is I mention money because commenters here appear to care more about that than about scores of thousands on needlessly lost lives.

          However, the systems in other countries have worked, clearly, in that they have not had this appalling toll.

          Whatever the cost here, will the deaths now stop? Or will it be just another privatised, exorbitant, ineffective débâcle?

          • Edward2
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 9:24 am | Permalink

            Check who gave the expert scientific advice in the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic and now in this current epidemic.

            Holland decided on a mainly vaccination policy back in 2001.
            The UK were advised to slaughter all animals by their experts.

          • NickC
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

            Martin, Living is a risk. Even for you. For anybody. All the time. The lockdown which you worship also causes deaths both directly and because of a shortened lifespan.

            Your view that we want to shorten the lockdown because we “care more about [money] than about scores of thousands of needlessly lost lives” is utterly false. And petulant.

            I expected Andy to stoop so low, but you claim you’re better than Andy. Now we know you are the same.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

            If masks were available for all, and people required to wear them in public, then I’d say let’s end most of the lockdown tomorrow.

            This shambles couldn’t even get them for all front line clinical and care staff, however.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

            Yet some experts say masks are not the answer.

            I see public mask wearers not being so careful on social distancing.
            Perhaps they feel invulnerable.

            Do you not feel the responsibility for providing masks for front line clinical staff should rest with PHE and the NHS rather than Boris?

          • NickC
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Beware, that’s the precious NHS management you’re criticising there. Or do you think it is a minister’s job to order PPE?

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink


            “our view that we want to shorten the lockdown because we “care more about [money] than about scores of thousands of needlessly lost lives” is utterly false”

            Really? Another one of your rash statements. How do you know what ‘we’ think’? I for one agree with Martin.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

            Up to two then Margaret

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    All excellent points.

    HS2 will cost more than £100bn and that is before all the damage is does to people forced out of their property or who have their property devalued by it. Some of the forced purchases are cheating property owners too.

    The last one is another excellent point yet more unfair competition from the state sector (just like the NHS, educations, social housing, transport…..). It will end badly just like when they idiotically put lots of tax payers money into Icelandic Banks.

    Two more huge saving that probably outweigh all the above (and by a long way) are to abandon all renewable subsidies, go for cheap reliable energy, cancel the insane climate change act, cancel the absurd climate committee and May’s bonkers net zero carbon lunacy. Plus we need a huge culling of soft loans for valueless degrees in largely pointless subjects. If people what a worthless degree let them pay for it themselves. I do not wish too. Half of those going to university have three Ds at A level or less no one with less than about 3Bs should be given a tax payer loan to go. They should resit and get a job and go to night school.

    Nor do I with to pay for quack medicine or beauty treatments for others on the NHS even if Prince Charles likes this.

    • Nigl
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      Insane, bonkers, absurd? Say more about you rather than adding value to your repeated ad infinitum views on climate change.degrees etc. Young people’s opportunity to broaden their minds post school through the experience offered by further education, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds should be welcomed not viewed through the eyes of one who only looks at everything from a Pounds/pence perspective.

      They and their families will be very proud of their achievements and if you had a little grace and humility, so would you.

      • Hope
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        I think the people need to oust this rotten govt.

        MSM is beyond useless as we read with an article in Times by Sarah Baxter over Farage reporting on illegal immigration across English Channel.

      • Chris Dark
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        I must agree that there is little point in youngsters attending a university with three D grade A levels, however as I recall in the 70’s and 80’s there was a much wider range of further education opportunities. HNCs, HNDs, a variety of vocational courses, and more that escape my memory in terms of their proper names. Such courses allowed the majority of children to get into some kind of further education, and those with low academic skillsets were able to get on board the more practical courses. Today it’s all focused on university degrees. Let the brainy folk go to uni, and bring back many of the old courses that used to be offered, which will open the door to the less-academically minded.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:18 am | Permalink

          Three D’s is the median entry, so half have even worse than three D’s.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink


        I did all of my qualifications by night school and correspondence. I still read now – currently calculus and ancient history which are made much easier with the internet.

        I don’t understand why 50% of the population needs university, especially now we can’t afford it.

        • Mark B
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

          The population doesn’t but the Universities do !

      • Everhopeful
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        Like everything else…exams have been devalued.
        And always to suit govt plans.
        No jobs? Economy wonky? Get kids to go to “uni” and put them in hock for life by so doing!

      • percy openshaw
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        This is sentimental nonsense. The last thing that modern universities do is to “broaden minds”; rather they indoctrinate. Pounds and pence are the proper priorities of government, since they belong to the very “disadvantaged” people you claim to care for. And any pride in the phantom “achievements” of Mickey Mouse degrees and useless Marxist pedantry comes at a grotesque cost in time and money. Far better that the young seek and find fulfilling, profitable work – a better education by far than the worm eaten pseudo-learning of our modern, bloated “academy”.

      • DaveK
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        How else could they get 3/4 years of hedonistic fun and away from unemployment stats? For 75% of them it’s a con.

      • DavidJ
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        Such views on the Climate Change Scam are held by many of us; Lifelogic and others are right to keep on about it.
        Universities should focus on STEM subjects instead of the plethora of useless degrees which benefit no-one except those providing them.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:21 am | Permalink

          If people want a largely useless degree as a hobby then fine but they should pay for it and not get taxpayer funding or soft loans for them.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      I agree. We need to re-issue NI numbers but on strict criteria.

    • Christine
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Our country is losing billions of pounds because students loans are given to foreign students many of whom leave the country without repaying them. Some students don’t even attend the course. 42% of EU students are not currently paying back their loans. English tax payers are subsidising foreign students including Scottish, Welsh and Irish students. The whole system is totally unfair.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink


        Checking up on your claim about European students not repaying their student loans I came across this 2017 report in the DExpress which shows that it is not EU countries but Australia which tops the list with 9.900 followed by Cyprus with 5.900 and the US with 5.100.

        With the first two countries in the Commonwealth it shouldn’t be too difficult to make them pay up.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

          Well if 42% are from the 27 nations in the EU then 58% are from the other 160 nations on the planet.
          I’m not sure what real point you are trying to make.

          • Christine
            Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

            42% of EU students are not currently paying back their loans means that 58% of EU students are paying back their loans.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 25, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            That is a disastrous level of defaulting.
            Tru running a bank with that level of failure to repay a loan.

    • roger
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Many thanks to Lifelogic who as always not only identifies the governments policy shortcomings but reminds us of the changes that are necessary and overdue.
      We have a Conservative government with a large majority. No better time than now to implement the logical policies he and the majority of us advocate.

  4. matthu
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    That list is a good start.

    No-one seriously thinks that HS2 has ever been a viable investment of public funds.

    Of course, the savings if we leave the EU by the end of 2020 will be considerably greater than £1 billion a month, as we wouldn’t necessarily get roped into bailing them out of any current – or future – financial crisis.

    The government obviously sees the sense in regular public briefings, so they may like to consider regular briefings on the number of illegal migrants crossing the channel – and the number who are being successfully returned to France.

    And while we are toughening up enforcement against people trafficking, the government may wish to strengthen our coastal surveillance to protect our fishing interests.

    And then, of course, there is long overdue simplification of our tax laws …

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      “simplification of our tax laws“ indeed and employment laws, health and safely laws and much else.

      The Office of Tax Simplification was created on 20 July 2010 to ‘identify areas where complexities in the tax system for both businesses and individual taxpayers can be reduced, and then to publish their findings for the Chancellor to consider ahead of his budget’.

      Since then tax complexity (and idiocy) has surely doubled! Either they are useless or the Chancellors (Hammond, Osborne etc) are just ignoring them. I suspect both. Doubtless they all get a good bonus for their achievements.

      • Bob
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        “The Office of Tax Simplification was created on 20 July 2010”

        Wasn’t that the year when David Cameron and Gideon promised us a bonfire of the quangos?
        We’re still waiting!

        It won’t happen because politicians love to offer cushy sinecures to their cronies.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:25 am | Permalink

          Indeed Cameron even claimed he was a “low tax at heart”, Eurosceptic, Conservative and even gave us a Cast Iron Promise. All was blatant lies, he was the complete opposite.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      “ No-one seriously thinks that HS2 has ever been a viable investment”

      Very true, so what is driving this project? Vested interests, party donors, blatant corruption or are the people in government really so dim & innumerate that they actually do actually think it is a sensible investment?

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Tax simplification would help – but our tax system is far too gone – it’s beyond repair

      We need to totally rethink how taxes are taken – how much of a burden they are to collect – how they penalize hard work – how they subjugate.

      Tax should be straight forward – not requiring an army of people to implement or rule on – we need a brand new approach, and one that makes basic living easier / less expensive.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      He didn’t mention crime.

      Some plausible estimates put the cost of UK fraud alone at £193 billion pa, just for that one offence. We spend a billion a year just on clearing up litter and dog muck, for goodness’ sake.

      The UK crime rate is twice the average pro-rata of the European Union twenty-seven.

      It’s estimated to cost seven percent of GDP, but could be far higher still when contingent costs are included.

      That’s TEN times the overseas aid commitment, but hey, you’d rather grind your teeth over that, wouldn’t you?

      • NickC
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        Martin, I think you’ll find we grind our teeth over both. But then accuracy and truthfulness were never your forte, were they?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          I think that you’d rather sweep it under the carpet, since crime rates fell markedly under Labour, but have risen under the Tories.

          • Fred H
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

            well once benefits made a more comfortable life, and the muggers found the top-of-the-range mobiles ran out of marketplace, cash in the handbag and in a drawer in homes went out of fashion – crime would go down, wouldn’t it?

            Which crimes have risen under Tories?
            Labour voters abusing other Labour voters -yes.

          • NickC
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Quite clearly I did not “sweep it under the carpet”. And, according to the ONS, crime levels have been falling steadily since the mid 1990s. Where some types of crime have shown a rise, it is due to “Improvements to recording processes and practices by the police …” according to the ONS. So crime did not fall “markedly” under the last Labour governments, as you falsely claim. Nor did crime overall rise during the Tory governments of the last decade. Apart from getting everything wrong, spot on, Martin.

      • margaret howard
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink


        “The UK crime rate is twice the average pro-rata of the European Union twenty-seven”

        Not just that but we also lock up more people than any other EU country.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps the two things are connected?

    • DaveK
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      The government do not release useful statistics like that. They don’t even release how many have recovered from CV19.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        They don’t know.

    Posted May 22, 2020 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    These recommendations though laudable are meaningless in the greater scheme of things and amount to little more than virtue signalling

    There now exists within the British body politic a culture that elevates political spending above all else. All State spending is filtered through the prism of political advantage and in many cases political cowardice

    The private sector taxpayer is held in complete contempt by all political State players. From the NHS right through to the BBC. These political organisations believe they are divinely entitled to feed without interruption and without interference at the taxpayer trough ad infinitum. Any moves to halt this parasitism are immediately labelled ‘heartless’, ‘inhumane’, ‘putting lives at risk’, ‘attacks on journalistic freedom’ by the usual coterie of public sector dependents who will fight to the death to protect their closeted, overpaid, luxurious remunerations

    The back of the small State politician has been broken. That happened in 1990. There’s no going back to the time when the State was seen as subservient to our needs. Today, we are the mercy of the political State and similar to the desperate people of Hong Kong we will be subsumed.

