Getting control of public spending


            I have been asked to produce some ideas on reducing needless or wasteful public spending, and getting the deficit down, for a closed session at party conference. I thought I would try some of them out here first, before deciding which main ideas to concentrate on at the event.

            My first set of proposals seeks justice for UK citizens compared to others. The main aim of UK public spending should be to look after and support UK citizens. There is a danger of allowing soft touch UK.

1. Anyone travelling to the UK should be told that if they need NHS services whilst they are here, they will be charged the cost of the provision. They will be  advised either to come with health insurance, as most travellers to the USA take, or to come with a credit or debit card that can be used should they need hospital or doctor service. The NHS should require the card or insurance reference before giving treatment. If the treatment is emergency treatment, the individual should be required to pay prior to discharge. The present rule that they should pay is too often not enforced.

2. Any foreign lorry or van arriving in the UK should be required to pay a temporary Road Fund payment to pay for the wear and tear they impose on our roads. This would also help level the competitive playing field between domestic vehicles paying a full annual road tax, and visiting vehincles who at present pay nothing.

3. The UK should make clear to the IMF that it regards members of a single currency as no longer sovereign states entitled to IMF programmes. Members of single currency areas, like London or New York, do not look to the IMF for loans but to their states and Central Banks. The UK should decline to make money available for Euro bail outs in any form. As the Chancellor wisely said, we should not be in the business of bailing out currencies, especially one which we sensibly did not join. This thought needs following through with appropriate action.

4. The UK should make clear to the EU authorities, as DWP is seeking to do, that the EU is based on the free movement of workers, not the free movement of benefit seekers. Arrivals from the rest of the EU should not  be entitled to benefits on arriving. People can come to take up an arranged job, or to seek a job using their own resrources to do so. They can stay on losing a job if they use their own resources to find another job.

5. Regional money routed around the EU has been well criticised by recent Parliamentary studies. The UK government should make it an important negotiating condition of the next budget round in the EU that we wish to repatriate regional policy. That would enable us to  save money and spend more on troubled UK areas.

6. The UK was promised CAP reform in return for surrender of part of our rebate of contributions.  The UK should seek the repatriation of agricultural policy, which like regional policy woudl allow savings and a more generous UK regime of subsidy where needed.

7. The UK should stop overseas aid to India and Pakistan, as these are two successful nuclear weapon powers.

8. The UK should cut its overseas aid research budget, concentrating its spending on the  most deserving countries and causes where  most lives can be saved and most progress achieved towards self sustaining development.

9. More foreign prisoners should be sent back to their home countries to spare us the cost of looking after them.

10. More energy should be shown in requiring repayment of student loans by overseas students.




  1. lifelogic
    August 16, 2012

    I agree with these but we should not be giving loan to overseas students at all who will not repay it is clearly not going to be worth the cost of trying to get them too in most cases. Any loan to then should be by banks in their country on commercial terms. Surely some legal way to arrange this could be found without breaching the EU nonsense rules?

    What about regional pay and firing all the civil servant who do nothing of any use (or often worse damage) perhaps half. Start with those who prepare the happiness index perhaps. Stop HS2, no more absurd wastes like the Olympics and the Green religion subsidies, Millennium domes, absurd train projects, no payments to the IMF, PIGIS, no propaganda, less BBC, and cut pay and pensions across the board to private sector levels. This last point alone would save 30%.

    A special state sector/private sector pension equalisation tax to redress Browns tax mugging on private sector pensions perhaps.

    1. Sue
      August 16, 2012

      “I agree with these but we should not be giving loan to overseas students at all who will not repay” – Why not make the governments of these overseas students in the EU pay upfront? Those governments can then claim the cost from their own citizens in whichever way is easiest for them.

  2. Julian
    August 16, 2012

    “I thought I would try some of them out here first, before deciding which main ideas to concentrate on at the event”

    I understand why you would need to concentrate your fire at a presumably quite short closed session. However, there is a risk that the session leads to two or three proposals going forward for implementation because those were liked the most. That is window dressing and is not what’s needed. Every feasible proposal needs to be put into action so significant savings can be made.

    The most useful thing the closed session could do would be to set up a mechanism that automatically considers the ten or twenty best suggestions for saving money every month for the rest of this parliament.

    1. Timaction
      August 16, 2012

      Mr Redwood most of these suggestions are really good. It just strikes me that 1 to 6 could be achieved by withdrawal from the EU. It could also save billions in unemployment costs as we could ensure there were British jobs for British people and TRAIN them. We know how some businesses use the EU to lower wages. The 1000000 young unemployed could take the starter jobs and the 6.5 million of working age who are economically inactive could have a chance at the rest as are borders would be secured.
      The process for payment of medical treatments from non EU Countries should already be in place. However, through personal experience and political correctness I know it is not in practice. So despite having posters stating conditions for eligibility, how much has been raised from administering treatment to foreign nationals in the last year? How do they check this at the ppoint of service delivery? Is there a process/people to administer this? Article 7 of the 2004 EU directive already states that EU citizens should not be a burden to this Country but there is no political/Sir Humphry wish to enforce this with benefits or public service provision. Spain is starting to use this directive, why not the UK?
      The whole issue of foreign aid should be revisited. What is the correct approach/strategy? Should money be borrowed to just give away? Why should we have a particular percentage of GDP? Should we look at limited emergency aid only? Should money be given for training, education or infrastructure improvements to prevent future disasters? Is it the function of Government to tax its citizens to give away as a matter of course without mandate to foreign Countries?
      Could the “back office” functions of all our public services be pooled instead of all duplicating similar processes? HR, pay, admin etc! Walk around any public service HQ and you will see and “feel” the duplication and waste. Some sit at desks pretending to be busy! Government spending should come down to 25% of GDP. Why not take a look at some overseas models?
      It has been said on here many times Government needs to look at what it MUST provide and then critically examine the rest of its functions.

      Reply: The Parliament elected in 2010 does not want to withd4raw from the EU.

      1. Timaction
        August 16, 2012

        Then the majority of politicians should start to represent the peoples wishes or we shall have to look elsewhere for representative Government. It is no secret that every survey/poll shows that the British people want out of the EU. From November 2014 with qualified majority voting democracy will cease in the UK as we will only have 8% of the votes. Remember how the Labour Party promised the Country a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty but Mr Brown scuttled off to a back room to sign it against the wishes of the people? That is NOT democracy either and Parliament needs to change to support the will of its citizens.

  3. Mick Anderson
    August 16, 2012

    1: Presumably the EU would demand that those from the 26 other states would be exempt. Then Mr Clegg would complain about the loss of human rights for the rest of the World.

    2: Alternatively apply an import duty on any fuel that they have in the tank. If they carry lots of fuel in, they pay. If they have to fill up in the UK, they are fleeced just like the residents.

    3: As the Chancellor wisely said Can we have some wise actions from him, please.

    4: The EU authorities don’t care. Also, see my point 1.

    5: Does the EU recognise the UK as anything other than a series of blank cheques?

    6: Fisheries reform too, please.

    7: And the Argentinians, for being rude and beligerent

    8: Are there any such programs that haven’t been suspected of helping supply money/food/arms to corrupt regimes?

    9: Especially when they have completed the jail term, but (as you say) preferably before.

    10: Why are we lending money to people who by definition are not likely to be around to repay it? You might as well just make higher education free to any foreigner….

    11: Close the departments that are no longer (or never were) necessary. Welsh and Scottish officies, Mr Hunts mob, and DFID would be a start.

    12: Combine NI with income tax, and simplify the whole tax system. Move towards a simple flat tax system, with fewer “stealth” taxes. The tax code could easily be reduced to 10% of its size.

    13: A great repeal bill. You remember; the one that we were promised….

    14: Remove road fund duty. We’re already paying the equivalent increase at the pumps, and ANPR means that the police know which cars have insurance and current MOT

    15: Remove the TV licence. If we need a state funded broadcaster (a different argument), the Chancellor can send them some money once a quarter.

    16: Put someone who understands the value of tax-payers money in charge of the Treasury and the Bank of England

    17: Re-read the posts and comments on this blog for the last few years. Lots of crowd-sourced money saving ideas in there!

    1. Jerry
      August 16, 2012

      15: Remove the TV licence. If we need a state funded broadcaster (a different argument), the Chancellor can send them some money once a quarter.

      No way!… Whilst I agree that the TVL is out dated, direct funding would actually increase public spending, John was not asking about tax rates.

      But to degrees for a moment, since this has been raised;
      If we need the BBC, and I suggest that we do but very much smaller, then perhaps fund it by a much lower TVL plus a surcharge for each subscription channel subscribed to, this would also help in breaking up the BSkyB monopoly and the way they bundle channels. One should not need to subscribe to 50 odd other channels just to get Sky Sports 1.

      1. David John Wilson
        August 16, 2012

        If the value of a TV licence was added to the council tax of all houses and grants to local authorities reduced by a corresponding amount there would be no increase in public spending. The cost of handling TV licences and of chasing those who avoid buying them would actually cause a reduction in public spending. We need to seek all oportunities to remove these un-necessary overheads.

        1. Jerry
          August 16, 2012

          I don’t like the idea that a government has direct control of the BBC funds, the TVL is presently at hands length and ring fenced, there would be even more danger that the BBC would simply become the voice of the government (would the BBC really want to bit the hand that feeds it, things got bad during the Dr Kelly affair, that would be nothing to any future spat) – fine you might say, so might I if the government was to my own political flavour…

          As for the cost of ‘policing’ the TVL, is it not the case that revenue protection is in the hands of an Agency, thus their operating costs come out of the TVL fee/fines and not government spending which was what John was asking about – BBC funding etc. could be a complete blog of its own – food for thought perhaps John?

