What wasteful public expenditures would you like to see reduced?

One of the strange features of the much discussed age of austerity has been the barrage of demands for lower public spending that have gone unheeded by Ministers claiming they want to reduce public spending.

Foremost has  been the £10 to £15 bn a year sent to the EU. A majority of the public voted to end this in 2016, only to find three years later some Ministers and MPs are insisting on still giving it away, with many wanting to lock us into more of the same for years to come.

Then there is the case of the world’s dearest new railway, HS2. Many have made proposals for much cheaper and quicker ways of increasing north south train capacity. Many of us want more spent on northern commuter rail improvements into the main cities as a priority. This could be done much more quickly than HS2 and at a fraction of the total cost of the large project.  Latest estimates of a total cost in excess of £70bn imply more than £5bn a year could be saved by cancellation, prior to allocating decent capital sums to faster introduction  of digital signals and by pass sections of track on existing main lines to boost capacity , and similar improvements on commuter routes into the main  northern cities.

There is the pledge to spend 0.7% of GDP on overseas aid. This Parliament is unlikely to want to cut that, but we should spend more wisely within that budget. The set up costs for the first year of a refugee or an economic migrant  from a poor country are allowable expenses to qualify. Given the continuing large numbers entering the UK, we should allocate substantial sums to the housing budget from the overseas aid budget to cover more of the costs of provision of additional homes for new arrivals. There should also be larger transfers to the education budget to allow for the extra school places needed and the additional language skills to teach new pupils who have little or no English on arrival. This would increase  those budgets whilst reducing total spending.

The new government should implement the agreed policy that any visitor to the UK needing non emergency treatment should have to pay the NHS. Visitors should be advised to come with health insurance or the cash. Migrant workers coming to the UK should not qualify for all the  benefits for a specified period, as Mr Cameron wished to do but was unable to get EU agreement.





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  1. Mark B
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I think we all like the above gotten rid of. I notice one omission, and that of Hinckley Point. For so many reasons this must go ! Replace it with coal, gas and potable small nuclear power stations.

    We could use the savings and spend it on the much needed Heathrow airport expansion.

    But with so many greedy corporates fingers in government pies I see little chance of this happening.

  2. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Off topic, Douglas on the Isle of Man could be a very good place for Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar to have their projected meeting.

    Not London, not Dublin, certainly not the imperial capital Brussels, no need to go as far as Geneva, and eating kippers together might help.

    Or maybe they could have a private man to man chat in a spa:


    If Caroline Lucas had her way it would be woman to woman.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Oh, apparently the Irish believe that Boris Johnson has already agreed he will go to Dublin for an audience with the Great Varadkar – but what is the point?


      “No EU border talks when Johnson goes to Dublin”

      “The EU border deal will not be up for discussion when Irish leader Leo Varadkar meets British prime minister Boris Johnson in Dublin in early September, the Irish government has said. “The withdrawal agreement and the backstop are not up for negotiation,” it said on Sunday, referring to “backstop” plans, hated by Johnson, to keep Britain in the EU customs union in order to maintain an open border with Ireland.”

      • acorn
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Denis, the word from Whitehall and Brussels number crunchers, is to do a Sir Philip Green job. Sell the loss making pain in the arse Northern Ireland to the Republic for a £1 including debts.

        According to Slugger O’Toole, “Official figures explain that the annual net cost to the UK being in the European Union is £8.1 billion. Whereas the size of the annual subvention to Northern Ireland is a whopping £9.2 billion. It costs more for Northern Ireland to be within the UK than for the UK to be in the EU!”

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:09 am | Permalink

          What a load of rubbish.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Sends the wrong signal. Here or neutral. Nor more pandering and supplication.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        I’ve just sent this letter to the Daily Telegraph:


        I am truly shocked to read that Boris Johnson is prepared to travel to Dublin for an audience with the Great Varadkar, and even though the latter has made it clear that the matters of greatest interest to the UK government can not and will not be included in their discussions.

        I suggest that a better venue would be that beautiful island set in the Irish Sea which is part of neither the UK nor Ireland and is also outside the EU, the Isle of Man, and I further suggest that for a change our Prime Minister tells the Irish Prime Minister what is on the agenda and clearly explains that UK law already ensures that we will not be erecting any hard border on the island of Ireland.

        I am sure that Manx kippers could also be an aid to a friendly and productive meeting.

        Yours etc.”

        JR, please can’t you do something to stop Boris Johnson making the terrible mistake of kow-towing to Leo Varadkar in this way?