    The direction of travel towards authoritarianism has been set in motion. Just ask Farage.

    As an aside. I see today China intend to crush HK with a new ‘security law’. Marxist barbarity tells you they have your best interests at heart. Totalitarianism is for your benefit. When does Huawei start its work?

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    The NHS should (of course) charge anyone who can afford to pay. This so we get some real freedom, choice and innovation in healthcare. We should also give tax relief for people who insure and go privately (so as to “protect the NHS” from needing to treat them), Thus shortening the queues for others and saving money. Also cull the absurd 12% IPT tax on these premiums (why should they pay 4 times over if they choose not to use the dire NHS?)

    Having a monopoly state run, command economy, NHS is a disaster as we see every day. One of the worst systems in the world for a developed nation. When we needed it we find that about 50% of the circa 70,000 (who have died with a Covid contribution) never even made it to hospital (most got little or no palliative care either). Even of those that did make it many got little more that tea, sympathy and an oxygen mask.

    Or in a complete scandal they were discharged into care homes to infect many thousands of others. This was incompetence even more appallingly inept than the fire chief “experts” who sent people back to their flats at Grenville. It has surely killed (or shortened the lives) of many thousands.

    • Adam
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink


      Tax relief on private healthcare previously reduced the NHS burden, just as the Assisted Places Scheme reduced Govt Education costs. Misguided Labour opposed both, generating waste.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:28 am | Permalink

        Indeed the evil politics of envy does huge harm.

    • Bob
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      “NHS is a disaster as we see every day.”

      Yes, what are people clapping for, is it the Tik Tok dance routines? because the UK Covid stats seem to be among the worst.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:31 am | Permalink

        About half of the Covid victims died without even getting to hospital, many were discharged with Covid to care homes. Even those in hospital seem to get little care beyond tea, sympathy and an Oxygen mask. plus most regular NHS activity has even been cancelled.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      What you list is a failure of management and poor judgement by clinicians, rather than a wrong idea of providing healthcare for all as needed and paid for by all. The fire allusion is similar – management at fault, not the idea of having a fire brigade available to all, paid for by all. Perhaps we should have private fire services who only turn out for those who can pay?
      Regarding the ‘tea, sympathy and an oxygen mask’ quip, you know full well there is no known cure for the virus and I don’t see any of the private health providers offering one – perhaps you know better.
      The deaths in the care homes – almost all are privately owned and charge eye watering amounts for care and yet they could not even provide their own PPE and relied on the NHS to provide it. I just hope the NHS charges for it, but I doubt it. Where the profit motive is uppermost in mind, corners will be cut and as you get older insurance premiums rise to unaffordable levels if you can get it at all.

    • percy openshaw
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      Bravo. Good sense delivered with vim and conviction.

  7. Javelin
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Here are two paragraphs from the Times. From BEFORE the pandemic !!

    Do you understand why the LibLabCon party will not win the next election?

    “Increases in the number of migrants from south and east Asia, including China, India and the Philippines, pushed overall arrivals from non-EU states to 404,000 last year, the biggest total since the Office for National Statistics began collecting the figures in 1975.”

    “The claimant count rose by a higher-than-expected 856,500 to 2.09 million, while the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 per cent in the January-to-March period, from 4 per cent in the three months to February.”

  8. Ian Wragg
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Dream on. All you list would have been addressed years ago but never have.
    Don’t forget removing the Chinese from infrastructure projects.
    Boris will continue to escort illegals across the channel because his partner agrees with it.
    What about the ruinous CCA which is utter nonsense.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      I fear its all a ‘pipe-dream’

      The Torys have had 11yers and now a huge mayority….and many manofestos later…zero

      As Sir Johns book title suggests ‘I just don’t believe you ”anymore”

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        But now everything is different – they have no money!

  9. Mark B
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    1. We cannot reduce it as parliament created a law demanding the government spend this money. What we need to do is either repeal or amend the law.

    2. No need to improve it. Do what Russia and other countries do. Make it a condition of entry into the UK that you have private health insurance.

    3. Can’t ! As I keep saying. There is too much vested interest in this White Elephant.

    4. This is a joke right ? I mean, the UK and French government’s are complicit in this.

    5. Why insist ? We voted to Leave back in 2016. It was our decision and we do not need anyone’s permission to return back to being a sovereign independent nation.

    6. This one has got me beat ! I did not know councils were doing this.

    Just over 10 years ago, the Conservative Party was given enough votes to form a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. So far, and according to CMD, its major policy success in that time has been GAY marriage. And that’s it !!!

    Anyone else have anything to say on that ?

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Yes, that was the biggest change for hundreds of years, and all without any consultation with the British people.
      As I recall, Cameron listed it as his biggest achievement. It was what he thought was the ‘right thing to do’. He didn’t care about anyone else’s views.
      Rightly or wrongly, it lost him thousands of votes..

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      The law concerning foreign aid needs repealing, not amending. It should have no place on the statute books. A government wanting to spend 0.7% of GNI on foreign aid is perfectly at liberty to.

    • Stred
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      3. The line was a requirement of the EU in the first place and the civil service with the EU supporting Parliament will quietly spend taxpayer’s money on the pointless project. The lobby from the business groups building it will be making sure that any opposition is ignored.

      4. The previous prime minister quietly passed the UN migration pact with no debate. This requires the UK and France to assist economic migration as though it was for reasons usually accepted as for refugees from persecution. Both governments ignored the wishes of the majority and deliberately signed. The Italian government refused and stopped assisting the racket.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink


        The TEN-S Network was advisory not mandatory. But that has never stopped our lot from wanting to impress our EU Masters 😉

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      1. I agree Mark, what we should do is make sure everyone is informed just how much we provide so that the likes of MartinIC and Margaret actually have a good word to say for the UK.

      2. Exactly – why is this even an issue, we can buy low cost medical insurance to use in other Countries so incomers to the UK must.

      3. I agree Mark, why bull**** that the Conservative Government have any intention to stop this pre-agreed EU roll-out project.

      4. Totally complicit. We are being taken for fools. Roll-up roll-up anyone in a dingy then when they get here they’re given a platform to tell us we must make things fairer for them in the UK, not charge them for medical care, give them work when they want it then moan about that work it absolutely infuriates me.

      5. Eh! I thought this is what we were doing too?

      6. Oh yeah, they can’t afford social care but they can build million-pound white elephant shopping complexes no-one wants to rent so they virtually give rent-free periods which then closes down all the established stores in town! Or pay over the odds for a falling-down shopping centre they then have to demolish whilst telling us for 20 years they’re doing all they can to improve it and its going to happen…soon…

      • Mark B
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink


        Seriously ! This (6) has blindsided me ! I know my local council built a bus shelter for a million quid and too longer to build than a supermarket store – I kid you not, but this ???

        • APL
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

          Mark B: “This (6) has blindsided me !”

          You think that was bad, read this:

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

          MarkB its multi-million pound spending boom at our risk and several centres were making tremendous losses before covid19. Councillors in the main aren’t business people, they killed off a couple of successful 20 year + businesses in one town with their dogmatic plan. The private shopping developments in one town are booming and expanding!

          The purpose of each Town is unclear.

    • BOF
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Mark B yes, wasn’t it Mrs May who brought in gender politics? Gender pay reporting and indoctrination of very young children in schools, regarding gender?
      Zero carbon by 2050. She approved Hinkly C with Chinese involvement and also HS2.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      I would suggest that the majority of conservative members support Sir Johns points

      The big question is why the conservative political party is not implementing the views and wishes of its members

      With the current majority this govt could implement all the points tomorrow

    • DaveK
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Not quite right, as the rule is 0.7% of GNI therefore the sum will be lower. To be honest I don’t know whether we use last years figure or a projection, either way we should reduce it this year or next.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Dave.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      1. Should be repealed and replaced with a law outlawing it. Politicians should not be allowed to virtue signal on the world stage at our expense.

      2. The NHS should be abolished and replaced with compulsory insurance entitling subscribers to use hospitals and doctors which are themselves independent of control by politicians and civil servants with Arts degrees. Following the COV-19 debacle in this country in comparison to Germany where such schemes exist, this has now become urgent.

      3. The highly dubious business case for HS2 has now been holed below the waterline by COVID-19.

      4. There is no case for awarding British nationality or the right of permanent residence to anyone who is not of European ancestry; we do not wish be a melting pot. Asylum seekers, if approved, should be deported as soon as the US has stopped bombing their country.

      5. It is British politicians that need persuading of this.

      6. Local government has been allowed, in many cases, mandated, to engage in mission creep. The first step would be a massive cull of the Department of Housing, Communities and Local government. Most government departments are overfilled with Arts graduates who spend their time inventing regulations, the most egregious of which order local authorities to build accommodation well in excess of the needs of the native population and to the detriment of local amenity.

  10. GilesB
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    The example set by the draft tariff tables of eliminating low tariffs because of the high cost of collection and benefits of simplicity should be replicated elsewhere.

    For example get rid of the TV licence fiasco. All of the money spent on collection, including scarce court and prison resources, is a complete waste of money. Everyone has to pay it so charge it to general taxation, don’t have an army of officials running around.

    Winter fuel allowance. Just put an extra one pound, or whatever, a week on the basic state pension. Zero admin cost.

    • Christine
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Also the £10 Christmas bonus which hasn’t increased since it was introduced in the 1970’s. It costs many more times to administer than the value of the money paid out.

    • Bob
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      The BBC should be funded by voluntary subscription, not tax, the police and court service have more than enough work to do and should not be used to enforce revenue collection for a TV company.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:25 pm | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Makes common sense

  11. matthu
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Why is the government now advocating a quarantine system for all international arrivals? Is the risk suddenly so much greater? Or is the aim to destroy international tourism?

    Perhaps this is simply intended to pave the way for mandatory vaccination certificates for all those who wish to travel.

    Whatever the reason, the idea of employing beefed up heavies in the UK to make random visits to verify that travelers are complying with quarantine arrangements is horrendous, it will prove hugely unpopular (think how popular bailiffs are), will destroy our tourism for years ahead and is nothing less than another pointless way of draining the public purse. Who dreamed up this idea? I wait to watch it unfold on YouTube.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Mattu. Agree. Talk about closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. It is totally insane.

    • zorro
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Indeed, why not do away with the pretence and just take us for a ‘disinfectant shower’ if they are allegedly worried about the virus or us being infected?

      Look at these lovely police state powers reported in the DT….

      MPs will be asked to support new quarantine measures for all international arrivals which will give police the power to carry out spot checks at homes and impose £1,000 fines.

      The Government is on Friday expected to unveil its long-awaited quarantine plans which will require all arrivals, including returning Britons, to provide an accommodation address where they will self-isolate for 14 days.