          1. Mick Anderson
            August 16, 2012

            The Government would never allow such a visible, direct link. They would point out that the BBC is run by the Board of Govenors and was therefore independent.

            I did originally point out that I wasn’t trying to start a debate on whether the BBC should be a State mouthpiece, funded by advertising, or any other sort of camel. The point I was trying to make was that it’s an inefficient way to gather the money. It was a sensible system for a few subscribers when the BBC was formed, but the world has moved on since then.

            My tax payments and TV licence money both come from my earnings – I don’t do different jobs to pay for different things. So, why not cut down on the whole red tape and penalty system that the TV licence inflicts on us, and save some admin money too!

          2. Jerry
            August 17, 2012

            @ Mick Anderson reply to reply: So why not roll up all possible taxation into just the one tax – call it a sort of flat tax. Trouble there is, at least at the moment non motorists don’t pay VED or fuel duty, people who do not own (use) a TV don’t pay the TVL and so on…

    2. Andy
      August 16, 2012

      Agree with many of your points, especially the idea of a Flat Tax. The tax code is now some complicated no one properly understands it, so a flat tax would be a great idea.

      However I think we should install independent forensic accountants in every department of state and examine just exactly what they spend our money on and how. Frances Maude was crowing the other day that he had saved £5.5 billion, which is £500 for every household in the Kingdom, but I reckon that is merely the tip of a rather large iceberg.

    3. Alan Wheatley
      August 16, 2012

      I think we do need the BBC funded by a licence fee. But the way the BBC works needs to change.

      The licence fee should empower the licence fee payer to have a direct say over how the Corporation is run and how much money it should have. I think the best way to achieve this is by throwing open the membership of the Trust to election by licence fee payers.

      1. James Sutherland
        August 16, 2012

        Why not change the enforcement? Encrypt their broadcasts – a facility already built-in on almost all the systems they broadcast to, with the analogue switchoff underway. Instead of a paper “licence”, you get the decryption key, just like for other subscription channels. No payment means no key, so you can’t (usefully) receive the signal any more. Result: no more evasion, no need for threats from Capita, no more court cases for “non-payment”.

        (Then, of course, you can make it optional – which of course is the prospect which terrifies the BBC, because they don’t believe their offering is good enough for people to choose to continue paying. I wonder why…)

        1. Amanda
          August 17, 2012

          A good idea.

  4. Jose
    August 16, 2012

    Just a ‘minor’ suggestion…..why not get rid of half the MPs and half the civil servants?

    1. A different Simon
      August 16, 2012

      The main reason for doing that would not be cost cutting grounds .

      There is a need for a purge of fifth columnists .

      Just look at the recent shale hydrocarbon meeting in No 10 . The civil servants sent out invites to exactly the parties which supported their agenda and excluded any alternative views .

      Sadly if our Govt carried out such a retrenchment it would protect the traitors and get wrid of the good men and women and we would be even worse off .

  5. Kevin R. Lohse
    August 16, 2012

    1. Agreed
    2. What are the arrangements for British lorries in Europe? Apart from toll roads, what fees are paid? In equity, “Recipocrolarity” should be the rule.
    3. In Spades
    4. Good in principle, but foreign workers will be paying payroll taxes and NI. Once more, in equity there needs to be a time qualification.
    5. This is the wider question of repatriation of powers using the political ploy of “through the back door.” You’ve been spending too much time with the LibDems.
    6. More repatriation of powers. Yes, yes, yes.
    7. Yes. Take a wider look at our weregild policy and stop giving money we have to borrow to people who don’t like us very much.
    8. This policy is at odds with no.7. India and Pakistan are 2 nations were the most lives can be saved. The idea needs tidying up a bit.
    9. There is a historical precedent in the development of our own Common Law with the treatment of outlaws vis exclusion from the community. An exemption from the EUHRC would have to be negotiated. Criminals ignore the human rights of their victims and thus their own human rights should not take precedence.
    10. How much is involved and is it worth the effort? Should not this problem be resolved by demanding a deposit to be held in a British bank sufficient to pay for the course undertaken before the offer is taken up?

    1. alan jutson
      August 16, 2012


      The solution is easy with regard to entry of lorry’s.

      John like tolls.

      So have a small stretch of toll road/bridge at all ports of entry and make a toll charge for all commercial vehicles.
      The registered UK transport companies would be entitled to a refund on this payment, just like they reclaim VAT fuel.

      This would get over the, we must treat all equal EU rules.

      1. Kevin R. Lohse
        August 16, 2012

        Alan. The problem is not one of getting foreign lorries to pay. The problem is freedom of movement with our trading partners. If EU countries allow our lorries unrestricted access to their roads, then any sort of unilateral impost is de facto protectionism, which I suspect that John is opposed to. A more equitable long-tern answer is in fact toll roads like those wonderful French motorways we travel on when we drive south for the Summer, balanced by a reduction in out absurdly high fuel taxes, moving towards he who uses, pays.

        1. alan jutson
          August 16, 2012


          I know John loves the Toll System.

          That is why I proposed a Toll road just a few hundred yards (metres) long at the Port of entry, make it after passport control if you like, as long as they have to go through it.

          Travel to the South of France and it costs a significant amount if you go autoroute, Le Peage’, but then they do not have an annual road tax charge, so you have a choice, pay to go quicker or go slower at no charge.

          If we had Tolls here it would be pay both in some parts, no choice (Dartford tunnel, Severn bridge)

          1. alan jutson
            August 16, 2012

            For clarification

            If we had lots of toll roads here (like France) it would be pay for both, Tolls and VED.

            Scheme should pass the EU (all treated the same) Mantra as you charge all lorries including Uk registered ones the same.

            Just the Uk ones get a rebate as they do with VAT on fuel.

        2. Jerry
          August 16, 2012

          Toll road in France do not work, only a relative few travel on them, many, many, more lorries travel on the N roads (equivalent to our A roads), motorways are a benefit to cars and most vans due to the hight speeds they can legally travel at, lorries are limited to more or less those of the N road limits so why pay the tolls?!

          As to the suggested entry toll, it doesn’t stop free movement, otherwise the French motorway tolls would also be illegal, what might be illegal is any UK only refund but I’m sure there is a way around this. Of course, we could just do and be dammed (refusing to pay any fines), what could the Eurocrats do, kick us out of the EU?… Ho-hum!

        3. David John Wilson
          August 16, 2012

          The solution is simple. Get rid of VED completely and recover any lost revenue from fuel duty. There should be one simple rule for all problems like these. Don’t introduce new red tape like temporary road tax, simply make the field level for all parties. This has the added advantage of making efficient use of fuel more vital.
          Vehicles would display an insurance certificate instead of a road fund licence and the insurance companies confirm the issue of the certificate to Swansea as at present and also check for a valid MOT before reinsuring. Another major piece of red tape removed.

          1. Jerry
            August 16, 2012

            Err one needs insurance before one can get an MOT, how else – short of getting the testing station to collect the vehicle on their motor traders insurance- would you get your car to the testing station?!

            Actually the German system is nice, official discs on the index plates, if this system was adopted in the UK not only could it replace the VED disc on the windscreen but would also make number plates tamper-proof – might upset those who like to drive around with miss-spaced alp-numerals though.

          2. Mick Anderson
            August 16, 2012

            DJW – we don’t need anything displayed in the car window. All MOTs and insurance policies are logged on databases, automatically accessed by the Police ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) systems in many of ther cars.

            If your car is picked out, they pull you over. One of several disadvantages of any compliance sticker in the window is that your car has to be stationary before it can be inspected. ANPR works when moving.

          3. alan jutson
            August 16, 2012

            The simple solution to all of this is staring us in the face.

            Do not allow any vehicle of any type, to be transported with more than 5 gallons of fuel in its tanks, by ship or rail for safety reasons.

            Example to use: The Channel tunnel fire.

            Then vehicles have to purchase fuel as soon as they enter another country, like here !

            Immediate £500 on the spot fine for any error, otherwise confiscate the vehicle.

            There you go John.

            Do it on health and safety grounds.


          4. Bob
            August 20, 2012

            I’m amazed that you’re all debated the best way to tax the lifeblood out of us all.

            Isn’t the real problem the cost of the welfare state and the public sector?

            Stay focused guys!

  6. A.Sedgwick
    August 16, 2012

    Good stuff.

    As I have written before Overseas Aid should be privatised and the Department abolished. The taxpayer should match £ for £ to a budget limit private donations to strictly audited charities. The Ministry of Overseas Aid is effectively a quango (whatever happened to the bonfire?) doling out taxpayers’ largesse when the vast majority are highly sceptical of its benefit. There have been several papers which say aid has a negative effect on a country’s ability and determination to improve the lot of its population.

  7. Amanda
    August 16, 2012

    I would not call the majority of that list ‘wasteful’ spending, but totally unfair and irresponsible spending. I’m self employed, if I fall on hard times I get nothing. Yet, it seems, anyone from anywhere almost can come here and get benefits, or, indeed, have them sent to them. The worst of it is, we are borrowing to fund much of this !! Good Lord above, how have we arrived at such a sorry pass?

    One reason I suspect was contained in a blog I read yesterday to do with the BBC’s large Guardian purchase. Someone at the BBC claimed that the BBC and Guardian had a higher moral purpose because they were not driven by having to make [evil] profits: the BBC had the license fee, the Guardian a trust fund. Yet, these are the people who daily drip their poison into the minds of people, silencing all dissent with mob rule on places such as Twitter, and twisting history on wikipedia (I happened to notice wiki is now a destination of choice for BBC references on some of their websites – if a student quoted such a site as a reference they would be told to remove it.)