      • Mikex
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        I think they are just going to have a chat about setting up the assembly again in NI- because all talk about the WA will have to be conducted in Brussels and since the EU have made it clear that it is not up for discussion then no point in talking.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          Not what a variety of reports say, eg:


          “Varadkar and Johnson to meet to discuss Brexit”

          “The Sunday Telegraph reported this morning that Johnson had accepted an offer from Varadkar to meet to try to break the Brexit deadlock.”

          “A spokesperson for Varadkar confirmed this afternoon that he had invited Johnson to Dublin for talks on Northern Ireland and Brexit.”

    • Richard1
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      i think Geneva would be a good choice. they could perhaps take a few breaks to take trips across the various borders around Geneva in and out of the CU and the SM – and see how it is you don’t have to have a hard border to move across the EU frontier.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    The things you suggest above are all sensible cuts to make. The vaste waste on fake “green” subsidies (for so called renewable energy and electric cars) should all go too. People will invest and buy these things, when and if they make sense. Rolling out duff technology prematurely using tax payer subsidies is a vast waste of money.

    What is the point of the “Office of Tax Simplification” in the nine years it has been arround taxes and roughly doubled in complexity and stupidity pay by results perhaps. What is the point the Minister for “Women and Equalities” and indeed that whole department? Are they for eqaulity or for “women” you cannot be both.

    There are endless quango’s and whole departments that do nothing of much use and often do much harm.

    There are also huge saving to be made in the private sector just by cutting damaging and pointless red tape and tax complexity. The making tax digial rules alone is now costing my
    companies another £700 PA on software plus extra staff time of perhaps £2,000. Thus reducing profits our ability to compete and indeed the corporation tax take for the government.

    The NHS should of course charge everyone something other than the tiny few who really can not pay anything. People should be encouraged to use private medicine and schools with tax breaks, vouchers etc. to take the pressure off the NHS.

    The main areas where pointless and parasitic jobs arise due to damaging & often idiotic red tape, laws and rules are:- Employment laws, the legal profession, the no win no fee litigation, tax compliance and tax avoidance, planning rules, building regulations, refuse rules, the renewable energy racket and health and safety. But there are so many more government inflicted insanities. These are win, win areas just cut out the red tape and free up people to do productive things instead of parasitic ones.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      I have no objection to a Slavery Museum, but it clearly should not be given tax payers money the dire Sadiq Khan (who I think mentioned that he is the son of a bus driver) seems to want to.

      Museums in general should be funded by people who actually want to visit them (or from charitable donations). Not by taxing people under threat of imprisonment and forcing them to “give”.

      As indeed should “The Arts” in general. Then they might serve the public rather than pushing lefty, state funded, drivel at them as they so often do.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Sadiq Khan backs London slavery museum “to challenge racism”.

        What on earth does the dope mean to “to challenge racism”? Sound like more a government propaganda agenda to me. Governments should certainly not be spending taxes on propaganda and telling people how they must think. It always backfires anyway. It seems unlikely that many of the more racist people would choose to visit such a place anyway or perhaps they will they be forced to?

  4. Iain Gill
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Stop free school places for children in families where nobody is entitled to indefinite leave to remain, unless they come from countries which offer reciprocal school places to British children in their country.

    Don’t let them into the country if their parents cannot afford to school them.

    Any families with kids born here where nobody has indefinite leave to remain to be deported before their kids reach school age, if they cannot afford to school them.

  5. Shirley
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    I agree with every suggestion made in the OP, plus translator services should be paid by the person needing them, as happens in other countries. Why do we print guides in several languages, and even some road signs have more than language? This acts as a disincentive for immigrants to learn English and integrating. They have no need as the UK bends over backwards to make it unnecessary, but it comes as a cost to others.

    Translation services cost the NHS approx. £23m each year. We should stop being an international NHS, which is widely abused by some people.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Not just the NHS, councils, Police, Immigration etc.etc.

  6. Dominic
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Reform the State and introduce a culture in which the taxpayer value is embraced not despised.