      Border Force, police and Public Health England (PHE) officers will run and enforce the quarantine where travellers will face spot checks at the addresses they submit on forms on arrival at airports or ports. It is expected there will be about 100 spot checks a day.

      Those found to have breached the quarantine face charges of at least £1,000 while it is believed magistrates have the power to issue unlimited fines for persistent breaches or refusal to pay

      How do you like your little authoritarian socialist police state government now JR? Will you be supporting these proposals?

      Good to see that the Police and Border Police will be harassing British citizens instead of doing their actual job of protecting our borders from illegal immigrants!

      Absolutely disgusting and sickening! The government is destroying this country.


      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        Those £1000 fines from the boatloads collected off Dover when they abscond will come in useful.

        • Zorro
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

          Haha 😂


    • rose
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      They quarantined people at the beginning (from Wuhan, Hubei, N Italy, and S Korea) and then stopped when the infection was spreading fast internally. Now it is coming down internally it makes sense to start again.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        So you stop a fast spreading infection by importing more people from even more highly infected areas?
        I think not. 0/10 for maths or logic.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      I agree 100%. This plan is soo late in arriving it’s like saying we’ve just discovered that steam-engines might be a jolly good idea!

      NOBODY will want to visit UK, is that what government wants?

      Other countries around the world are working out how to re-start international travel. How useful is Heathrow and BA if we don’t participate.

      Will there be ‘joined-up’ thinking, allowing those with antibody protection already in their systems so that no quarantine necessary?

      How will this be enforced, along with tracers and testers?

      Wake up Ms Patel and Boris, make a sentence: horse has parish this left already this.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        South Africa has closed its airspace altogether for an unspecified period.

    • Bob
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      I wager that the quarantine arrangements will have no deterrence effect for the illegal immigrants coming over from France.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Why are they bothering even thinking about quarantine? There seems to be spare capacity for testing in the system, so why not just test all arrivals and contact any who test positive? It would help the Health Secretary to increase his test figures as well without resorting to fiddling. Sledge hammers for small nuts seem to be the government and civil service way of thinking.

    • zorro
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      It is disgusting police state tactics which they will surely abuse….. I also note that the dreaded Health Commissar, Mat Hang Kok let the cat out of the bag about vaccines at the 5’o clock propaganda session yesterday. It should be clear for all to see what the long game is. At least I have consistently pointed out that this was their endgame all along…..


    • Stredl
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      As the UK has one of the highest rates of infection and deaths, perhaps the government is protecting arrivals by isolating them from the British, who are now encouraged to go to work by the tube if they can’t drive on the closed roads and are able to run around, providing that they don’t stop for breath. Also, they might bump into an infected child. There is no known case of a child infecting anyone with this new virus, but give it time. Let’s keep foreigners safe.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      your first para…… stable, horse, bolted!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      Possibly the most stupid unscientific decision in the history of stupid decisions.

      Not quarantining visitors from highly infectious Milan and Northern Italy (and parts of China/ S E Asia) in Feb/March was stupid scientifically.

      Now quarantining incomers from places of LOWER infection into the UK is equally stupid and unscientific.

      It so clearly should have worked the other way round!!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      What defines quarantine anyway?
      When I return from a business trip my whole household has to stay locked up for 14 days?
      What does my wife’s employer say about that?

  12. TJ
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Use the opportunity to bury bad news by making it a level playing field on tax relief for pension contributions. The current system is very unfair to basic rate tax payers (relief provided at marginal rate of tax at 20% ) who subsidise higher rate tax payers who receive tax relief at 40%. This should be 20% for all. At the moment 75% of all tax relief on pension contributions goes to higher rate taxpayers and only 25% of such relief goes to basic rate taxpayers. The later are subsidising the higher rate taxpayer.
    This is not practicing One Nation conservatism!
    The Chancellor will save £10 billion.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      You get tax relief on the amount of tax you pay on the contribution. What could be fairer than that?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink


    • villaking
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      @TJ: It is not quite as you depict. The principle is that you should not be taxed on earnings which you lock away in a pension scheme with all the incumbent restrictions that entails and upon which you will be taxed when you draw the pension. If you are a higher rate taxpayer the saving is greater, but this is not a subsidy from lower to higher income earners. Nonetheless, it has probably had its day as we have to pay for this monstrous lock down policy and I could accept its demise. There will need to be many other areas of spending cuts to pay for this mess. I would certainly vote for the abolition of the triple lock on state pensions which is very costly and higher IHT as this is a tax that is hard to avoid

    • Bob
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      What is the point of tax relief on pensions?
      it just defers the tax until you draw down the money.

      You may as well just put the money into an ISA and avoid all the convoluted rules and uncertainty that applies to pensions.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      How would they apply this fairly and equally to the public sector pensions TJ? There is at least a 25 to 30% contribution on top of wages to guarantee the pensions do they get the tax relief taken off too and then have a reduced pension.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Pray don’t forget that tax relief is not a gift from the govt. to taxpayers, but simply not taking as much of their money as it would otherwise take. Don’t forget either that higher rate taxpayers contribute a huge proportion of the govt.’s income.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 24, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        People like TJ think that if higher earners can’t put money in their pension they’ll continue to work and will just put up with the extra tax (62% from 100,000) but as we’ve seen from threats by the people earning this sort of money (consultants etc.) they just won’t do the work, reduce hours and maybe would go elsewhere to use their skills without the high end taxes like the French that came to the U.K. did when Holland did this.

  13. Nigl
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Yes. Only 58% of our aid budget goes on low income countries, 14% on upper income ones. Why are giving them anything when they can afford it themselves, spending masses on arms/armies/nuclear weapons, often with corruption endemic.

    As usual many investments lack transparency, oversight and surprise surprise, little or no evaluation of their effectiveness.

    HS2 overspent, flawed business case, dissembling politicians and civil servants what more can be said apart from the fact that these decision takers who are so light fingered with our money are as rich as Croesus and on salaries that few can dream about let alone achieve.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      For some it is very easy to live well on other people’s money, while taking yet more money off those same people to throw away to foreign despots – – and have no concern for those people they have put into “heat or eat” every winter. Why bother about the poor they have created, when they see themselves as the elite – and therefore deserve it? And all the while, ferrying in ever more freeloaders to be a financial burden on the already suffering.

  14. Dave Andrews
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Scrapping Trident will save quite a bit. We don’t need the means to annihilate the innocent population of major cities.
    The triple lock on pensions has had its time. In fact, the state pension should be phased out with occupational pensions now mandatory. Just have a credit scheme for people who spend some of their working life doing useful voluntary work.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Oh no! State Pensions are paid for! Let’s cut the benefits so that people are encouraged to work. No credits for people who chose to to unproductive ‘voluntary work’ when there is real but less enjoyable work to do.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

        I’m not even addressing scrapping trident. Pure madness!

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      From a military perspective trident is moribund

      From a budget perspective it pathetically high

      From a social cost perspective it could be spent on other areas

      From a political perspective it puts us artificially at the top table

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        i agree, Glen.

    • Bob
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      @Dave Andrews

      The state pension is so pitifully low and you want to abolish the triple lock?
      And BTW, occupational pensions are not mandatory, they’re optional.

      • Bob
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Oh, and unilateral disarmament just hands even more power to those who have the weapons.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Who needs Trident when flu does just an efficient job.

      End the National Insurance policy from now on and have two entirely different and open and fair Insurance schemes one for health cover and one for retirement, but you can’t go back on an insurance scheme that took over private insurance schemes in place that was forced by a contribution from pay (for the majority of people for 49 years, some for other 30 years and for some on pension credits bu**er all contribution) on people and celebrated as a big success for the Labour Party when it was a terrible Ponzi scheme as warned at the time of commencement [25.8% over £9500pa 2020/21 for PAYE workers]. The new ‘occupational’ pensions you refer to are just extra National insurance collected once again from PAYE workers an extra 8%.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Without Trident this country would be at the mercy of all the rogue states.
      Mutual Assured Destruction was and still is the watchword. I don’t suppose you think China or Russia should disarm.
      Its similar to St Greta of Thunberg lecturing us on Climate change but never mentioning China or the other big polluters.

    • Al
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      “Just have a credit scheme for people who spend some of their working life doing useful voluntary work.”

      And presumably for housewives, the disabled, etc. who don’t have the funds to pay into a private pension. Why, it’s almost like the state would be pensioning those…

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      In a low inflation environment, with pension management charges of a low 1%, how much do you think you would need to save for, say, 40 years to have a pension of, say, half of your final salary, index-linked to last, say, 20 years. What growth would one assume? Bear in mind the FTSE 100 is about a THOUSAND POINTS LOWER today than it was 23 years ago.

      I’ve done some rough numbers and, assuming modest growth (by no means guaranteed in this day and age), I reckon you would need to put 30% of your earnings into a pension. With the government taking half your earnings by way of income tax, national insurance, VAT, council tax, duties on fuel, car tax etc. etc. it doesn’t sound very viable.

      No, we both need, and are stuck with, the state pension – which means today’s pensions have to be paid from today’s income.

  15. APL
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    JR: “It is right for the government to cushion individuals and businesses temporarily losing their incomes owing to the lock downs. ”

    But is it right to put healthy ‘free’ citizens under house arrest?

    And if members of the government have caused financial loss ruin to innocent citizens with the lawless laws, there being no precedent for house arrest of a citizen who have committed no crime.

    Like the Poll tax, the cabinet should be held joint and severally responsible for their lawless actions.

    A post on the legality and lawfulness of the ‘lockdown’ wouldn’t go amiss.

    • BOF
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      ‘But is it right to put healthy ‘free’ citizens under house arrest?’

      It was always wrong, and more and more people are saying exactly that. Unfortunately the perpetrators will never have to compensate them. Heads will have roll.

    • BJC
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      APL: The healthy have never been under “house arrest” and only those with chronic illnesses have been advised to stay isolated, but have been supported to do so.

      If the Community Charge (aka Poll Tax) had remained in place we would all be contributing for the services provided by Councils, but at a far lower rate for each individual. Why should a single occupant pay the same (-25%) as their neighbour with 4 adults all on good incomes, simply because they occupy a similar property? Would we have a care crisis if the local population increase had been matched by the corresponding increase in revenues the Community Charge would have brought?

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      APL, re your point about putting healthy free citizens under house arrest:

      ‘Quarantine’ is when you restrict the movement of sick people.
      ‘Tyranny’ is when you restrict the movement of healthy people.

    • zorro
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Never before have the healthy been forcibly quarantined under government edict. It has been hugely counterproductive. They see this as a way to enforce their insane zero carbon, green totalitarian nightmare of impoverishment.


  16. Cynic
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Re: cuts in spending. All of those listed, plus get rid of useless Quangos such as PHE and the Electoral Commission, all the green subsidies, and reduce the money going to NGO’s and the UN.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Oh yes – a great list

      If only we had a vaccination against lemminginitius. (:

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      Very good points, – and to the Commonwealth, some countries were not even in the Empire but volunteering to join the commonwealth to take our money – then vote against us in the UN.