    When earning an honest living is now seen as ‘evil’, whilst living off the backs of taxes and trust funds is ‘moral’ then we truly have reached a ‘strange land’. So, can we also abolish the TV licence fee in the cause of ‘wasteful’ spending.

    1. Alan Wheatley
      August 16, 2012

      No we can not abolish the licence fee – see my reply to earlier comment.

      Just because their is a lot wrong with the politics of the BBC does not mean the whole edifice should be torn down. It needs improving, not destroying.

      1. Amanda
        August 17, 2012

        The BBC is a danger to everyone in this country. Destroying it through change is impossible, the only way to destroy it (like a vampire) is to open it up to the sunlight of competition. Those, like yourself, who wish to contribute can. Those, like myself, who cannot abide their twisted politics dripping poison into people’s minds (although I am happy to have twisted politics discussed alongside a range of other views fairly) can walk away.

        I do not want to be forced to fund people who want the destruction of this country !!

  8. David
    August 16, 2012

    When we moved to rural France seven years ago there was never any doubt, right from the start, that health care had to be paid for. If you go to your doctor, you pay him for the consultation. If you need medicines, you go to the pharmacy and you pay for them. If you go to hospital for an operation, you pay. The mechanism of payment depends on your personal situation – if you are eligible for state support (either through working and paying social security contributions in France or through having paid National Insurance contributions in the UK) that covers some, but not all, of the bill. You will need health insurance to cover the difference. If you are not eligible for state support, you will need full health insurance cover.

    As a non-UK resident, when I return to the UK I am not covered by the NHS. No problem, it was my decision to live in France.

    Why the UK allows free and open access to almost anyone to enjoy the benefits of its health service is beyond me. Does anyone know of any other country on the planet that has this insane approach?

    1. zorro
      August 16, 2012

      Cuba, I think…..possibly?


  9. Paul Danon
    August 16, 2012

    Some very nice ideas. We should be asked to provide ID when using the NHS and non-citizens should be refused treatment. The NHS isn’t designed to be a private system for health-tourists; we’re always being told it’s overloaded. We have plenty of private hospitals which can be used by people from other EU countries and further afield.

    On the road-fund, why not abolish the tax and transfer the toll to duty on petrol and diesel? That way, foreign vehicles will pay as they go.

    1. Kevin R. Lohse
      August 16, 2012

      HGV fuel tanks are now so large that an HVG can fill up in Europe and complete it’s task in UK without refuelling. A non-starter, I’m afraid.

      1. David John Wilson
        August 16, 2012

        If you go back some years their was a limit on the amount of fuel that any vehicle using a ferry was allowed to carry in its tanks. You were only allowed to carry sufficient to allow you to drive to the next refueling point. This rule should anyway be reintroduced on ferries and in the channel tunnel for safety reasons.

      2. alan jutson
        August 16, 2012


        My latest solution is posted as the last thread on your first comment.

        Use Health and safety laws..

    2. Lord Blagger
      August 16, 2012

      Quite right. Easy to collect. We axe lots of jobs in Swansea. All they have to do is handle vehicle registration.

  10. Jackart
    August 16, 2012

    Please don’t call it ‘road tax’. Call it vehicle tax, if you must. There is no “road-fund” paid for from hypothecated taxation. I agree, make foreign vehicles pay and while you’re at it, make them fit mirrors and sensors so they don’t kill cyclists they don’t see.

    1. wab
      August 16, 2012

      The Treasury doesn’t like hypothecated taxes, which is the only reason you are technically correct that it is not a “road tax”. But you are morally wrong. Both VED and fuel duty are road taxes. The problem is that not only do these pay for the upkeep of the roads, but they also pay for large numbers of other government expenditures, because the driver is seen as an easy target by the ruling elite, including all political parties, pretty much all the media, and especially by the car hating cycling lobbies.

  11. alan jutson
    August 16, 2012

    John, as usual your suggestions are simple commonsense for the most part.

    Yes of course the NHS should be for those who pay in only, otherwise a commercial charge is made, or a reciprical arrangement exists for our citizens in their Country.

    Yes of course Benefits of any kind should only be for those who pay in, and again after a qualifying period.

    No of course we should not be bailing out other money pits.

    No of course we should not be allowing foreign trucks to wear out our roads with no contribution.
    See solution in previous post above (Kevin 06.19)

    No we should not be lending overseas students money of any kind.
    If they cannot afford to pay our University fees (hundreds of thousands or our own citizens cannot) then I suggest they use their own Universities in their own Country’s or get sponsored to come here.

    Combine Tax and National insurance, is a no brainer, but only as long as we then do not end up with 32% tax as our lowest rate.

    Scrapping Road Tax VED, again is a no brainer, as fuel is the only fair medium to tax, as it is pay as you use.
    Your chance to reduce what you pay is by your choice of which vehicle you drive.

    Foreign prisoners, I would say deport back to their own Country to serve time in their own Jails, IF we had a sensible border control policy, but we do not, so guess its deportation after serving time.
    Without question build more prisons as at the moment we do not have enough room (prisoners being released early).

    Cut overseas AID, again a no brainer, the UK public have proved themselves willing to give huge amounts to charity if a case is made, why should governments get involved at all other than perhaps with logistics and equipment for natural disasters.

    Too many other thigs suggest reliance on negotiations with the EU, we have failed in the past, we will fail in the future, so we just need to remove ourselves by educating enough Mp’s the reasons to vote for OUT.

    So many other topics to raise and discuss, but time and space limits.

    1. A different Simon
      August 16, 2012

      Chris Huhne will be going to trial in October .

      Should he be found guilty , shouldn’t he too serve his sentence in a European jail ?

    2. A different Simon
      August 16, 2012

      Alan ,

      I think we need to strengthen the boundaries between national insurance and income tax rather than erode them .

      National Insurance should be a hypothecated tax used to provide pensions and healthcare etc . It should not be part of general taxation for politicians to spend according to their discretion .

      Rolling them together would legitimise the current misuse of N.I.

    3. Bob
      August 20, 2012

      “…or a reciprical arrangement exists for our citizens in their Country.”

      I’m sure places like Somalia would be prepared to offer free medical care to UK citizens on that basis!

  12. Lord Blagger
    August 16, 2012

    Any foreign lorry or van arriving in the UK should be required to pay a temporary Road Fund payment to pay for the wear and tear they impose on our roads. This would also help level the competitive playing field between domestic vehicles paying a full annual road tax, and visiting vehincles who at present pay nothing.


    Why not cars?

    Strange isn’t it that when you talk about cutting spending, one of your ideas is more tax. Just shows how all politicians have lost the plot.

    Why not put 50% duty on imports? That raises lots of money. I can’t see what could go wrong. Ah yes, other countries could do the same for the UK.

    It’s simple. Most of these lorries will be here to pick up exports from the UK. No idiot just brings in goods and returns empty.

    Bonkers. Ill thought through. Stupid.

    We need less tax.

    How about this cut in spending?

    MPs get a cut in pay (reduces spending) proportional to the deficit? The true deficit that is. Including all those debts you won’t talk about in spite of an election promise.

    1. David John Wilson
      August 16, 2012

      A duty on imports is a wrong solution and couldn’t be done within the EU anyway. We need to give home produced goods an advantage over imports. Removing employers’ NI in favour of collecting more VAT and corporation tax would be one step in the right direction. Another piece of red tape removed.

      Government departments etc that pay NI would have their costs reduced, which would pay for considerable proportion of the reduced revenue anyway.

      Yet another piece of red tape removed.

      1. Bob
        August 20, 2012

        All this talk of swapping one tax for another is like re-arranging the deckchairs on a sinking ship.

        Stop the leak, then there will be no need for the excessive taxation!

        It’s not rocket science!

  13. Barry Sheridan
    August 16, 2012

    Dear Mr Redwood, you begin by including the sentence, ‘The main aim of UK public spending should be to look after and support UK citizens. ‘
    Quite so.
    Unfortunately to its cost the British public have frequently found that those it elected formed governing administrations that put them second. Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg are of this ilk, neither will do anything meaningful along the lines you are suggesting, not least because of the strange obsession with human rights that grips so many in positions of authority in this land, of course what I mean here is that everyone else’s rights not ours.
    Still it is good to read about your thinking.
    Which begs the question, ‘Why are you not in a ministerial position?’
    The answer must be that you have some sense. Anyone displaying evidence of this qualitiy is excluded from being able to exercise it, this would humiliate those who have authority but have no idea of how to use it for the wider good of the British public!

  14. Alex
    August 16, 2012

    What Mick Anderson said.
    Plus …
    .£500 million more to pay people to run around in circles? In the current economic situation. Are you kidding?
    .Stop dishonest ‘consultation’ programs. For example, plain packaging. We all know the government ‘lost’ in terms of support. We all know they’ll do it anyway. Why waste the money?

  15. me
    August 16, 2012

    Stop subsidising wind farms!

    1. Bob
      August 20, 2012

      Stop subsidising:
      the Indian space program.
      Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
      China’s coal fired power stations
      the BBC
      Nigerian prisons
      the Labour Party
      the House of Commons bars and restaurants
      how’s that for a start?

  16. Iain Gill
    August 16, 2012

    On 1 yes for citizens of all countries where there is no reciprocal right for treatment for Brits in their country. Anyone with Indefinite leave to remain in this country needs to be treated as a UK citizen for the purposes of this rule, as does anyone married to a Brit who has yet to attain ILR (else we will have babies being born to parents where one is a Brit and we are expecting them to pay etc.). Indeed anyone born here without being entitled to UK citizenship needs free treatment, certainly while babies. I don’t mind free treatment for Belgian or Italian citizens for instance as I have received free treatment in their country, I DO MOST strongly mind free treatment for US and Indian nationals etc. Nobody should be able to get a work visa to this country without full and comprehensive medical insurance for themselves and any family that come with them (this would stop (people from overseas-ed) bringing in wife and children who are already seriously ill when they come in on ICT, as insurance companies wouldn’t allow it). You need to think long and hard about some exceptions and transition arrangements, for instance if you pull the plug on insulin for some you will literally have deaths within the month which even I wouldn’t support. Also remember there are basically no private GP’s or out of hours clinics in most of the country, even if you want to go private you are stuck with the NHS provision in this country, and therefore there is no competition keeping prices down for anyone forced to pay like there is in the rest of the planet.