    Start with HS2. This is of course part of the EU’s grand plan to connect all parts of the EU empire. Britain did exactly the same thing in India. Therefore HS2 is a political project and should be scrapped. There’s no economic nor financial reason to continue the project. It is an example of the arrogant abuse of the taxpayer

    How much lower would our taxes be if we dismantled Labour’s client State, reformed Labour’s State dependency unit (the Welfare State) and abolish a culture that allows politicians of both sides to use the taxpayer to improve the political standing of their own parties

    The taxpayer exists to finance important public services. Its function should not include financing the political spending plans of political parties

    On that basis and at the risk of repetition I would like to see the abolish of these to weaken Labour’s grip –

    Abolish the Opt-in System for State employees. Cameron promised to do this but bottled it as he did everything else. It’s a minor spending item but would have deliciously serious consequences for Labour and the unions who feed off the taxpayer

    Abolish the BBC tax and make it voluntary. Kick the BBC’s propaganda platform into the private sector

    These suggestions won’t make a jot of difference of course. Politicians in government embrace spending more. The taxpayer affords them an opportunity to show us how generous and virtuous they are with other peoples money and gives them wiggle room

    At least we now have a plethora of SPAD’s from the Taxpayers Alliance and that’s start I suppose.

  7. Tory in Cumbria
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Leaving the EU will cost us billions, as all serious economists have made crystal clear. The main issue is reduction in trade, both with the EU (because we are walking away from Mrs Thatcher’s single market) and with the rest of the world (because we are about to lose the benefits of all the EU’s trade deals), but there are immense short terms costs too, such as hiring thousands of new customs officers (Brexit = bureaucracy). So now that Brexit has been exposed as a fantasy let’s boost our nation’s finances by cancelling it.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      a foolishly patronising tone. there are many ‘serious’ economists who think there will be benefits. Patrick Minford, Roger Bootle, Allister Heath are a few examples.

      For example, it could be trade will increase – if for example the EU decides not to start a trade war by imposing tariffs etc, and the UK signs FTAs around the world which further free up markets.

    • L Jones
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      ”All serious economists…”
      Would you name them, please?

      Perhaps you would tell us what kind of punishment your EU masters would inflict upon us should Brexit be ”cancelled”. Or do you really think they would have us on the same terms as before (which weren’t exactly in our favour anyway)? Or will you admit that the reason they want us to remain is for our money? Or do you think it’s because they care about our welfare?

      There are many of us who cannot see why you people are STILL thrall to your EU even after all the exposure of corruption, undemocratic decision-making and downright un-neighbourliness. Why do YOU think we should remain?

    • John Downes
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      You are Rory Stewart and I claim my €5.

    • Shirley
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Extra customs staff is just replacing those jobs lost when we joined the EEC. We lost many jobs and industries when we joined the EEC/EU and will now regain them, and fishing, and steel production, etc. I’d rather spend money on providing jobs in the UK than hand the money over to the EU to waste on unused motorways, etc.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Definition of a serious economist, an economist who forecasts what I want to hear.

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


      Grow up and join the real world

    • NickC
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Tory in Cumbria, The EU’s single market is the opposite of what Margaret Thatcher wanted. You have obviously never read her Bruges speech, or any of her other later HoC speeches opposed to the EU (EEC/EC). She was removed precisely because she turned against the EU.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Sir Ivor Crewe summarised his extensive research on why so many government policies “fail spectacularly”. He identified “ministerial hyper-activism” as one of the behavioural causes of government blunders, noting, “Benign neglect – the option of doing nothing – is alien to the modern culture of Whitehall”. I would add that most politicians are not scientifically, economically or mathematically literate. Also they self select and tend to be the types of people who like to order and boss others around.

    This is however not surprsing bureaucrats are in the business of regulation so the more regulation the better for them. Only politician can stop them or hold them back from this but they rarely even try. This is why we now have the highest taxes for 50 years and the most iditoic red tape and a further tax on top too.

    So PPE graduates (like Sir Ivor) do ocassionally get things right (as Ann Widdecome did – one of only a handful not voting for Ed’s dire virtue signalling Climate Change Act). Let us hope that all the greencrap that Boris’s ministers are coming out with is just dishonest green wash (for any election that might arise) and they will drop it like a hot potato should they win.

  9. Old Albion
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    “we should allocate substantial sums to the housing budget from the overseas aid budget to cover more of the costs of provision of additional homes for new arrivals”

    Actually JR, we should stop these bogus individuals from landing here and then we could stop concreting over England to house the world.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Albion. There are over six hundred thousand empty homes, and a similar number of unbuilt planning permissions. The developers also own an untold amount of brownfield pending applications, but would rather strangle supply.

      Anyway, we have streets of houses for one pound each in Liverpool, in County Durham, and elsewhere. This proves that local market outlook, and not general UK population pressure, is the main determinant of property prices.