    • turboterrier
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink


      Green Subsidies. At this moment the National Grid are struggling to lose excessive power being generated from wind farms and solar. This weekend very high winds are forecast with medium temperatures. Constraint payments will rocket. Very good entry on Not a Lot of People Know That today.

      If the government are really dedicated to getting this country off of the floor the best place to start would be slashing all these green payments and dramatically reduce energy costs in every area of business and industry. Carbon Zero has to be put on the back burner, as it is it is totally unsustainable in the present stat that the country is in.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      PHE and the Electoral Commission have clear and necessary functions to play. Where they have failed, personnel will need sacking and processes changed. Setting up new organisations from scratch would be a poor use of public money.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      The following need looking at too:
      Universities and their top heavy reward system.
      NHS bureaucracy which wrecks doctors’ and nurses’ lives and opens the door to no win no fee lawyers.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Please god get rid of the ‘green’ subsidies

    • Bob
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      “get rid of useless Quangos such as PHE and the Electoral Commission, all the green subsidies, and reduce the money going to NGO’s and the UN.”

      Hear hear!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      What are the useful Quangos that are good value for money? Are there any?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        First abolish the evil and appallingly deluded – Climate Change Committee.

  17. Brian Cowling
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    How about seeking compensation (after a world inquiry to call to account those responsible for unleashing this virus) to help defray the costs to the economy in general and for the loss of businesses and livelihoods among other things. If the culprit is identified and refuses to pay then take their assets.

    Are we not entitled to expect our Government to seek answers from China (or others) about this situation? It would not bring back those who have died, nor help those yet to die as a result of issues caused by measures to control the virus but justice might well be served.

    Are we expected to turn the other cheek? Ignore the perpetrator? Expect current and future generations in this country to pay? If one person or a terrorist organisation had caused this situation some countries would unleash their forces to seek out that person/them.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Brian, I agree with your comments whole heartedly. There has been so much misery inflicted on the world and the Chinese authorities have done everything in their power to cover up the real cause. By doing this they have allowed the problem to remain a problem and therefore could very easily happen again. I know personally what it is like to lose not only your job but your home, your health and your self esteem. We will see no end of problems from this virus and many marriages will break down due to the pressures of being made redundant and losing the roof over your head. It’s simply not good enough for China not to be punished in some way and lets not forget, this pandemic is not over yet and will remain with us until a vaccine is found if ever. It is like having war declared against you with an unseen enemy out there and goodness knows how we are ever going to truly get back to normal.

    • steve
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      @Brian Cowling

      Well said Sir.

      Personally I think China should be ‘shut down’, and I won’t be buying anything made there.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Indeed. The death-toll from COVID-19 passed a third of a million overnight.

    • Bob
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      @Brian Cowling

      “help defray the costs to the economy in general and for the loss of businesses and livelihoods “

      After causing a global conflagration Germany was helped to become one of the worlds largest economies and dominated the EU.

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Just as a thought experiment, try re-reading Brian’s post and inserting “the United States” where he has “China” and I think it will be clear how ridiculous this is.

      • NickC
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        Will, Much less ridiculous than your suggestion though. The “United States” isn’t responsible for the Wuhan flu. The clue is in the name, in case you’re having problems.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      Brian Cowling

      “How about seeking compensation to help defray the costs to the economy in general and for the loss of businesses and livelihoods among other things.”

      Were those who unleashed the Mad Cow Disease pandemic upon the world ever held to account? Were the feed merchants punished for grinding up diseased cow meat and feeding it to herbivore animals?

      • Edward2
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        No one was actually culpable for ” unleashing” mad cow disease.
        It took 5 years for the disease to break out from the time of infection of an animal.

        When the cause was discovered changes were made.
        No one deliberately made animal feed that was infected.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink


          “No one deliberately made animal feed that was infected”

          You obviously don’t believe then that it’s wrong to feed dead animal carcasses to herbivores.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

            That is a different argument.
            It wasnt considered a problem by the experts at the time.
            But when the resulting disease happened years later it was found to be a problem.
            Changes were made by experts.
            Certain parts of animals are now not included in the manufacture of feeds.
            And that appears to have solved the problem.

          • margaret howard
            Posted May 24, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink


            “It wasnt considered a problem by the experts at the time.”

            You don’t need to be an expert to know that feeding dead flesh to herbivores is not only against nature but morally wrong. These animals would never have touched it had it not been disguised.


          • Edward2
            Posted May 24, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            That is a totally different question.

            Sustainable animal feed created from safe by-products is not a problem now the experts have eliminated the few items out of the feed.
            The animals love their feed.
            Like most humans love their diet.

  18. Nigl
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Ps off topic but current. It is alleged immunity passports will be issued to people who have had the virus allowing them freer movement so the people who have been careful and not caught it will become second class citizens.

    So to get my live back I need to risk it by catching the virus. Thanks a bunch. Aren’t you lovely people.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      I fear this also – and if implemented would result in so many human rights abuses

      Forced vaccinations or you stay in your homes! That’s the rhetoric of a despot, and I trust this government will not sink to this level. (In Boris I have some trust)

      Even a cripple like me would take to the streets in protest

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Unless you want everyone to get the virus at once, the proposed action is perfectly logical. My son’s girlfriend has Type 1 Diabetes. I don’t want her life put at risk until there is a vaccine or effective treatment. Now I’ll admit we can’t keep the lockdown for very long but if people like her need to self isolate for a year or longer, they are going to need financial support. Whatever has happened to you is nothing compared to what is happening to her.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        First of all Mike, you’d have to trust the vaccination didn’t contain anything that made your body worse in some way or indeed chipped you like a cow.
        Vaccinations that work take years to develop and test – unlike the ones we are expected to have imposed on us.

        The thing that nobody talks about who want everyone forcibly vaccinated with something that may not cure anything, is that even vaccinated you could be a virus carrier

    • Martyn G
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      I hope that it never happens – no one yet can be really sure if, having had it, one cannot pack it up again. At least, no one has stated that to be the case and anyway I cannot think of a more divisive measure being brought into being. Has it really been thought through? For example, are we going to stop all those without a certificate from leaving or entering our shores and would that also be applied to non-UK citizens? And if that is not the case, what is the point of having such a certificate?

    • ed2
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      It is alleged immunity passports will be issued to people who have had the virus allowing them freer movement so the people who have been careful and not caught it will become second class citizens

      I predicted this months ago.

    • Irene
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Nigl, I share your sentiments.

      However, WHO has warned against immunity passports, with a Scientific Brief (24.04.2020) that states “There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection”.

      I know which side of caution I would favour, otherwise the merry-go-round will go round and round.

  19. Kenneth
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I would add quite a few more to your list of money saving ideas but a good one would be to turn the BBC into subscription only.

    Apart from the immediate saving to the public who don’t wish to consume BBC output but want to watch commercial tv, I believe the country would be better off – and happier all round.

    • Bob
      Posted May 23, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink


      Have an uptick ✔

  20. oldtimer
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Your list is a good start. To it I would add handouts and tax breaks that directly put up costs for the rest of us. So called green energy tax incentives (for the producers) which also put up costs for consumers as extras on our energy bills are the prime candidate. Cameron was notorious for thinking up schemes which “guaranteed returns” for investors for such schemes at our expense.

  21. Sharon Jagger
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Hear, hear!

    I agree on all points! Sensible ideas but will government actually do any of these cost saving exercises?

    • turboterrier
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Sharon Jagger

      No never in a decade or even longer.

  22. Richard1
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Is there still time to cancel the Hinckley point nuclear power station which will empower the Chinese Communist Party, surely one of the most malevolent forces in the world today, to switch off a sizeable proportion of our electricity whenever it suits them? This was a legacy of project kowtow and needs to go no. Much better to have many small nuclear reactors as advocated eg by Owen Paterson, the excellent former environment secretary.

  23. Steven
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    1. Eliminate overseas aid as it is a massive scam.
    2. Absolutely.
    3. Absolutely.
    4. Will that include action against the UK Border Force that is currently engaged in ferrying illegals to our shores? It ought to.
    5. Leave today and that will be years too late.
    6. Force councils to focus on core duties like housing, rubbish collection, roads and cease all non essential vanity projects.

    • NickC
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Steven, An excellent list which can be endorsed by all sensible people.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      Especially ‘branch offices in Brussels’ and “nuclear-free Officers‘

    • Bob
      Posted May 23, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      The govt have a large enough majority to repeal the law that binds us to paying 0.7% for overseas aid, even when there is no clear objective for the money paid.

      I suspect however that the Tories however lack the backbone to do so because they’re afraid of the reaction from the faux liberal media.

  24. Sea Warrior
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Well I’d happily vote for that. But let’s adopt a novel system for funding DfID. Let’s move to a system whereby individual tax-payers are given an option, on their tax-return, to tithe 0.7% of their gross income for foreign aid. And that’s all the money that DfID would have to spend. As long as the government refuses to act on the issue, it will just come across as a bunch of liberal arts graduates who are completely out of touch with what the electorate wants.

  25. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    That would be a good start…
    All high cost projects planned or in progress should be reviewed to make sure they are absolutely required at this time.

    Agree with Matthu – I’ve been banging on about a total evolution of our tax system for a long time – making that fit for purpose, while getting rid of 50,000 people into productive jobs would revolutionize the country on it’s own.

    How about putting a ceiling on the wages of overpaid exec’s in public service – What some of these are paid is a national disgrace. Council leaders and quango hoppers, etc – too many milk us for sky high lifestyles

    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Hong Kong is no more. Brutal Marxist destruction of freedom, liberty and human dignity.

    When does the Chinese Communist Party start work on constructing the UK’s 5G network? Just wondering so I can protect myself, my family and friends from Communist snooping

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink


      Yep, UK deserted HK Island and Kowloon when returning New Territories, and to have created the BNO passport without rights of residency seems somewhat racist in comparison to giving rights of residency to predominantly white Europeans as the EU expanded. The treatment of the people of HK by the UK was/is diabolical.

  27. The PrangWizard
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Is that the best you can do?

    Not much is it?

    As for 4. It is the kind of weak wording I have come to expect; it just wouldn’t do to blame the travellers themselves, nor stop them, now would it? Mustn’t upset anyone’s feelings except of course the legitimate people of England.

  28. gyges01
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    “Improve collection of the charges for use of the NHS by overseas visitors. It is a National, not a Global Health Service. Possible £400 million extra.”

    Until we see prosecutions for the misappropriation of public funds we can’t take you seriously: perhaps that’s you intention, just to cause us to vent and move on?