    1. uanime5
      August 16, 2012

      All GPs are private; they’re private contractors that sell their services to the NHS.

      1. Iain Gill
        August 16, 2012

        yea but the end consumer has no buying power at all that is the problem. the fact that the state has subcontracted the work to GPs is a contractual relationship between the state and the GP’s. competitive pressure to improve only happens when the end consumers can take their business elsewhere in simple and practical terms. it is the countless small buying decisions by consumers that forces providers to optimise (or doesnt in the case of the NHS)

        there are no “out of hours” clinics except A & E and the remnants of the out of hours GP service in this country. anything A & E regards as too trivial such as agony from earache you have to wait to the next morning or the next working day – the rest of the world regards this as rather poor service to the patients.

        and certainly no cost pressure to have any confidence we would be charging a foreign national required to pay a fair contribution.

  17. Iain Gill
    August 16, 2012

    On 2 I don’t see why we don’t do what the Belgians do to us. If you are caught driving badly on a UK motorbike in Belgium they take the bike off you until you have been to court and paid the fine. I see no reason why we shouldn’t do the same to them. A couple of months of this regime would significantly improve driving around Dover and so on. Being reciprocal has a lot going for it.

  18. Iain Gill
    August 16, 2012

    On 4 just make it reciprocal. Give Belgian nationals here what Brits in Belgium get and so on, etc.

  19. Iain Gill
    August 16, 2012

    On 7 yes absolutely. I would also demand that we pull out of the so called EU/India “free trade” agreement which is full of bad deals for the UK, for instance forcing the UK to offer ever more work visas to Indian nationals with no reciprocal arrangements for Brits to work in India, and big tax concessions for Indian workers here allowing them to undercut UK workers. We will feel the full force of this as almost all educated Indian nationals speak English but not German/French/Italian and so on which will form a natural barrier from them being used in such large numbers elsewhere in Europe.

    1. A different Simon
      August 16, 2012

      Yet again it’s another sop to British banks .

      They want better terms and conditions in India and the cost is access to our labour market for Indians .

      The establishment has made a choice and we have been sacrificed Ian . Too late to argue about it .

      You will constantly be reminded of society’s choice to use software which is “good enough” every time you use online services like the Olympic booking system which don’t work properly because the authors have never even heard of the principle of orthogonal design , end up unable to find what you want , with duplicated invoices and orders , letters sent to old addresses etc .

      Find yourself a job in a growth industry with a future in the UK , not I.T. or better still emigrate – except we’ve missed the boat on that by 10 years .

      1. A different Simon
        August 16, 2012

        Sorry for misspelling your name Iain .

  20. Caterpillar
    August 16, 2012

    {May we see the list again when it has associated savings, implementation ease and short and longterm effects built in?}

    (11) Simplify taxation
    (12) National total benefit cap (i.e. amount of benefits people receive to negatively depend on how many are receiving) to stop automatic stabiliser effect.
    (13) Scottish independence.
    (14) Privatise the NHS.

    1. uanime5
      August 16, 2012

      Given how much more countries with private healthcare system have to pay for healthcare as a percentage of their GDP I doubt privatising the NHS will save money.

  21. Iain Gill
    August 16, 2012

    On 10 English students who study in Scotland should either be given the same deal as Scottish students or the same deal as students from elsewhere in Europe not an even worse deal reserved exclusively for the English.

    1. David John Wilson
      August 16, 2012

      As soon as Scotland declare themselves independent equal treatment of English students will be required by the EU. Why is not that the case now?

      1. Jerry
        August 16, 2012

        Because at the moment it is a national,devolved issue, not between EU member states. Similar odd-ball problems with EU law occur in Spain, between the semi autonomous regions -such as Catalonia- and the government of Madrid.

  22. Brian Tomkinson
    August 16, 2012

    Many people will not be aware of the significance of several of the items on your list. Just choosing individual reductions can also lead to implied justification of the rest. Never underestimate the desire of civil servants and ministers to empire build. How about starting with a blank sheet of paper and listing what should be essential government spending?

  23. A different Simon
    August 16, 2012

    1. Anyone traveling to the UK should be told that if they need NHS services whilst they are here, they will be charged the cost of the provision.

    Must deny admittance to the country for anyone who tries to enter without health insurance . Make the airlines and other carriers responsible for enforcing it and send them the any unpaid bills .

    Credit cards are not good enough . An overnight stay in say a cardiac care is likely to exceed the limit . A longer stay could cost more than they own .

    4. The UK should make clear to the EU authorities, as DWP is seeking to do, that the EU is based on the free movement of workers, not the free movement of benefit seekers.

    The EU already makes this distinction ; there is no obligation upon any country to pay benefits to a visitor from any other EU country .

    This is just another example of the UK unilaterally going further than it needs just like self imposed CO2 emissions targets .

    The establishment can’t help spending the little peoples money .

    We can’t blame this on the EU .

    10. More energy should be shown in requiring repayment of student loans by overseas students.

    No . We should not be lending money to non-British citizens in the first place .
    For exceptional pupils the Universities themselves can award bursaries out of their own money .

    Perhaps you could get Damian Green and Chris Patten and the others to close down these fake english-language colleges which they love so much .

    1. David John Wilson
      August 16, 2012

      The problem is English students who emigrate, take a foreign nationality and ignore their student loan. There certainly needs to be a check on re-entry by those who retain dual nationality and retain a British passport.

      1. Iain Gill
        August 16, 2012

        why ignore it just declare a low income, there is no way for the UK govt to check it if you are living abroad, low income = no need to pay

        1. uanime5
          August 16, 2012

          Given the value of many currencies you can live a decent life in a developing country even though you’re not earning enough to pay back your student loan.

          That’s what happens when the pound is strong.

  24. oldtimer
    August 16, 2012

    All good ideas that should be implemented. I wish you luck with them.

    Re lorries, it used to be the case that foreign articulated trucks coupled with trailers exceeded the length limits imposed by the then prevailing construction and use regulations. Truck magazine drew attention to this state of affairs in the early 1980s. British designed and built artics were based on a shorter chassis which, when combined with the standard trailer, complied with the overall length rules. There were no type approval regulations in the UK; enforcement depended on the police stopping and checking the trucks. This was in effect an unenforced regulation so continental manufacturers got away with it – even to the extent of importing them for resale in the UK. Nothing was done about it even though it was brought to the attention of Parliament via a Select Committee.

    Re government spending cuts, the examples of Canada and Sweden actually cutting government spending to get their finances under control are well known. Yesterday, in an interview on the problems of Greece published in Der Spiegel, the Finnish PM (Jyrki Katainen) commented that in the early 1990s ” we managed to cut public spending by 10 percent of economic output within a short period of time. We will never forget this formative experience. ” It is our misfortune that the leaders of the three main political parties in this country still appear to have their heads firmly planted in the sand so far as the state of the UK`s public finances are concerned.

  25. Jerry
    August 16, 2012

    1. Whilst I agree in principle, how would this be enforced, would all UK citizens have to show our NHS cards before treatment, perhaps we should. What about UK passport holders, many of who have paid UK tax and NI contributions for most of their adult life, should these people be penalised just because they have decided to live in a warmer climate – perhaps to alleviate health issues that would have cost the NHS much had they remained in the UK?

    2. Yes, and as others have suggested, perhaps some form of fuel duty. I liked the idea by Alan of the entry toll road out of the ports – no escape… Perhaps we should also ban the use of HGV ‘belly’ tanks, or make it a requirement that they be effectively empty whilst on UK roads.

    3. Very sensible. In fact, how can the IMF help just one country within a single currency, help to one should imply help to all, with all the added knock on effects such as ratings agency downgrades – if Greece gets downgraded then so should France and Germany!

    4. Even if they have paid UK tax? Should this also apply to UK passport holders who live in the EU (or even elsewhere), sometimes because they had no choice, such as those who were children at the time and are now job seeking. I can see what you are driving at John but the collateral damage could be high amongst innocent parties.

    6. If no CAP reform then shouldn’t we get the full rebate back – with interest for what has already been paid?

    10. Simply solution, in principle they shouldn’t have access to such loans in the first place, but again there is a danger of collateral damage to the innocent as in 4. above.

    The one thing you didn’t touch on was the waste that is the H&S executive, not that I’m against work place health and safety. The H&S executive is a self-fulfilling prophecy and thus keeps growing like topsy. Not only is this wasting public money but is also a vast drain on the majority of (honest) companies. VOSA is in danger of going the same way. Accident investigation should be a specialist division of the police, at the moment,as I understand it, at any one incident there can be up to four septate investigations to any one incident.

  26. Sue
    August 16, 2012

    Stop funding “fake charities”. All they do is use our hard earned taxes to lecture us and make our lives a misery…..
    Repeal the smoking ban and allow pubs, clubs and bingo halls to flourish again (at least allow a smoking area or room). There are more elderly people dying from depression and loneliness then there ever were dying of smoking related diseases. Revenues would increase and it would create proper jobs instead of fake charity “jobsworths”.

    Lastly, LEAVE THE EU! That will save us at least £53million a day. There will be nobody left to buy our goods in Europe as time goes by. We’re best off concentrating on global exports and real free trade.