      If population were the main reason for high residential property prices, then why did they fall sharply between 2008 and 2011, while it was still steadily growing, just as previously? And why has the average asking price just fallen again by £25,000?

      No, it is mainly land-banking, speculation, lax credit and low interest rates, which are keeping the bubble generally inflated.

      The main single factor causing demand is divorce in any case, I read.

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

        Martin, Don’t be silly, demand is the only factor which determines price, assuming continuing physical availability. Nine million extra people (migrants) in the UK inevitably influences demand. Simply because there are other factors at work, such as the economic bust of 2008, does not mean that the huge increase in migrant numbers over the last two decades is not a factor.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      A good sum of money from the aid budget could be used to charter planes to return bogus refugees home.
      Aid could be conditional on governments taking back their citizens
      VAT should be scrapped on fuel and house renovations

    • bigneil
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Absolutely 100% spot on OA. Not only housed. NHS, schooling, benefits etc supplied. WE have to fund them sitting here, demanding our ways, laws and rules are altered – to suit THEM. Arrive, commit the worst crimes and know they can claim they’ll be persecuted if deported – so – allowed to stay. Unemployable, a burden to us – and a danger. Well rewarded for their crimes.

    • Andy
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Bogus individuals, as you call them, are sent home.

      Those allowed to stay are not bogus.

      They have been allowed to stay because they are refugees.

      Are you advocating sending people back to places where they may be murdered?

      • Know-Dice
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        Are you advocating sending people back to places where they may be murdered?

        Is France REALLY that bad?

        • Fred H
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          in some areas of Paris – YES.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            London doesn’t seem to be that good either 🙁

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          Suppose that the position were reversed, and that people who had no right to be here, and who wanted to be in France anyway, were waiting at Dover to try to get to France.

          How diligent would you think that the UK authorities should be, in preventing them, on behalf of the French?

          Would you say that France had a right, to demand that the UK keep them?

          • Know-Dice
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

            Hmm…Yes, that’s what the Dublin Regulation says whilst we are in the EU.

          • NickC
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

            Martin, Why should the people that you postulate “want” to go to France (or in the current situation, the UK) get what they want, just because they want it? Currently France has a moral and legal obligation to keep the migrants or return them to the first safe country.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Andy has you this time – apparently France IS that bad – but only for native French! The Aliens are A OK!

        • libertarian
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Andy wouldnt know what France is like,hes never been there

      • Iain Gill
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Often allowed to stay because they claim to be children when they are actually in their twenties

    • DaveM
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink


    • Jack Leaver
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Charity begins at home. Would anyone borrow money to give it to charity when their parents and children were in need? This is what the UK is doing when we are spending around £14 billion a year on foreign aid. How can we justify BORROWING this amount and giving it away overseas when social services for the young and old are in urgent need for funds?

    • Timaction
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Totally agree. Why are they allowed here without language skills? If they can’t speak the language they are not in work and why are we being taxed for these people? We don’t need any more immigration on this overcrowded island. A totally out of touch Parliament not implementing there own manifesto promises and no one believes the legacies on anything anymore. Incompetence and idhonesty all round.

    • Peter
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Quite. However, the article addresses matters politicians like to discuss, whereas the comments seem to be a comprehensive wish list of areas many of the general public would like to see reined in.

      The cynic in me suspects there will be all sorts of cost-cutting promises and spending pledges with a general election in mind. These will amount to little or nothing in practice.

  10. agricola
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    You have covered most of it. HS2 the greatest vanity project to date to save 20 minutes at great expense to get to London or Birmingham. EU membership fees and severance fees are another. The taxes we pay just to follow EU dictats on all things environmental. Taxes that produce little in return but great expense for the individual and industry. Meanwhile power generation and distribution is a shambles. Other aspects of our infrastructure are equally shambolic.

    Meanwhile our elderly in need of end of life care get their savings and dwelling stolen. One rule for the profligate.and another for the thrifty is criminal.

    The area for vast potential saving is population expansion whether it be by limiting migration or reproduction or both.

    Education is neglected. If a State pupil gets £6000 pa and it costs £30,000 pa to be educated privately, there must be a halfway point at which state pupils get an infinitely better all round education. University education should be free for those following courses in line with national need. The country can live without an intimate knowledge of Shakespeare but not without engineers scientists or medics of all varieties.

    One could go on and on. Ultimately we need a well led largely single minded government. At present we wait to see whether we have such.