  29. Annette Bates
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    A good start.
    The cult of the golden calf, known as RNHS, also needs to have a firm hand taken. ALL NI numbers, also needed for employment so will also assist HMRC & Stats, need to be reissued.
    The re-issued numbers for GB residents should be in ranges with separate identifiable ranges for those with work visas and foreign residents as well as indigenous born and naturalised citizens etc. The re-issue will automatically invalidate the vast number of EU citizens who have come, got a NI number & gone home with an avenue for free health (& bennies?) for life just as many ex-pats do.
    The ranges will help to identify where payment for treatment needs to be paid, or private health insurance required. It would allow for a ‘discount’ scheme, say for foreign residents with x no. years tax contributions.
    The temporary work visa number would have an expiry date so that it couldn’t be used long into the future. Return visits would require a new number. The expiry mth/yr could be built into the number. This would also assist the Home Office in identifying overstayers & DWP with regards to benefits available.
    Naturalised citizens would be linked to any previous work or residency numbers, so that cumulative previous contributions were not lost. This could be applied to other changes of category as well.
    The unchallenged behemoth that is RNHS needs radical reform as the institution has been shown to fail in its administration. Where better to start but a bold step in addressing ‘entitlement’ across the nation? A more transparent system which will help Govts finally get to grips with issues & will also benefit other State depts.


    • Annette Bates
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Ignore the last word ‘invalidate’. It’s not meant to be there.

  30. steve
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink


    Fully agree with all points. In particular HS2, it surely can’t be justified now.

  31. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Great list John but also get rid of subsidies for electric cars and so called green energy which is really nothing of the sort. So many businesses are finding it hard to pay their energy bills and households too. It’s nothing sort of daylight robbery but a lot of people are making a lot of dosh out of it off the backs of us.

  32. Sakara Gold
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    According to 2017 figures from the Taxpayer’s Alliance, there are 988 QUANGO’s (non-departmental public bodies) operating in the UK. These non-elected organisations operating on the “jobs for the boys/girls” principle spend ~ £90 billion of taxpayers money a year and cost roughly £17 billion in salaries, expenses and non-contributory index-linked pensions.

    There you have it. Scrap the lot and you have paid for the furloughing and the new income-related income support measures of £2500/month several times over

  33. Anonymous
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    .4 It seems the Government is complicit in people trafficking.

    – Why has the Government lied to us ?

    – Why doesn’t the Government seem to trust its own population not to overreact if there is good reason for handing over migrants mid Channel … indeed, if there is a good reason for taking them (there may well be) then why do it mid Channel and not just lay on a proper ferry service ? Does the Government think this charade is fooling us ?

    – Why is there a BBC news blackout on this ?

    – What is happening to the migrants when they get here. Are they isolated from our locked down population ? Are they quarantined from other, earlier, arrivals for the virus ?

    – Where are they placed in the welfare queue in relation to people already here who have been made unemployed ?

    – Do the numbers taken in this way impact those who have applied legally and patiently to come to Britain ?

    – What work are they likely to do once they are here ? (A question addressed to all new arrivals since lockdown) Will they be put ahead of people here soon to be desperate for work ?

    – Have we taken back control of our borders as promised by your Government ?

    And finally…

    – Why should we respect the lockdown (at huge emotional and economic cost to ourselves) if we see our own Government abetting crime ?

  34. Cheshire Girl
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Sir John:

    I give you 10 out of 10 for those, but I don’t think you will have much luck with cutting Foreign Aid. I think our Governments
    think they will ‘lose face‘ if they do that, and that is more important to them, than saving money for the British people.

  35. Adam
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Overseas Aid: Other nations have local control of their own ability to prevent risks. UK Govt overseas aid should be limited to life-saving response to emergencies. Voluntary public donations to charities exist to assist other worthy causes. Remove wasteful fussy tax relief complications.

    Overseas Visitors: Visitors should enter only with a bond from their own Govt, and repay their NHS charges to their own Govt, which has better control.

    HS2: Cancel and avoid further waste.

    Trafficking: Offer rewards to entrap traffickers with justice, paid on conviction. Detain illegal entrants on a Return Ship, conveying them to source.

    EU: Cease paying for waste.

    Councils: Allow them to do what their citizens support.

  36. Stephen Reay
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    The government should look for ways to save money to pay for the coronavirus cost. The Finanical Times and The Guardian have both ran a story over the last few days about the government looking into a wealth tax. The very wealthy who have read this will be taking steps now to move their money out of the country as they have the knowledge and know how to do it. It will be the middle classes who will pay after doing the right thing working hard and saving for old age. Should the wealth tax happen then the conservative will lose the next election.

    David Davis has said he would like to see the coronavirus debt be paid over the next 50 years .Ken Clarke says the government will never be able to pay it off and the debt will have to be forgiven, something I have said a number of times on this site let’s have a debt jubilee.

    In terms of saving Sir john is right and there are many more things that can be done now at a stroke of a pen.

    Stop paying the lords daily allowance and just pay them expenses .
    Stop second home for mps and just build a secure hotel for parliament.
    Stop profits of mps seconds home although it’s allowed it’s morally wrong to profit from tax payers money.

    There are many ways to save money and make money before the people are hit in the pocket, we could for instance have a £1 pound tax per person for everyone one flying into and out of UK airports.

    We need to generate demand by lowering taxes and VAT, we don’t need any funny money QE for the rich to get richer or the CEO to give themselves hugh bonuses or share holders bigger divvies . Let the people be the drivers of demand, to do anything other would only be punishing the prudent, hardworking, those who have lost their jobs and maybe about to lose their homes.

    Lets do this differently this time and take the people with you and we can bring this country back to health before this government ends.

    reply MPs do not get any help to buy a second home

    • Steve Reay
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Correction they can claim expenses for rent for a second home.

  37. nhsgp
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    From what we can see you have increased spending on illegal migration by providing a cross channel Uber service

  38. Fred H
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Sir John, That list is fine but is low hanging fruit.
    The > £13bn Overseas Aid needs to be cut to more like £2bn for Natural Disaster assistance and the like.
    The NHS should adjust to responding to all requests for help by asking if we are a UK citizen and can provide our NI or passport for ID. Charges otherwise will be made.
    The HS2 folly needs to abandon the southern section, but re-assess what should be done in the north of England – perhaps a total new plan of routes.
    Other efficiencies and cost savings are : closing of the Hof L for a small location in Birmingham, Manchester or Leeds, members to be max 100. The H of C needs to move and reduce numbers to max 300. The unfathomable structure of the NHS must be re-aligned into something with clear reporting lines. The budget on the Joint Services (military) must have a fresh level of oversight to avoid empire building and equipment boasts. We must move towards UK built weaponry.
    We should leave WHO, UN, and other biased talking shops.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      held back again ????

  39. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    The last one I cannot understand but the other ideas are excellent.

  40. Richard1
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    All these cost savings pale into insignificance in comparison with the economic damage inflicted by lockdown. The original justification for the lockdown was to buy time for the NHS to build capacity and ‘flatten the curve’. That has been achieved, there was no crisis in the NHS as shrilly and confidently predicted by leftwing agitators and others. Evidence now emerges from around the world that lockdown isn’t saving lives at all. But it’s certainly destroying both lives and livelihoods. Boris should claim victory as the disaster of an overwhelmed NHS never happened and get the economy back to work.

    Meanwhile, to our collective astonishment, it appears the app developed by ‘our’ NHS doesn’t work. We’ll have to buy the google and apple one. Who would have thought it?

  41. RichardM
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    You really should be better than this. Spouting health tourism nonsense is stuff from the right wing populist gutter press.
    I expect you would defend charging overseas health workers vast sums to receive the same care that they provide to everyone else.

  42. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    We should be doing what you suggest anyway as we were running a deficit and have a massive debt which requires servicing.

    As for this new debt – print it. There is no demand so inflation will not rise and reduce M0 as the demand rises. Cut out future interest payments. This is a great opportunity to take money creation away from banks who profit from the usury for no effort on their behalf.

    By borrowing you just compound the misery by paying interest and allowing banks to profit from the crisis. They do not have enough money to cover governments debts so the new reality is it can be printed.

  43. Newmania
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Ideas to save cash

    Outsource Police traffic functions to private contractors
    Cancel most of our military spending – keep a vestigial defence force
    Review welfare top to bottom thats the big number ( cut the have child get more money incentive )
    Reduce GPs to levels required for current need ( introduce charge for appointments )
    Put University education on line – halve the cost
    Make the self employed pay tax or get a job, their choice
    Review and slash our absurd civil service of 400,000

  44. James Bertram
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    The government has made a colossal error of judgement, through panic, in having a general lockdown in the first place. The elderly and vulnerable should have been protected, particularly in hospitals and care homes, otherwise the rest of the population should have just gone about their everyday business as normal. It is time for the government to hold its hands up and admit that it has got this badly wrong. These ‘lockdowns’ need to be ended immediately. That is the best way to not ‘waste (further) public money or add to the burden of the debt with marginal or unwise spending’. So far, the government has spent £13,000 per household on CV-19.

    This is from Simon Dolan’s press release contesting the legality of the lockdown:
    ” The number of people furloughed or unemployed stands at 10 million, and billions are being wiped off the economy with every passing day.
    Those lucky enough to have jobs left at the end of this crisis could see income tax increase by up to 10p in the pound. The Government has spent £13,000 per household on the bailout so far.
    A judicial review is the only effective means of challenging what the Government is doing and holding them properly to account. Boris Johnson and his crew have sleepwalked into this mess and are taking the nation over the cliff edge with them.
    Our fight begins proper today! “

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink


  45. Andy
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    What a silly list. The Tory Coronavirus catastrophe will cost hundreds of billions. And most of your suggestions will save next to nothing.

    Aid spending – for example. Helping poor people in poor areas keeps them in those areas and prevents them from becoming migrants.

    Health tourism is a negligible cost for the NHS. Especially now as there are no tourists. Many hospitals do already charge foreign visitors but to charge the rest you need a charging infrastructure – invoice clerks, payment desks and so on – which cost money.

    HS2 is a rare Tory long term investment in something for your children and grandchildren’s generations. Seeing that you have mostly stolen everything of theirs to keep it for yourself I don’t doubt you will attempt to stop it.

    Brexit, we already know, does not save the UK money. It comes at considerable cost – the amount of which will vary depending on the level of Johnson’s capitulation.

    The best way to pay for Coronavirus is for a windfall tax on billionaires and big businesses. Go down the Sunday Times rich list and take half their wealth. Nobody needs £16bn or whatever it is James Dyson has. He could show what a patriot he is by donating £15bn of it – and he would still have more money than he could ever spend.

    Billionaires and companies with cash in tax havens should have all their UK assets seized.

    The get big companies to pick up the bill. Amazon, Google, Facebook, BT – higher taxes on them to pay for it all. That’s how you get out of this. Target the very richest.

    • NickC
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Andy, What a silly list. The Chinese Coronavirus catastrophe will cost hundreds of billions. And most of your suggestions will save next to nothing.

      Aid spending – your hypocrisy is breathtaking – you support the EU stealing African fish, and you help prevent Africans from having cheap electricity by use of coal. And yet you shriek about how necessary aid is, when it is actually highly damaging.

      Health tourism is both a significant un-recovered cost, and a draw for migrants. It must stop.

      HS2 is a politicians’ wheeze for which your children will pay.