  27. Acorn
    August 16, 2012

    All good stuff JR but you are only tinkering around the edges. I think we should set up “The Redwood Inquiry”. The remit is as follows. You take a copy of Table 5.1 in PESA 2012; you investigate every number in that table; why does it exist; what legislation is causing that spending; is it a forgotten legacy someone still gets as a nice little earner to be kept hidden.

    That table fascinates me. It ranks revenue in COFOG terms, against the historic, old fashioned (i.e. non-COFOG) department structure. For instance, look at COFOG 10, “Social Protection”. Total spending on this FUNCTION of government is £242 billion; but, the DWP, the department I would expect to cover all of that function of government, only spends £160 billion of it. You have to ask how much duplication is going on there. The cynic in me thinks, I bet someone is getting paid twice for something. See Table 5.1 of “Chapter 5 Tables” at the following. .

    This job is right up your street JR, how do we make it happen?

    1. Acorn
      August 16, 2012
  28. Neil Craig
    August 16, 2012

    John, worthy as your suggestions are, they are very minor compared to the deficit we have to climb and look like tokenism. I suggest:

    End windmill subsidies.

    Choose a government department each year to close down or cut by 90% – the Health and Safety Exec whose net effect on Britain’s health and safety is proven overwhelmingly negative should go. That would save £200,000 salaries and, since regulations cost the regulated 20 times more than they cost government, add the working effort of 4 million people to the workforce.

    Cut nuclear regulation down to not more than 4 times what is justified by safety considerations, bearing in mind that nuclear is, by at least an order of magnitude, the safest energy generator we have.

    Stop giving government money to leftist sock puppets – nominal charities whose main or only activity is political propaganda – 90% of “environmental charities get above 70% of their cash from government.

    Fire civil servants who are usefless – say 5% a year.

    Hiring ban on new civil servants, except in very special circumstances made public.

    Demand 4% efficiency savings from each government depatment annually.

    Bonfire of the quangos.

    I think that would get us to or close to ending the deficit in a year & into surplus in 2, with little pain and in the case of missing regulators, considerable gain.

    Reply: There is more to come – I just did one theme for reduced spending today.

  29. David W
    August 16, 2012

    A good starting point, but access to social housing/paying for accommodation in the private rental sector for anyone who rolls up in the UK should also be stopped. I spend a lot of time living & working in Russia & apart from always having to laugh whenever the ONS puts out its silly stats on foreign nationals living in the UK, which identifies 45000+ vs the 500-600k which the Russian Ambassador himself acknowledged several years ago in just London & the SE, since when numbers have rocketed further, I do wonder how on earth we continue to let in & house people like the young guy in his early 20s from Moscow shown on Russian national TV when they were following up on last summer’s London riots. He had managed to get a flat paid for by the council in East London, didn4t work & just spent his time on the streets with his friends in the evning, listening to music (etc-ed) Crazy

  30. Alan Wheatley
    August 16, 2012

    Items 1 to 10 agreed. 11 onwards hopefully soon.

  31. Manof Kent
    August 16, 2012

    I am dismayed that there is no mention of the ‘green costs’.

    A.Given the rapid and unstoppable increase in greenhouse gas emissions by 3rd world countries it is pointless for us to invest very much in reducing our own emissions.

    B.The tax-breaks and subsidies to solar and windpower and impossible-to-meet renewable power mandates,plus regulatory burdens on coal-powered electricity generating plants have been disastrous for taxpayers ,businesses and consumers of electricity;these should all be repealed.

    C.The world is entering an era of fossil fuel abundance that could lift billions out of poverty and help our economy.We have the technology to use that energy safely with minimal impact on the environment and human health.

    Surely basic human compassion and commonsense dictate that fear of global warming ought not to be used to block access to this new energy.

    Reply: This is just my first list under the heading “soft touch UK”. There will be other pieces on other areas for savings, including green subsidies.

    1. Manof Kent
      August 16, 2012

      Thanks-I look forward to ‘green subsidies’
      Great first list !

    2. uanime5
      August 16, 2012

      The world isn’t entering an era of fossil fuel abundance. The reason there’s deep sea oil drilling is that oil reserves are starting to run dry.

  32. outsider
    August 16, 2012

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    As usual, you make some good proposals in this segment but I suggest that you weed out those that depend on agreement from other countries that is not likely to be immediately forthcoming and focus on practical ideas that can be implemented “this day”. This would eliminate 3 and 6 and probably also 5 and much of 1.

    We should, however, be completely intransigent on 4 and make it clear in advance that we would not accept any final future legal ruling to the contrary.

    It should be possible to frame student loan rules (10) so that they are not available to foreign students unless they can guarantee (via their home governments) that their future earnings will be fully disclosed to HMRC until loans are repaid and that repayments will be enforced in their home countries and forward to the UK Exchequer.

    In a future segment of proposals I hope you will focus on the disastrous decision to liquidate the Post Office pension fund and pay future pensions from general taxation. This will cost taxpayers billions each year for generations (the difference between the long-term return on the fund and the current cost of long-term government borrowing) and move from funded pensions to more unfunded pensions, when we should be doing the opposite. This is actually worse than Gordon Brown’s knockdown sale of our gold reserves because that did not directly affect public spending.

  33. Thomas E
    August 16, 2012

    There are certain research projects that could save vast amounts of money if they were prioritised. An example of this is the current research ino using stem cells in stroke and heart attack victims.

    When you consider the cost of treating these diseases is vast it is a obvious win-win.

    Getting rid of ofsted would also save a fortune.

  34. Mark
    August 16, 2012

    1. Perhaps it is better to make treatment of foreigners subject to an extended EHIC type scheme, except seeking to make the visitor’s government the fallback guarantor. That might encourage foreign governments to think twice about promoting health tourism, as well as covering the impecunious who might not choose to insure. I’m not sure how much is really at stake on this: it may create an occasional high profile case for the tabloid press, or it may be rather more endemic.

    2. Road fund taxation of trucks needs to change to a mileage and maximum axle load basis: the damage to roads caused by trucks varies with the fourth power of axle weight. However, the biggest difference faced by UK based truckers is the much higher level of tax on DERV in the UK. The maximum HGV VED is £1,850 – a sum which is covered by a 20ppl difference in fuel cost on just 16,000 miles: the average HGV does 60,000 miles per year. Foreign trucks would have to be surcharged on their fuel, or UK taxes equalised. This paper provides some background:;%20Improving%20the%20Environmental%20Sustainability%20of%20Logistics/Chapter%204%20Evaluating%20And%20Internalizing%20The%20Environmental%20Costs%20Of%20Logistics.pdf

    3.-8. Agreed.

    9. We seem to be building prisons abroad for prisoners to be repatriated to, in order to not breach prisoners’ human rights! That surely has to stop.

    10. We would do better to go back to fees being paid by local authorities – we would then presumably be able to require that EU local authorities should also pay for fees up front. It would be up to them to make arrangements to charge students and ensure repayment. Really, the fees charged to other EU countries should be full cost – once again something that needs changing in EU law.

  35. Muddyman
    August 16, 2012

    This one term parliament has no chance or intention to carry out any of these proposals, to suggest otherwise is a continuation of the con trick used by all parties.
    The Demos/Parliamentary democracy charade will continue.

  36. zorro
    August 16, 2012

    All reasonable ideas, but current political policy and practice militates against most of them…

    1. NHS – Under EU rules production of an E111 guarantees an EU citizen reciprocal treatment in whichever EU country he happens to be in. So a Bulgarian would benefit from the NHS and a Brit would benefit from the Bulgarian Health Service….so the issue is the management of NHS – free at point of use. Any person is entitled to emergency treatment (even a Martian)…..doctors would kick and scream against checking NHS cards as the provision to ask already exists. Compulsory visitor insurance linked to visa issue has been suggested for years and we have recouped quite a lot of debts….Best not to incur them in the first place and look at how the NHS works… this of course will be difficult to implement.

    2. Need road tolls for this, it would disrupt freedom of movement. EU would go mad, Cameron won’t do it….Next

    3. LOL…..Next

    4. Powers alread exist under Article 7 2004 to limit payments to EU nationals as discussed. the government is hopeless at enforcing these, and that is unlikely to change.


  37. Bernard Juby
    August 16, 2012

    I agree with all of your points.

    In addition why not make the carrying of the equivalent of our E111 and E121s for health care, covered by the country that issued it (such as the European Health Card)?

  38. zorro
    August 16, 2012

    5 and 6……yes, but Government is making diddly squat headway on anything EU related…

    7 and 8.. Of course, this aid must be stopped and better managed but Cameron will do little about this….

    9 and 10…..Foreign National Prisoners…..They have been refurbishing jails in foreign countries so they just need to start getting them on planes and sending more of them back. The student situation is quite distressing, what a ridiculous thing to make things so difficult for UK students but effectively not enforce provision against EU or foreign nationals.

    A lot of these ideas require the UK to be an independent, sovereign country outside of the EU…..I’m sorry that I couldn’t develop some of my thought more, just too busy today.


  39. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    August 16, 2012

    Way too much common sense displayed in this article, which is why Mr Redwood was not selected by Mr Cameron. The Government seems to thrive on ignorance and a complete lack of common sense, but I guess there are severe forces on the Government exerted from outside the Country to conform.

    I have commented on the Aid program to India before, though I didn’t know we were also providing Aid to Pakistan. Perhaps the continual Drone Attacks on Pakistan is causing grief as not all the Victims are combatants.

    It was a surprise to me too that Foriegn Students were being lent money to carry out their Studies. Are these Private Loans from Banks or Government Student Loans (I suspect these are Government Student Loans although I cannot believe who thought that scheme up would work)?

    It feels like I wrote those myself – so totally agree.