      Brexit, we already know, not only saves the UK oodles of money, it vastly reduces the risk of us having to bail out the Euro. Again. Failure to Brexit comes at huge cost, which will vary depending on the level of Johnson’s capitulation.

      The best way to pay for Coronavirus is for an extra income tax on the young. The young get the free benefit of all the nation’s infrastructure built by previous generations. It is right that they should help pay for it.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Well parrotted, like the tame playbook follower that you clearly are.

        • Fred H
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

          Are you a minder for Andy – does he pay well?

        • Edward2
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          It is striking how people on the left always hold the view that they are somehow orally superior.
          Any views that do not agree with their own “tame playbook” are dismissed as inferior.

          This is their greatest weakness.
          They cannot listen to, nor accept any alternative possible views.
          Nor the right of others to make them.

          This is why socialism leads to dictatorship and poverty and worse.
          As many examples over 100 years can prove.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 23, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            Typo…morally superior.

    • margaret howard
      Posted May 23, 2020 at 5:14 pm | Permalink


      Hear Hear!!!!!

  46. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    7 Simplify the tax code to increase take.

  47. ChrisS
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Everything you are suggesting is sensible, although I would put a different emphasis on councils acquiring property assets.

    After the pandemic is over, town centre retail is never going to fully recover and there are already far too many empty shops in every town in the country, particularly in secondary locations. This problem is only going to get worse and very quickly. Many more areas within our towns are in danger of becoming ghost areas with insufficient businesses to be viable. In short, nobody will go there.

    Councils should be tasked with being proactive and grant planning permission to convert empty properties into housing units and provide finance for local small builders and developers to buy up and carry out the conversions. Where this is not possible, the council should buy the units themselves and have the work done to add more dwellings to the affordable housing sector.

    To ensure that the work stimulates the local economy, the builders, developers and tradesmen employed should where ever possible be those already established in the council’s own area.

    There are many larger properties such as former department stores which will never be relet. These are now worth no more than a fraction of their former valuation and should be torn down and replaced with courtyard-style terraced housing developments rather than more flats. Compulsory purchase might be necessary for these sites, many of which are already boarded up and becoming an eyesore.

    Town centres will become much more pleasant places to visit and many much needed new homes can be provided at relatively modest cost.

  48. Christine
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    All very good ideas John but the upshot is that the Conservative party hasn’t been Conservative for many years. They occupy the space where the Liberal party should be, kowtowing to the media and constantly u-turning when their actions are questioned. This country has become weak and incapable of making the hard decisions needed to avoid the rot and decline it is facing. We need the majority in this country to wake up and elect a new party that will steer us to success but I doubt very much that will happen.

  49. nhsgp
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    It is right for the government to cushion individuals and businesses temporarily losing their incomes owing to the lock downs.
    That bailout is needed because you confiscated their wealth in the first place.
    14,000 bn of pension debts, hidden off the books. 220 bn a year on the debts. 30% of tax on the debts.
    The mess has been made by the state.

    The direct analogy is firemen who set fire to buildings so they can rescue them

  50. Alan Jutson
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I understand that the government are going to instruct the Banks and Building Societies to extend the originally agreed 3 month Mortgage holidays by another 3 months, making a total of 6 months for those who request it.

    Sensible decision to help many thousands of families, and at no cost to the Banks or Building Societies other than a bit of cash flow, as they are simply adding the interest to the original loan amounts.

    For peace of mind and to give a reasonable time for those most affected, a 12 month agreement in total would probably be better, rather than doing it peacemeal.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      I disagree it is vastly market and economy distorting. Stopping the lockdown and allowing the economy to respond/ readjust is the way to proceed. Freezing the situation when resources may need to reallocate delays recovery. (I could understand an argument for stopping stamp duty for a year to aid mobility, maybe).

      The Govt’s approach has neither been equitable nor supportive of supply side adjustment.

  51. Mr Ian Kaye
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    If the multiplier for HS2 to is as low as 0.6 then you are still acquiring 100 billion pounds of assets for 40 billion pounds.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      still 40bn wasted

  52. ukretired123
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you SJR clear thinking indeed when all are at sea losing focus.

  53. BOF
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    An excellent list Sir John, but I fear it is merely a list of aspirations that would only be enacted by a conservative government. Certainly not by a Conservative government.

    As regards illegal migrants, it now appears that the French navy is colluding with the Border Force to actively assist in the transport of illegal migrants to the UK. Surely it must be a crime to aid and abet the criminal gangs engaged in people trafficking? Does this not make our Government complicit in crime?

    Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The more this Tory government increases State spending the stronger the pro Labour-unionised client state becomes. In effect Johnson is handing the keys to our freedom and income to Labour

    Your party has patently failed in opposing the monster created by rancid Labour in 1997. I would almost say your party has conspired in its construction

    Why decent private sector voters vote Labour, Tory or Lid-Dum is completely beyond me.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      Not to mention the anarchists who, sensing an imminent collapse of the system, are celebrating like mad!
      True and very, very appalling.

  55. glen cullen
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I fully support your points and endeavours in making them a reality

    You just need the support of the conservative parliamentary party, if indeed there are any true conservatives left in the house of commons.

    I have no doubt that conservative members support your views and wisdom

    I also have no doubt that many labour members support your views and wisdom

  56. rose
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    The 1 billion off Aid will barely cover the cost of yesterday’s emotional incontinence. And that change of mind will lead to further demands of the same nature which it will now be more difficult to resist.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      But it will be £1 billion of less damage done to the economies of poor countries.

  57. Everhopeful
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Brilliant list.
    All sensible ideas.
    So we know they won’t be followed.
    So very weary of the present madness..

  58. MyJRBlogComments
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I worked in the NHS for the last 5 years of my career.
    Looking after IT in a large GP Practice/hospital annexe.

    An example of the way some believe the NHS is an international health service was this.

    A grandaughter of a patient came in to ask for online access to her grandmothers account.
    The grandmother was going away to her home overseas for 6 months and she wanted to order 6 months of her tablets!
    It’s a World Health Service apparently…to some!
    Her request was rejected.

  59. JoolsB
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    If only you were PM John. If only we had a Conservative Government.! Your list makes so much sense but it ain’t gonna happen under the current wish washy nanny state tax and spend Liberal incumbents masquerading as Conservatives.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink


  60. John S
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I am broadly in agreement. On overseas aid, the government should have a reserve to be used for emergency and humanitarian aid only. This sum should be topped up each year.
    On illegal immigration I was shocked on what I saw on Nigel Farage’s video. Why are we paying the French?
    Why are we not charging overseas visitors for healthcare? I believe the answer is that the overpaid health managers just can’t be bothered. Why the public thinks that the private sector do things better than the private sector is beyond me.

  61. Original Chris
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    A good list, but the Climate Change Act should be abandoned, because it is based on flawed science, because it will guarantee bankruptcy for this country, and because it is a tool of the global political cabal who are forging ahead with their one world government plans. It generates huge wealth for this elite and big business, and with wealth comes power, and control over the people.

    This is what the progressive agenda is all about: evermore control over the populace, a populace that is weakened through destruction of identities and loyalties and impoverished by high taxation, and a populace that cannot speak out as it is controlled by PC. All pure Marxist tools being effectively employed in this country, and this is supposed to be the UK, under a “Conservative” government.

  62. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    No 2 – – It is not just the cost of treating the foreigner for free – PLUS the translators costs. It is also the time taken. With translators back and forth taking up multiple appt times – THAT is time WE cannot get back for our own treatment. With Border Farce clearly been ordered by our traitorous govt to “meet and greet” all those in Calais – and all having the NHS meet them on landing we now know who we have been “saving the NHS” for.

    Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Yet another success for the Chancellor . Retail sales down 18%. He goes from strength to strength. It’s working! He’s best Chancellor since 355 BC

  64. John E
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Again I’m asking what on earth is going on with dentistry in this country? There is no plan, no date, to re-open dental surgeries. It’s a complete collapse in NHS and private practice.

    N.B. In Germany there was no interruption whatsoever in dental practice. They have carried on as normal throughout. What is the Chief Dental Officer here thinking?

  65. oldwulf
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    7. Abolish the House of Lords.

    8. Reduce the number of MPs (see also 12 below).

    9. Move Parliament to cheaper premises which should be easier when more people in the economy permanently work from home.

    10. Avoid the repair/refurbishment costs for both Houses maybe developing them into luxury flats with the aim of selling for £1bn+ per flat.

    11. Give the Scots their independence vote, a binary choice between Holyrood and the UK. A vote for the UK would mean the abolition of Holyrood. A vote for Holyrood would mean Scotland leaves the UK.

    12. Dispose of Holyrood, should the Scots vote to remain in the UK.

    13. Review the NHS management structure to ensure it is fit for purpose and provides value for money.

    14. Every quango to appear on TV and be given the opportunity to justify its existence to the electorate.

    15. Give millions of families and individuals an effective annual tax rebate of £154.50 by abolishing the TV licensing fee.

    16. Review the large amount of tax advantages received by the charity sector, in particular the business rates discount which I understand “cost” £2.22bn for the year 2018/2019. The review should include efficiency and value for money and potential negative impact on the “high street”.

    17. Local Authority finances. Difficult to know where to start.

  66. John E
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I now see that scientists are saying schools should not re-open on June 1st because there is no clear evidence they are safe to do so.
    There never will be that evidence. You can’t prove a negative, someone will always be able to come up with some extremely likely concern. There was no clear evidence of danger when they were closed down. Now people are just running scared because the government propaganda frightened them to death.
    It’s a complete nervous breakdown and collapse of leadership in government.

    • John E
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Oops should have written unlikely, not likely

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Turns out teachers are LESS likely to have caught CV than the average person of working age.
      Children have negligible risk, not even worth mentioning.
      Keir Starmer’s children have been at school throughout, and he isn’t a key worker.
      Manage it carefully for the 6 weeks left, but schools reopening isn t a problem.

  67. Lousy Sue
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    The Virus is not directly and in many ways not even indirectly to blame for our economic plight.

    The amount of money now pouring into the NHS was destined to be poured prior.

    The UK decided to enact an experiment untried, lockdown.
    China didn’t. It is not so b.stupid

    You cannot put a wise head on young shoulders ( This phrase must have been written thousands of years ago by a Chinese sage looking at the pitiful primitive rest of world.
    “Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed” ~Madame .Mayo Loo-tung

  68. Caterpillar
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Reasons to be hopeful, but:

    (1) Given the indication that, by early May, 17% of London and 5% outside of London showed antibodies for CV19 (and that these numbers are likely to be higher by now), it is not unreasonable to assume a 10% prevalence in population and use NHS England and Wales hospital deaths to estimate risk of dying with CV19 if infected. For the three lowest age groups;

    • Age 0-19:
    Total risk of dying if infected ~ 1 in 100,000
    Risk of dying if no underlying condition ~ 1 in 500,000
    • Age 20-39:
    Total risk of dying if infected ~ 1 in 10,000
    Risk of dying if no underlying condition ~ 1 in 50,000
    • Age 40-59:
    Total risk of dying if infected ~ 1 in 800
    Risk of dying if no underlying condition ~ 1 in 7,000

    But Govt chooses fear over publishing risk as a function of age.