    You missed out a few though:

    1. Subsidies to Banks (£120 billion, still results in £66 billion lost after taking into consideration Taxes from the Financial sector of £54 billion – incl. Corporation Tax and Income Taxes)
    2. Charge Banks VAT.
    3. Housing Benefits – resulting in Higher House Prices and increased opportunity for Fraud. Also deters the unemployed from seeking work as they would lose Housing Benefits as well as Job Seekers Allowance.
    4. Stop investing Government Debt in Wars.
    5. If the Government has to borrow money then at least get it to invest in projects that will create Jobs like Solar Energy, Electric Vehicles, Bio Technologies and other Industries rather than throwing it away on Benefit cheats.

    1. Jerry
      August 16, 2012

      3. Housing Benefits – resulting in Higher House Prices and increased opportunity for Fraud.

      I suspect that you are putting the cart some what before the horse there, high house prices (or the unavailability of mortgages) result in high demand for rented accommodation, due to this demand and the lack of social housing stock, the cost of private rentals increase – this then effects housing benefit costs. All very good for the buy-to-let sector though…

      5. If the Government has to borrow money then at least get it to invest in projects that will create Jobs like Solar Energy, Electric Vehicles, Bio Technologies and other Industries rather than throwing it away on Benefit cheats.

      But those are the biggest benefits cheats, if any of those have a credible future then there is a free market and venture capitalists who will fund them. It would be cheaper to pay the unemployed the NMW to dig holes and fill them in again because these unemployed will then spend their handouts on much needed goods and services within the UK!

      1. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
        August 17, 2012

        Hi Jerry,

        Thanks for your comment – probably other people reading my comment may have thought the same as you.

        “I suspect that you are putting the cart some what before the horse …”

        I’m no Economist but applying a quick thought experiment: –

        Imagine you are a Landlord and have recently purchased a House based on the amount of Rent that you could receive from a future Tenant in the current environment.

        It is possible that your Rental Agency attracts a Tenant who is elligible for Housing Benefit (not disability benefit, but they have children, no declared Job and the Government is going to pay £900 PCM towards their rent, with them contributing £50).

        It is then fair to say that most of the money you receive is from Tax Payers – that income is a positive factor if you should wish to sell the Property because you can say that it earns £950 PCM (who cares where that money comes from – right?), which then helps or pays for the Mortgage.

        I am not going to say you are wrong, but … what do you think would happen to the Price of Properties if the Government announced tomorrow that they are withdrawing ALL housing benefits for the Private Rental Market ? (it’s about £15 billion in the UK)

        The main cause of the Housing Bubble was excessively loose Credit Rules by Banks and Building Societies – of course I am not saying that Government Subsidies are the main cause but they are a factor along with other Tax Relief associated with the Property Market.

        1. Jerry
          August 17, 2012

          I am not going to say you are wrong, but … what do you think would happen to the Price of Properties if the Government announced tomorrow that they are withdrawing ALL housing benefits for the Private Rental Market ? (it’s about £15 billion in the UK)

          It would collapse and probably take a proportion of the non letting housing market with it, not because of of the benefit loss, because there would be a hell of a lot of squatters suddenly – some would have no option…

          You can’t just withdraw (probably) over 75% of the social housing stock in the country because it happens to be in the private sector and not replace it with something else, if your intention is to withdraw high rent receipts then why not just regulate the market -re-introduce effective rent control- but even then that would have knock on effects as private land lords simple get out of the social housing sector – and yes some land lords do care where the rent comes from, agents declining to do new business with those on benefits.

          The only other way of reducing what you see as a bubble (and I’m not saying you are wrong in that belief) is to restock local authorities with council housing and rive down social sector rents that way because at least then any money paid in benefit stays within a loop between local and central government.

          1. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
            August 18, 2012

            Hi Jerry,

            I suppose it is possible to view the Housing Market as simple supply and demand economics, where excessive Credit Expansion has led directly to excessive Demand for Housing (in the form of additional Credit extended by the Financial Sector).

            Yes, I would like Housing Benefits to be removed – but I agree that this would cause severe problems. Housing Benefits are a symptom of a much larger problem. i don’t like the idea of rent control – it seems to indicate that the Free Market isn’t Free – whatever happened to the concept of Price Discovery, one of the key ingredients of a Free Market Capitalist Economy.

            I believe that the heart of the Problem are implicit subsidies provided by Tax Payers to Financial Institutions. Why is it ok to see Rover Cars Collapse (a Private Company ) but not RBS or Northern Rock, they use to be Private Companies too.

            To understand the answer to that question we all have to understand that “money” is created by Banks as Credit or Commercial Bank Money. It is they who decided to direct so much credit into the Housing Market and it is us – the Tax Payer who is burdened with all the Costs of their – unelected; decision making. If money was only created by the Government; there would be no need to bailout Banks and the Housing Bubble would not have happened because the expansion in House Prices was directly fuelled by the expansion in Lending (which accelerated after 1971 – the start of the Property Boom). An average Victorian Semi in 1971 is not worth any more now in real terms than it does now, but it costs at least double (in real terms) what it would have cost in 1971. Understanding “Money” is a first step (in my humble opinion) of how to fix these other problems, which we are all in general agreement over.

      2. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
        August 17, 2012


        “But those are the biggest benefits cheats, if any of those have a credible future then there is a free market and venture capitalists who will fund them.”

        I would say that the biggest benefits cheats are in the Financial Sector – and they do not produce anything tangible, and also have a negative influence on growth as most Lending was aimed at House Purchases.

        Financial Sector provided £54 billiion in Tax Revenue.
        BoE stated that Bank subsidies cost the Government £120 billiion.

        Net result £66 billion loss. That’s £20 billion more than the Defence Budget.

        It’s not just a loss of £66 billiion. The Private Banking Sector make decisions about what sectors of the economy get Loans and which do not. Their decisions are based purely on what makes a profit for them, not what helps the Economy. In a liquidity Crisis, they stop Lending – in a Boom, they increase Lending. The Loan Money they Produce at the point of a signature is passed around as if it were money. The Government sells Treasury Bonds into the Financial Market – shackling Tax Payers to Future Debt and Interest Payments.

        Still not convinced ?

        Look at Japan and how it has managed it’s Economy over the last Twenty years ? If they had took a longer term view, their stagnant deflationary Economy would have recovered, if they had invested money in future Industries and not wasted it in pointless infrastructure projects. Public Spending on anything isn’t good enough, it has to be a investment that produces results. Out Economy will pressure our Government into desperate measures just to keep the Economy Ticking over for the next couple of years. We need long term planning not short termism. Speeking Japanese.

    2. uanime5
      August 16, 2012

      3) If the unemployed get a job they can still claim housing benefits. Though they can’t claim job seekers allowance they can claim tax credits.

      1. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
        August 17, 2012

        Assuming a couple living together in rented accomodation earning no more than £20 per week (Depending on the Council)

        Manchester Council:
        “Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
        We do not count the following when working out how much Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit you can get:

        The first £10 of the money you earn EACH WEEK, if you are a couple.

        So, you are correct – it is possible to earn money and still receive Housing Benefit.

  40. Ted Greenhalgh
    August 16, 2012

    I agree with all your suggestions subject to you checking out some of the possible errors.

    No. 8. Do not give any money away unless we can guarantee the it ends up with the people it is meant to do.

  41. Richard
    August 16, 2012

    Ten good ideas to reduce our current £130 billion a year and rising deficit and a few more on my wish list:-

    Sell off the BBC, turning it into a PLC with shares offered to UK citizens
    Make £150,000 the top salary for anyone employed in the public sector
    Remove our troops from the Middle East as soon as possible
    Reduce the budgets of The Environment Agency, The Forestry Commission and the Health and Safety Executive by 25%
    Reduce overseas aid by 50%
    Scrap the Climate Change Act
    Scrap the Data Protection Act
    Scrap the Waste Producer Obligations Regs
    Scrap The REACH Regs
    Scrap HS2

    Close down the following quangos:-
    ACAS, Association of Park Authorities, Association of Chief and Assistant Chief Police Officers, Association of Police Authorities, Better Regulation Executive, Business Gateway, Buying Solutions Agency, Care Quality Commission, Civil Justice Council, Dept for Media Culture and Sport, Debt Management Office, Dept for Children Schools and Families, Dept for Energy and Climate Change, Dept for International Development, Office for Disability Issues Disability Rights Commission Equal Oportunities, Commission Equality and Human Rights, Office of Govt Commerce, Govt Equalities Office, Higher Education Funding Council, Homes and Communities Agency, Information Commission, Dept for Internatioan Development, Money Advice Service, National Policing Improvement Agency, Natural England, Office of Govt Commerce, Office of Tax Simplification (sic), Office of the Commission for Racial Equality, Skills Funding Agency, UK Space Agency, The Stabilisation Unit and the UK Trade and Investment Office to name just a few!
    Im sure they do some useful things but we can’t afford such luxuries and any of their key or legal functions could be merged into the main Ministries of State

    1. Jerry
      August 16, 2012

      Richard, it would have been quicker to tell us what you would keep!

      I really don’t understand what you have against Data Protection, nor what you have against Children and the disabled, the 1850s are behind you…

  42. Dennis
    August 16, 2012

    Point 1 – I thought hospitals are supposed to asked if persons are entitled to NHS treatment but they never do as ‘it is discriminatory’ and it would put staff in a dilemma as what to do if persons are not. Would staff have to ask for PINs etc.?
    To answer this and other problems such as money available for fines and other expenses incurred would be something like a ‘carnet de passage’ for visiting foreigners, where a bond is held in a bank, refundable when all obligations are met. This would mean that all the world’s travellers would require it (reciprocity) so only for the rich so I don’t think that would happen. The banks would like it though. Cutting down tourism is environmentally good too and economically good (GDP down) as it will teach us to live in a less greedy way and accept being poorer.