    (2) U.K. testing has developed, and internationally many different tests are now available;

    • Swab + PCR to check for viral RNA (advantage – in theory accurate; disadvantage – time for results, up to 30% false negatives due to poor swab technique, some false positives of recovered cases due to viral litter)
    • Antigen tests (advantage – cheaper, large scale possible, fast results; disadvantage less accurate in theory than PCR, UK does not yet have)
    • Various antibody tests (advantage – if antibodies produced can determine those who have had CV19 and inform epidemiology and hence strategy, disadvantage – can lead to a two tier society and/or risk taking and/or pressurised vaccination if used as part of certification process)
    • Body temperature measure (advantage – easy to implement everywhere at speed, disadvantage – false positives and false negatives but can be followed up with other tests)

    But Govt does not have a clear testing strategy to maximise economy (normality) for minimum increase in R has not been developed/explained/implemented by Govt.

    (3) Effectiveness of regular and incident based soaped hand washing still dramatic. Effectiveness of regular and frequent cleaning of shared surfaces (e.g. door handles, elevator buttons etc.) still dramatic.

    But Govt continues with insufficient public information on handwashing frequency (e.g. every hour and after a risk) and good technique. Insufficient public information on little steps e.g. if one must scratch eye minimise risk by using second joint from fingertip, not the fingertip. Many councils are keeping the few public washrooms closed, and alternatives in shopping centres, pubs, cafes etc remain closed – there is little indication of a push to increase capacity.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Why I’m extremely hopeful of an unlock;

      (a) Prevalence probably higher than Govt’s early May estimate (so effetive R reduced), (b) the ‘Cell’ paper indicating cross-reactive immunity in 40-60% of people, (c) U.K is a high vaccination country so potential for trained innate system responses, (d) the risks above coupled with the power of soap and hygiene, (e) concentrated protection on vulnerable and care homes, (f) unlocking in other countries not causing second wave.

      but Govt refuses to hurry along and won’t reach normality before next flu season.

  69. percy openshaw
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    An excellent shopping list, Sir John. One can only hope that the powers that be take note of your proposals. On that issue, would it not be advisable to gather signatures from within the parliamentary party in support of these ideas? After all, the ERG did excellent work in alerting your colleagues to the dangers of compromise with the EU; and other Conservative associations – the “Blue Chips” and the “No Turning Back” group for example – have held considerable sway over the direction of policy in the past. I write as an habitual, instinctive and convinced Conservative, who is distinctly worried about current ideological trends within the leadership. I have thought about withdrawing my support altogether and I do not think I’m alone; so the message is serious and sincere – a massive reset will be necessary to retain much popular support.

  70. Caterpillar
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Major reasons not to be hopeful:
    (1) Govt is intentionally causing and prolonging a negative supply side shock and borrowing to fund this (Sunak increased borrowing in one month by half the total cost of HS2 and used this to switch off capacity not to encourage the economy to adjust). BoE is and will continue to create a positive money supply side shock. The effect of putting these two together ought to be recognised.
    (2) Some back benchers calling for reducing supply further – the Govt has put the U.K. well inside its production possibilities frontier by borrowing to switch off labour (and encourage immobility) and yet the response of some is to call for cancellation of capital investment projects such as HS2 (even when some firms are freeing skilled labour), putting the country further inside its PPF and risking reducing the actual PPF. Although the U.K. is one of a small number of countries in which there is limited evidence for some crowding out of private investment, this does not tend to occur in infrastructural projects which encourage crowding in.

  71. MeSET
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    If present economic and political news is not its usual hyped self about US-China relations then The Chancellor will soon need to make a statement heralding not a possible recession but the most massive economic blow to this country. A blow on the top of lockdown economic panic measures, unwarranted. The UK will not be destroyed but it will not feel overly pleasant for the vast majority of people.
    It is, mass hysteria ,written in pounds shillings and pence

  72. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Too late for several councils who disastrously speculated by buying commercial property and shopping centres. I suppose they’ll want us to bail them out.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      They made up for those losses on the agricultural land they bought.

  73. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    How HS2 can cost 100bn is a mystery – a few hundred miles of rail.

    • Fred H
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      30 miles of multi-track tunnels, concrete set rail tracks, thousands of homes to be ‘stolen’ off residents, tens of thousands of highly paid people for 10 years, 15 train ‘sets’ to run each way between London and B’ham. etc etc.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      a bung here a bung there….its surprising how the funds disappear

  74. BW
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    The only group spoken about so far to repay this debt are pensioners with the cancelling of the triple lock. We already have the worst pensions in Europe. Not to mention the Ladies born in the 50’s. We need to look at the cost of government. The Lords needs to be reduced to a quarter of it size. That would save a bit.

  75. Peter Cousins
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Amen to all of those – plus stop the NHS funding for IVF “treatment” – it is not an illness and the world is suffering from over population.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink


    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted May 23, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      The trouble is some have 8 children and others cannot have one and can be because of illness . To be funded by the NHS the couple must be under 40 , have tried all ways to get pregnant including GP prescribed ovarian stimulants , hormones , metformin , They must not have any children . I was a specialist in this area and believe me I would rather spend on one child than couples who have many and cause neglect and much money in NHS fees and treatments as they grow up . The imms alone for one child as opposed to 8 adds up to thousands.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        Agree MBJ

  76. Alan Joyce
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I rather liked the statement by Andreas Vosskuhle, the chief justice of the German constitutional court, when he said that “it speaks for normal people and sees itself as the counterweight to liberal elites”. He made his pronouncement as the court asserted the supremacy of German law over Brussels, the ECB and the ECJ.

    How I wish our public figures would thunder away at the establishment elite like Mr. Vosskuhle.

    I should like to see the feigned indignation of some of our MP elites as a bill to reduce overseas aid was shoved under their noses, their utter horror at the removal of the migrant taxi service to the UK and all overseas visitors being made to pay for their NHS treatment. The left-leaning media would be practically overcome with hysterical faux-outrage.

    It ain’t gonna happen not for the normal people of Britain.

  77. John E
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    It turns out that the people spreading the disease are NHS and care home workers and that they are refusing to co-operate with contact tracing or self-isolation measures.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink


      One of my many disappointments with Mr Sunak was that pre-lockdown low income workera with symptoms needed to be offered more than statutory sick pay to self-isolate. Paying the workers in care homes more than their usual pay to self-isolate and rewarding the companies as well would have been much effective and far less damaging than the lockdown.

  78. Elli Ron
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Spot on (again) Sir Redwood.
    Re: council spending:
    We must have a serious go at building accountability for council spending, how much (in % terms) is going on salaries, are the remunerations of the top echelon justified, are they wasting money on REDUCING transport flow by building huge width cycle lanes, which are hardly used (Kingston upon Thames) and public are (10K for “statues of birds on a roundabout, Kingston again.
    Councils spend is huge and growing, and there is no effective watch dog, this must change.

    • cornishstu
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      It is not just salaries, Cornwall council gives away millions, to what is essentially private enterprises with the excuse that the money is ringfenced for commercial development when they cannot do the essentials like keeping public conveniences open and charge for parking on what is essentially public owned land. There needs to be more control by us the taxpayer over where our money goes both locally and by central government. If, the majority do not want it the money should not be spent otherwise taxation is just legalised theft.

      • cornishstu
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        I also think that as council taxpayers we are essentially shareholders so should be able to veto the hierarchies salaries, after all they are for ever reminding us that in the private sector the pay for such a position is comparable, yet they are not held to proper account. The same goes for central government.

  79. bill brown
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    Don’t we need more council building after we have sold too much off in the past?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      We can’t let Councils build! They exempt themselves from a Building Regulations – that’s why their ‘60s huge council offices are being declared dangerous buildings all over the country.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

        I agree Lynn.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Councils cannot normally exempt themselves from any Statute.

        If building regs are not Statute, then that is yet another failing of UK central government.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          They could follow these Regs.
          As a responsible public elected body.

          I can just imagine your fury if private sector building companies were to do the same thing.

        • margaret howard
          Posted May 23, 2020 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff

          “Councils cannot normally exempt themselves from any Statute.”

          Indeed not. Council houses built in the 20th century are highly thought of because of the high quality of workmanship the council demanded and were snapped up when Thatcher decided to sell them on the open market.

          In my town they are still much preferred to privately built estates.

          • Edward2
            Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

            You are lucky.
            In my town the tower blocks have nearly all been demolished.
            Most of the low rise flats and individual houses have had to be completely rebuilt.
            Some housing estates had to be completely demolished.
            All due to poor construction, dreadful maintenance and non standard building methods causing problems.
            Eg concrete with steel reinforcement or steel frames.
            At the same time the local authorities near me charge very high rents.
            Housing associations are now doing a much better job.

  80. ian
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Nearly 63 billion pounds budget gap in April which will mount up to 150 billion for the first three months and looking forward another 195 billion by this year-end. The following year might come down to only a 180 billion shortfall in tax, one might say that’s a little high when you have to count in the extra unemployment rate and the payment of rents, rates and mortgages to keep a roof over their heads, Gov won’t accept any deflation as rents and rates go up while overseeing all-time highs on the markets. Till the next crisis then brothers and sisters.

  81. FrankH
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    No 3. I think you mean “over”, not “up to”.

    It should read: 3. Cancel HS2 saving over £100 bn over a period of many years.

    It’s a government project. There’s no way it will come in on time and within budget.

    And by the way, £100 billion is about £2,000 for every adult in the country. How many people, if asked, would pay £2,000 so that rich people can travel between London and Birmingham a few minutes quicker?

  82. Ian
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    How many times have we heard over the years just before an election,saying (you know I can hardly tell the difference between The parties.

    What has happened , by design, is that we have gone to far Left, which puts us now in a socialist Country.
    This is how we arrive here, where the Tory P M is blatantly going against the will of the majority, and with no discussion that we are aware of, has done buisiness with the French, and the French bring illegal migrants to the centre of our Channel, we pick them up and drop them ashore ?
    I like many others Voted to bring back our long time missing Democricy.
    It is now as far away as it ever has been.
    Our forbears fought hard that this Country would be free.
    Just think what they gave us at huge personal risk.
    Many hundreds of thousands gave there lives.

    We have allowed that sacrifice to blow away.
    What we have done , what we have allowed to happen is what we are looking at today.
    ATory party just doing what they like with impunity.
    Mad enough to give high security buisiness to out and out unfriendly people, this when we could have had some of our real friends, people who have stood with us for generations

    How many of you voted for this ?
    I thought so

  83. UK Qanon
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Good points but NOTHING will happen.
    Unfortunately we do not have anyone in government with the same ethos as
    Donald Trump – Promises made, Promises Kept.
    We follow the Establishment line.

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      and the manifesto be damned

      • Fred H
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        a new gameshow?
        read an extract of a manifesto and ask the contestant which Party issued it and the year.
        Hours of endless cynical laughing.