    Point 9 – returning prisoners to their own countries is problematical as those countries can and probably do, refuse to admit them unless perhaps we pay for their incarceration there , handsomely over the odds. We can call it overseas aid.

  43. Iain Gill
    August 16, 2012

    Further ideas for “getting the deficit down”
    1 Tax all foreign workers in this country at least as much as Brits have to pay. No more 12 months free of national insurance. No more tax perks for working away from home, they should be taxed no differently to a Brit with a home in London working in Glasgow. Start to level the playing field with the Indian outsourcers. Big money to be saved here when you count in the Brits who would be returned to the workforce if this was done.
    2 Tax any company which moves intellectual property invented in the UK out of the UK. So that great ideas invented by the British workforce are incentivised to stay here.
    3 Big efforts to help get our intellectual property dues internationally. Would help our music, software and other businesses immediately. If all those Chinese factories running British software were actually paying the proper licence fee things would be levelled out a bit.
    4 No free schooling for children in families where nobody has indefinite leave to remain in this country unless their home nation provides a reciprocal perk for British families working in their country. Massive amount of money to be saved here.
    5 Increase price of work visas significantly to lets say 30,000 pounds for those companies where the vast majority of their thousands of employees are here on work visas (or originally entered on work visas and have been granted indefinite leave or citizenship simply for working here). Make work visas much more reciprocal, so countries where its impossible for Brits to get work visas should not be getting work visas from us.
    6 Fix the blooming health system. Complete failure to give patients any buying power is just leading to more and more of an Orwellian mess.
    7 Companies almost exclusively operating in the UK should be forced to register, report their results and pay tax in the UK. No more “Cognizant UK Ltd” which is actually registered in Mauritius and similar. Massive amount of tax due here and some rebalancing towards decent companies that do the right thing needed.
    Hope that helps

    1. Jerry
      August 16, 2012

      4 No free schooling for children in families where nobody has indefinite leave to remain in this country unless their home nation provides a reciprocal perk for British families working in their country. Massive amount of money to be saved here.

      Yeah, why not penalise the children for the actions of their parents! I hope you actually meant no post 16yo education rather than “no fee schooling”?

      1. Iain Gill
        August 16, 2012

        If I work in (certain countries-ed) and take my family I have to pay for the kids schools and healthcare. I see no reason at all why children of (nationals from countries not offering us free education-ed) here on work visas should be given free school places whatever age they are.
        The way the system is socially engineered at the moment is weighed far too far in favour of the (technology-ed) outsourcing movement and against the native population. It is a significant perk for nationals (from abroad-ed) to get free school places for their children if they work here, or expensive treatment for their wife with pre-existing conditions. It distorts the market.
        I am not saying we should allow children to be in this country and not get educated, I am saying if their parents are here on work visas they PAY in full for their childrens education or they get locked up (or don’t come here in the first place). This would change the dynamics towards employers training or paying the going rate for British workers which is not a bad thing in my view, and would reduce the incentives towards uncapped numbers of (foreign-ed) nationals coming here on ICT visas.
        The only exceptions should be for folk from countries which provide reciprocal arrangements for British families working in their country and for folk with indefinite leave to remain or recently married to a Brit.

        1. Jerry
          August 17, 2012

          I am not saying we should allow children to be in this country and not get educated, I am saying if their parents are here on work visas they PAY in full for their childrens education or they get locked up

          Oh right, so not only will the UK state end up educating these kids anyway but will have to fund foster homes for them too – or do you propose that we deport these innocent kids back to their home country and away from their imprisoned mothers and fathers?!

          Just because other countries don’t have universal education of children under 15/16 does it really mean that the UK should copy them – just to save relative few pennies in the whole scheme of things. It would be better to fix the tax system so that those who work in the UK pay UK tax and thus fund any service they use whilst here – they are using many more ‘services’ that are paid for out of income tax than just the education system after all.

          Sorry Iain but you really have not thought any of this through, the phrase ‘Shooting from the hip’ comes to mind…

          1. Iain Gill
            August 17, 2012

            its not pennys its big money

            in practise few parents would get locked up, it would just force a few more hard choices in the businesses that are flooding this country with work visa holders

            I am not shooting from the hip I have thought long and hard about it, and more importantly seen what happens in practise up close and personal. I am desperately sad some countries dont educate their children and choose to spend their money on space programmes, nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers and so on instead – BUT we cannot solve all the worlds problems and bankrupting ourselves is not a good solution.

            fixing the tax system wouldnt fix the issues because the bias which self selects the folk who come here, when their kids are most expensive to educate, when their wife needs the most expensive operation, and so on. public funding services only works when the risks are spread, we all contribute in good times and bad, and we mostly all start off with the same risk of needing the most expensive services.

          2. Jerry
            August 17, 2012

            Sorry Iain, it is pennies, unless of course you think that there are towns full of such kids from non UK tax paying families…

            Even if there was literally one extra child in each and every class, of each and every academic year, in each and every school within the state system, you are still not talking about any significant extra cost as all the services, staff have had to be provided.

            Even if it was significant, why not just make the non UK worker pay UK tax whilst they are working in this county, if I didn’t know better I might think that this sounds more like a solution (how to boost UK private schooling sector) looking for a problem.

          3. Iain Gill
            August 18, 2012

            Yes I think there are large numbers of them and so its not pennies, and if you bothered to check you would find out I am right. In fact its worse than that cos currently we are handing them Indefinite Leave to Remain and Citizenship simply for working here a few years (or being part of a family with one member here on a work visa) and many are now counted in the official stats as part of the native population.
            Re “not talking about any significant extra cost as all the services” yes you are because its overloading schools that were already overloaded.
            My own solution would be to stop ICT visas and only allow folk in on work visas from countries which make it hard for Brits to get work visas when there genuinely is a shortage of skills in that area here – which there isn’t (even officially acknowledged) in the skillsets of almost all ICT visa entrants. That would reduce the problem massively.

          4. Jerry
            August 20, 2012

            Iain, when I said “towns full” that is what I meant, the only way something this would cost a significant amount is if we have to build and run more schools.

            If the schools already exist, the staff are already being paid, the equipment is already bought etc. what extra expenditure are we really talking about. We could spend hours looking at spread sheets (or writing computer programs) to detect a penny here and a penny there but we would likely spend more doing that then simply educating these children!

            But as was suggested before, if this really is an issue, rather than punish these children why not just make their parents pay UK tax whilst working in the UK because it is also certain that these people are also using other resources paid for out of general (income based) taxation. Your comments here and elsewhere really do suggest that you are wanting to weight things towards private educational suppliers, are you involved in that sector by any chance?

  44. Bert Young
    August 16, 2012

    Dr. JR , I agree with all your points except 1. The EHIC means a UK passport holder can obtain emergency treatment in a number of European countries ; when it is issued ,the traveller is reminded to make sure they have valid travel insurance as a belts and braces feature . Those travellers coming to the UK from countries where there is a reciprocal agreement , must be allowed emergency treatment from the NHS ; the ethics of the medical profession would not allow someone to be turned away in any event . Many travellers are not able to obtain travel insurance ( age , health factors etc ) , nevertheless , their right to travel should not be denied .

    Reply: I am not suggesting we deny people emergency treatment, merely that we make all pay who should pay.

    1. Iain Gill
      August 16, 2012

      You need to get the detail right. I know tens of international married couples where one of the pair is a Brit and the other is a foreigner, of many nationalities US, Singapore, Australia, and Malaysia and so on. Amongst the couples I know the Brit has and is paying way more into the system than their partner is costing in NHS etc. Many of the foreign partners work or have worked here before the kids were born and paid into the system. The children are Brits but one of the parents retains their original nationality with Indefinite Leave to Remain here, and many have been here for tens of years and are more British that many a native Brit. You cannot alienate this section of the community. After 5 years they are entitled to a British passport anyways, but many decline this option, often because their original country makes dual nationality difficult if not impossible.
      British citizenship as currently defined is an inadequate way of defining those who are aligned so completely with this country that they are very much part and parcel of the country.
      Indeed not all British citizens are entitled to free NHS, a massive mistake in my view! My brother for instance since he has been out of the country a few years wouldn’t be entitled to free NHS if he came back. Complete nonsense as we NEED people like him out there being mini ambassadors for this country.
      On the other hand as you know I am furious at our open doors immigration policies in all but name, the benefits and perks we dish out to hundreds of thousands of Indian nationals along with work visas like confetti. Their organisations are (doign well out of -ed) this country, there is no other way of putting it. There are no reciprocal arrangements, they get benefit without level contributions, and they are disprortionately expensive drains on our services, and so on.
      I have been upset to see American couples have babies here (here on a work visa) and get completely free maternity care here while British couples in a similar position in the US get charged a fortune. This doesn’t work for me.
      Indeed I am not entirely sure that we should not be offering international cover to Brits abroad, if they have paid into our state backed insurance scheme I don’t see why they should not get a payout if they happen to get ill abroad. We need to encourage Brits to travel more including those with pre-existing medical conditions.
      Issues that are important reciprocality, practical alignment with this country and residency.

      1. Jerry
        August 17, 2012

        Iain it would be very interesting to know why those who decline a UK passport do so in reality, if someone has made their home and family here (their children are UK citizens) why are they worried about not having dual nationality, are these people as integrated as you suggest, are they still looking to a future in their native country, are they simply staying in the UK until the kids complete their free UK education and childhood health care?

        You are right that the UK doesn’t take the correct approach to citizenship, this one of the things I like about the USA and their sense of patriotism – see a union flag or Cross of St George displayed on a house in the UK and people start wondering about political or sporting allegiances.

        1. Iain Gill
          August 17, 2012

          apart from anything else its very expensive to swap ILR for British Nationality at a time in a marriage when many couples are struggling to bring up their kids

  45. Ralph McHendry
    August 16, 2012

    This is good stuff, Mr Redwood and I support your proposals. I’d like to add a wholesale review of the political arm of local government, with the aim of streamlining and cutting costs. Take my borough, Havering, for example. I’ve met no-one who can give me a cogent argument for having 54 councillors in 2012. I’ve no idea why 54 – that’s lost in the mists of time.
    This isn’t an attack on local government just for the sake of it, but a request for a radical review which is long-overdue.
    Good luck with your paper and your session at conference.

  46. Mike Wilson
    August 16, 2012

    Nothing – not one single word about cutting the size of the state.

    How about merging Wokingham Town Council into the Borough so you don’t have people duplicating roles?

    How about sacking anyone in the public sector who has the word ‘Diversity’ in the job title?

    As for making people pay a road fund licence when they visit here – I doubt if the EU would let you and, if they did, the French would love to do the same to us.

    As for overseas aid – the idea of borrowing £150 billion a year and giving £12 billion of it away really is too insane for words. It perfectly encapsulates how utterly divorced from reality government is.

    Never mind, our grandchildren will pay it back.

    Reply: Wait and see the other articles in my public spending series. This was just the first.

    1. Jerry
      August 17, 2012

      As for making people pay a road fund licence when they visit here – I doubt if the EU would let you and, if they did, the French would love to do the same to us.

      They already do, they call it tolls on the motorways, and then take down as many N-route direction signs as they can to make it difficult for anyone but locals and regular travellers or the fluent French speaker to navigate through the villages, towns and Cities that have a motorway alternative.

      A country doesn’t need to break EU rules, just bend them, or better still never impose them, both the French and Spanish are good at that trick, unlike honest Britain were if the EU say jump many in Westminster ask “how high?”.

      1. Mike Wilson
        August 18, 2012

        I never have any problems driving in France.

        The tolls are removed once the road or bridge is paid for. Seems like a good idea to me. Someone builds a bridge across the humber and the people that use it pay for it.

  47. Electro-Kevin
    August 16, 2012

    Putting UK citizens first. Thank you.

    At the heart of all of these problems is that any notion of a UK Nation State and identity is anathema to many with real power.

    As a result I doubt that any of these proposals will come to fruition.

    Canada and Australia – in economic and cultural terms – are where we could (and should) be.

  48. rd
    August 16, 2012

    Just deport all foreign criminals and have done with them. I would add immediate deportation of all illegal immigrants without hearing. If they have sneaked in they have forfeited their right to a hearing.

    1. Jerry
      August 17, 2012

      Without a hearing how does anyone know that they are in fact “illegal immigrants”, or should we simply deport (were to) anyone who looks ‘foreign’?

  49. rd
    August 16, 2012

    Also I just got an email about Lib Dems in Kent demanding that the election of the Police Commissioner should be publicly funded… £1.2m for Kent or 40 policemen… When will this lunacy end?

  50. BobE
    August 16, 2012

    How to save money.

    1. All public employees can only reclaim expenses for 2nd class travel.
    2. All public pension payments are restricted to 50,000 per annum. Any excess goes to the treasury.
    3. Stop the food and bar subsidies in the House of Commons and the Lords.
    4. All Government cars to be electric only.

    1. Jerry
      August 17, 2012

      4. All Government cars to be electric only.

      That would likely cost more!

  51. uanime5
    August 16, 2012

    Regarding your suggestions:

    2) This could be implemented by putting toll roads on roads that foreign lorries drive along when they arrive in this country. I’d recommend only applying this toll to lorries so you avoid the wrath of car drivers. Vans should pay a lower toll.

    10) Can foreign students even get student loans from the UK? It seems odd that they the UK is lending foreign students thousands of pounds (tuition fees for non-EU students are usually £13,000-£31,000 per year) to study in UK universities when these universities are already so over subscribed.

    Here’s a radical idea why not make the foreign student’s country pay the tuition fees and have this country try to get the money back. Better yet don’t give them a loan in the first place.

    Regarding wasteful policies that can be removed I’d recommend doing the following:

    1) Scrapping the Work Programme which is completely useless at getting people back to work (3% success rate). If you want to massage the unemployment figures at least do something that will give the unemployed some skills that will make them more employable.

    2) Scrap the Mandatory Work Activity as employers aren’t going to create any jobs if they can force people work for 4 months for free. Let’s face it no one is going to obtain any useful skills stacking shelves in Pound Land or Tesco.

    3) Scrap the apprentice wage. Any apprenticeship that pays below minimum wage is just cheap labour, not training. Remember people can’t spend in the real economy if they only earn a pittance, instead they’ll spend in the black economy because it’s the only place that they can afford.

    4) Scrapping Free Schools (failed private schools that have been bailed out with taxpayers’ money) in areas where there are enough school places.

    5) Remove the charity status from private schools. Charging huge amounts of money to educate the children of the wealthy isn’t the action of a charity. Faith schools should also lose charitable status as indoctrination isn’t in the interest of the child.

    6) Set salary band for all state employees. This will stop Councillors, MPs, and the heads of Quangos from constantly inflating their salaries.

    7) Set a standard limit regarding the number of Councillors per percentage of the population. This will prevent councils increasing the number of councillors for no reason.

    8) Reduce migration and ban ICT (Inter-Company Transfers) so that companies can no longer import cheap foreign labour. This will create more jobs for the native population.

    9) Make it illegal for people to be employed on a service contract and paid via private companies. At present this is used to avoid income tax as the employee is paid in shares, which are subject to CGT.

    Reply: Some good ideas in your list. I would not myself be so disparaging about work expereince in a leading supermarket. Turning up on time, demonstrating work discipline and learning about the high standards of a good company might well look good on the CV and get you a job.

    1. uanime5
      August 17, 2012

      John why would a supermarket hire someone when they can get people who will work for free? Replacing paying jobs with unpaid “training” is one of the major problems with workfare.

      Workfare will continue to destroy jobs unless the unpaid period is short, say 1-2 weeks; and after this period ends the company has to give the person a job or pay them for the time you worked there (minimum wage is the lowest they can pay). This will prevent companies getting free labour and allow them to test a new employee for a short period of time.

  52. Jock
    August 16, 2012

    all of them

  53. Iain Gill
    August 16, 2012

    Got to say I watched “Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery” and agree with him 100%. Waste on the methadone nonsense could be saved.

    The incentives in the system for the people running and working in the drugs treatment system need fixing, mainly within civil service, legal system, nhs.

  54. Mark
    August 17, 2012

    On student loans:

    I believe that official forecasts are that loans will be written off at taxpayer expense for half or more of all students. In plain terms, that means that government knows that education simply will not pay for these students (especially since fees don’t cover the full cost anyway). Why are we wasting this money which could be spent much more productively on improving the lot of youth who are simply joining the benefits system?

    I can’t believe that all these students are foreigners.

  55. Iain Gill
    August 17, 2012

    2 further things (sorry for so many posts I know it’s your blog)
    Big savings could be made on the defence budget if they would just amalgamate the RAF and Army into one force called say “The Army” the RAF could be part of a bigger Army Air Corps. Would strip countless layers of duplication with no downsides apart from the bun fight needed to carry it out with the vested interests.
    I understand from the press you have been making statements about who pays for old age care. A few things 1 we have got to incentivise saving and people “doing the right thing” by their families at the moment the incentives are all in the opposite direction 2 my Dad built his house from a shell over many years with his own hands and he paid for plenty of others old age care via his taxes I don’t think taking that house off the family is equitable.

  56. Lindsay McDougall
    August 17, 2012

    These cuts are fine but not necessarily large.

    What about Health, Education and Welfare?

    Since 2001, these 3 categories of expenditure have each risen as a % of total public expenditure. In addition, total public expenditure has risen as a % of GDP.

    In times of hardship, what has gone up must come down. So, what are your proposals, Mr Redwood?

    Reply Watch this space. I am writing a series on public spending.

  57. Kenn Heeley
    August 19, 2012

    Mr Redwood, you have deliberately missed the most important one. A moritorium on the climate change act until evidence of CAGW can be demonstrated, not output den computer models.

  58. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    August 20, 2012

    With reference to Item 3:

    The IMF has recently published an “IMF Working Paper” (Research Department) on the
    “The Chicago Plan Revisited”, published August 2012. PositiveMoney recently highlighted this new IMF document.

    “At the height of the Great Depression a number of leading U.S. economists advanced a proposal for monetary reform that became known as the Chicago Plan.”

    It is a positive step in the right direction as it discusses the adavatages of 100% Reserve Banking – No Money Creation by Banks.

    The Document states that the key functions of Banks today are as creators and destroyers of Money – which is not their largely incidental function as financial intermediaries between depositors and borrowers, which is regarded as their key role by the BBC.

    After the reader of this document gasps in disbelief at the fact that Banks are not simply Intermediaries, the IMF lists four advantages to Full Reserve Banking (which is just another way of saying that Banks no longer can create as much debt as they like ), these are:

    1. Better control over the Business Cycle,
    2. Eliminate Bank Runs,
    3. A Dramatic reduction of (net) government debt and
    4. A dramatic reduction of private debt.

    It also states that Inflation could be brought down to near zero, thereby maintaining the Stability of the Money Supply – which is what the Bank of England is supposed to do but has been too busy preventing much worse catastrophies by using extensive Quantitative Easing, so have had to shelve their interest in Inflation Figures for a while.

    Mr Redwood, if Full reserve Banking were introduced, your objectives of less Regulation could easily be achieved.

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