  84. John
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Get rid of the unjustified BBC Tax saving the public £3bn per year. They could then spend the money on what they really valued and the government gets 20% of every purchase.

  85. Tabulazero
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Migrant NHS workers pay £35mm in NHS surcharge a year.

    The £900mm figure provided by Boris Johnson to Parliament wall for the surcharge paid by migrants on top of their taxes …. since 2015.

    Given the £35mm is less than the money the PM spent on his ill-fated garden bridge project in London that never left the drawing board, would you agree that it was the right thing for him to do ?

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      migrant workers should have medical insurance cover prior to starting a job in UK

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Peanuts! The NHS consumes £170,000,000,000 pa.

    • anon
      Posted May 23, 2020 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Why not train and employee UK residents?
      Training bodies must be empowered to train any shortage skills with direct grant offers to UK residents.

  86. Jane
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I have wondered why councils think they should be in the private sector with their lack lustre property portfolios? Losing tax payer’s money with their bad decision making.

    They are ruining the private rental sector and at the same time not succeeding in their efforts to catch the crooks, mainly by not using their present powers.
    I note they do not expect social housing organisations to pay council tax on voids.

    I will certainly think about renting a property one day that is if all the good landlords have not been run turfed out of the market.

    Tenants do not have to pay for boiler repairs or a new boiler. No need to pay for building insurance, nor outside repairs and maintenance. Most expect accommodation that has been newly refurbished. The only downside for the tenant is to be constantly monitored by the Local Authority without notice in the new over-the-top schemes being steamrolled through.

    And all is paid for by the good landlord out of the rental income received.

    With not much left in his pocket the good landlord will soon be leaving the rental market to the dodgy ones as their will be no money left for him to make a decent return. The council will then have no income stream as the licence fee money will just dry up.

    Back to the beginning.

  87. Drachma
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    We have already left the EU 31st Jan 2020-

    We should now walk away from the talks which are going nowhere and pick up with these new super-duper trade deals we were promised by IDS, Gove, Fox et al including our host here- ‘new trade deals’ with countries far away- indeed- I will believe it when I see it

    • NickC
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Drachma, We haven’t left. The EU still rules the UK – we still have to pay and obey – until 1 Jan 2021 (at the earliest).

      I can more readily believe a trade deal with New Zealand, Australia and the USA than with the EU.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Nick would claim to be owned by the local council, because he has to pay to use their car parks, and to obey the rules in them, it appears.

  88. Only British
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Over weeks and months I have not seen in my adjacent roads any delivery at all by those Local Authority workers with box loads of food for the predominantly old people in my area.
    As expected!

  89. David Brown
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR,
    Generally your list is quite a cautious and measured one.
    Not sure about border control as this usually means higher public spending on paroling borders that’s almost impossible. People trafficking is I understand happening outside of Britain. I have concluded that immigration will simply continue in volume next year after Corona is finished and only large amounts of money will stop it. Not convinced Border Force actually cares about it, they know how where and who but no matter what GOV says they quietly do their own thing.
    Agree overseas aid should be cut massively

  90. Fred H
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC – – but an expensive bill for years to come:-
    from BBC website.

    MPs finally gave the go-ahead to refurbish the crumbling Palace of Westminster in 2019 after years of wrangling – but will it ever happen? It is hard to imagine a worse look for MPs right now than spending more than £4bn on renovating their place of work. Under current plans, they will move into a specially built replica of the House of Commons chamber, in nearby Richmond House, for six years or more while major repairs are carried out. But these plans were drawn up long before the coronavirus pandemic threatened to tip the country into a deep recession. And a review of the project, announced this week, will look at ways of cutting costs, including alternatives to the replica Commons.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      It’s been shelved.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        start by halving the number of MPs…..One for Wokingham/Bracknell and One for Reading. Keep doing that and hey presto – problem solved.

  91. Cheshire Girl
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Just watched the Head of the Border Force on the daily Coronavirus update. He talked about the quarantine to be imposed on people coming into the UK.

    I couldn’t help noticing that not ONCE was the problem of would be migrants coming over in small boats from France, mentioned. Apparently the numbers are now 601 in a week.

    It seems to me that the Government just don’t care about this problem, and don’t intend to do anything to address it.

    If this goes on, I just wont be able to vote for them. Others may feel the same,

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      We’re obviously being lied to.

      The latest is that urinals will be banned in pub toilets.

      Is there any leftist totem that the Tories won’t be bent over for ?

    • glen cullen
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      I am with you on this subject cheshire girl

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl. You can count on me not voting for this party again. They are such a disappointment.

  92. Cheshire Girl
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink


    The numbers are 601 in a month.

  93. Original Chris
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Your wishlist is unlikely to be fulfilled. Why, because, as James Delingpole so succintly pust it,
    “Boris Johnson’s ‘Conservatives’ Are Spineless Bedwetters”

    I suspect you realise, Sir John, that your wish list is likely to be ignored, and it is important to know why it will be ignored. Delingpole has an uncanny knack of identifying the crux of the matter. Boris is leading a Party of “mediocres” who are not prepared to stand up for “liberty, freedom and prosperity”. The few real Conservatives in the Party should face up to the reality of what Boris is doing and where he is heading, and take action. Words are not enough.

    “…In normal times, this preponderance of conservatives-in-name-only is merely an irritation and a frustration.

    But in abnormal times like these, when the prosperity and cohesion and, indeed, the very character of a nation is at stake, then the stuffing of the Conservative benches with chancers, dimwits and invertebrates in the Mercer category of uselessness becomes seriously dangerous.

    Will no one in Boris Johnson’s government speak up for liberty, freedom and prosperity? And if they won’t, why do they persist in describing themselves as the ‘Conservative’ party?”

  94. Caterpillar
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Continued irrationality today from the Govt this time in the form of the Home Secretary,

    “We will not allow a small minority, a reckless minority, to endanger us all”

    Opposition parties, the media, back bench Conservatives need to stop pandering to what amounts to blatant lies. Coronavirus does not endanger ‘all’ as incorrectly claimed by the Home Secretary. She needs to be corrected. It does not even endanger the majority, and moreover a substantial section of the endangered minority – the vulnerable – have been identified.

    Nonetheless, the danger to the majority of people in the country at the moment does come from a shockingly reckless minority; the PM, the Chancellor, the Health and Home Secretaries should reflect very clearly on who is that minority.

    Oh for the those values of calmness, rationality, integrity and liberty, but all now seems to be performance.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Caterpillar, they seem to have taken leave of their senses. Perhaps this is what happens to politicians who for so long have been mollycoddled by Brussels, and when they gain some freedom they blunder about, lacking any discipline and intellectual rigour.

      The problem with the Conservatives is that they have decided to carry on with the “progressive route”, pleasing focus groups and lobbyists’ agendas. They lack a firm bedrock of discipline, and belief in principles, but instead focus on image, so they blow around in the wind, rushing off to please the next pressure group. Not the way to run the country, nor to keep the support of the electorate.

      The public can see through all of that, and, I believe, are not impressed, nor are they hoodwinked by the platitudes from said politicians.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted May 22, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

        “taken leave of their senses” sums it up. I have what some would consider progressive elements in my own thinking but nevertheless I find the direction the Govt has taken and is taking since lockdown is absurd.

  95. Neal Barrington
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Slightly off topic: so we go from the sublime to the ridiculous- the northern hemisphere is actively opening up as the virus is dying away and the UK government introduces further lockdown quarantine measures because they fear a second spike. As a business owner planning to re open 1st June I’m now thinking why bother, if the government are thinking things aren’t looking so bad I’ll keep on taking the furlough ,… great positive thinking Boris. The Boris bounce has unfortunately turned into a Belly flop and all for a severe flu season🤔

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, NB. The government, under Boris, has lost the plot (if they ever had it in the first place).

  96. MG
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I always had a suspicion that recent UK politicians (excluding our host) and Governments were fiscally,economically and numerically incompetent, now I know it’s true.

    • Original Chris
      Posted May 22, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      MG, I cannot think why on earth Sir John is not Chancellor.

      Instead we have to put up with inexperience and incompetence, and a complete absence of common sense and wisdom.

      I believe that Boris has only himself to blame for the current dire situation as it is he who makes appointments and it was he who was “seduced by the modellers” to accept the draconian lockdown policy, as was Tony Blair years earlier by the Imperial College team.

      It was Dr Paul Kitching, formerly of IAH, Pirbright, in his April 2001 television interview on the FMD disaster, who first coined the phrase to describe how Tony Blair was bowled over by the Imperial College team’s flawed modelling. Those modelling predictions were responsible for an FMD “disease control” policy which resulted in the mass slaughter of over 11 million animals (Meat and Livestock Commission figures), the majority of which were healthy. The mass killing policy was described as ” one of the most bloody, tragic and disgraceful misjudgments ever committed in the name of science,” by Anthony Gibson, former South West NFU Director). Seems as though Boris has no better judgement than Tony Blair had. You would have hoped that Boris would have learned from the experiences/mistakes of others.

      • Fred H
        Posted May 23, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        Chris, you say – –
        ‘I cannot think why on earth Sir John is not Chancellor.
        Instead we have to put up with inexperience and incompetence, and a complete absence of common sense and wisdom.
        I believe that Boris has only himself to blame for the current dire situation as it is he who makes appointments and it was he who was “seduced by the modellers” to accept the draconian lockdown policy, as was Tony Blair years earlier by the Imperial College team. ‘

        I really wonder what is going on in Boris’ head since election.
        The thought process appears to be confused, misguided, lacking common sense, reacting 3 weeks late to events, no evidence of future planning, tons of fire-fighting.
        What a gloomy picture of someone who was hailed as ‘getting it done’.
        Ending his career is what he is getting done.

  97. Neal Barrington
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Predictive texting 🙂 if the government thinks things ARE looking so bad

  98. ed2
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Trump has just demanded the communists open the churches, he made this statement and walked out.

  99. NickC
    Posted May 22, 2020 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    JR, Until the government puts the UK first, instead of assorted Jonny Foreigners, and stops trying to pick winners (like HS2) we will never be prosperous.

  100. ferdinand
    Posted May 23, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    You have missed out one of the biggest savings of all – kill the Climate Change Act.

  101. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 23, 2020 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    I thought that councils borrowing powers were nil or limited. Am I wrong?

  102. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted May 24, 2020 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    It’s all fairly small beer. Perhaps we should slip many public sector infrastructure projects for a year (more in the case of the extra runway at Heathrow) and concentrate on consolidating the expansion of our health services. This will include recruitment and retention of doctors and nurses, involving a pay rise, and taking the Nightingale hospitals out of mothballs. Ideally, all new Coronavirus cases requiring hospitalisation should be put into Nightingale hospitals.

    If HS2 phase 1 has passed the point of no return for economically efficient cancellation, we can at least postpone indefinitely phases 1B and 2.

    • ferdinand
      Posted May 24, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Small beer ? Killing the Climate Change Act ? It will have an enormous effect on the people of this country and save billions.

  • 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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