  11. jerry
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Sir John, it is not necessarily the total sum of public expenditure that many object to but how, where and why much of the money is spent, indeed HS2 is a prime example, another is the public money paid out via Help to Buy, in both cases the money could be better spent/targeted.

    • jerry
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      The NHS could make huge savings, and thus provide far more front line medical treatments for the same over-all funding, doing this by being subject to far less political correctness and back-office form filling, layer of management etc.

      As for migrant workers, if they pay taxes then they should qualify for any and all benefits that a school leaver does, after all most school leavers have not built up any Tax/NI based entitlements either – and of course that migrant is often doing the work many -not all- a school leaver could be doing rather than studying at University simply because of some political correct idea that 50% of our youth should go to University.

      How is the above relevant to your article; if quality, not quantity, was the norm at degree level, with trade related skills being taught within Further Education (with more use of state subsidised/employer funded day, block and evening school system), considering the expected level of non repaying of Student Loans from degree level study at Universities there would be a over all long term saving and perhaps less need for migrant labour.

    • Andy
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      I object to almost half of my taxes going on the elderly.

      Pensions, social care, extra NHS cost, old age perks.

      My money would be much better targeted on younger people.

      • David Taylor
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Andy , Do you have access to the Fountain of Youth ?
        You will be elderly yourself one day . also the elderly paid through their working life , for your education & any NHS treatment you received whilst you were growing up , what a narrow view of life , yours & other peoples you have .

        • Matt Ryan
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

          The elderly paid tax and NI through their life but the government spend that on receipt and didn’t actually make any provision for them.

          However, it’s not all bad as long as we can fund each years pension from government revenue (sic).

          • David Taylor
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

            Tax & NI is government revenue , the government requires a constant flow of it to pay for all its Financial plans , HS2 , foreign aid , defence , EU contributions , Social Security , the Health Service .
            I would point out that a previous Prime Minister often pointed out that it is not “Government” money , it is the taxpayers money , yours & mine , a wiser use of it would be appreciated , by this taxpayer anyway .

      • Fred H
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        Andy ….so when I am sick, with poor sight, almost immobile, begging in the street outside Waitrose ( I hope to keep up my standards ) will you take pity and escort me to have a hot drink and sandwich? No? I thought not.

        • Andy
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          No. You should have saved your money when you were younger rather than being feckless. Most of the baby boomers I know are forever on holiday. Why should my taxes subsidise them traveling the world?

          Most of you take far more out of the system than you have ever paid in. This is unfair on future generations and is unsustainable. The something for nothing generation really need to learn to be more responsible.

          • NickC
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

            Andy, Well, there are feckless people in all generations. But my experience is the reverse of yours. The baby boomers were taught to, and did, go without precisely to save for their middle and older years. It’s those savings then, which allow some (not all) to go travelling the world now, not your imaginary “subsidies”.

          • David Taylor
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            Andy , I must disagree with your opinion .
            I think the something for nothing generation is anyone born after 1975 .

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        Not ‘your’ money Andy – their money! They put in good £’s for their pension and health care. And they paid for your education (which was obviously a waste of their money). I worked out that I have paid £18,000 for each visit to the GP (my NIC paid divided by my visits) – do you think I should pay more than that? Do you?

      • AlmostDead
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        Normally, I don’t agree with Andy, but that society should pay over and above what these people contributed “over their life” is for birds. They should get back what they paid in and not a penny more. Pensioners should work if they need to make ends meet. Individual responsibility should drive social support in our society not poorly run government run social programs like NHS and social care.

        • NickC
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          Almostdead, “Normally” you do agree with Andy!

          • AlmostDead
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

            Not correct, sir. I believe in political freedom and autonomy, emphasising freedom of choice, voluntary association and individual judgment. I’m looking forward to Brexit so we can make radical change in the governance of this country. I’m in favour of self-ownership, private property and free markets and against government managed/controlled delivery of welfare services like the NHS, social care and pensions.

    • James1
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      It’s not just a case of reducing public expenditures. We should be totally eliminating government spending in many areas. We need to remember where the money comes from, it doesn’t come from nowhere. The money the government spends is not government money, it’s taxpayers money. We could make a start by not throwing almost infinite amounts of additional money into an unreformed NHS. The NHS is literally killing tens of thousands of people every year in terms of clinical outcomes in Britain compared with the clinical outcomes in several other European countries in the treatment of such things as cancer and heart disease.

      • Ian Pennell
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        @ James1

        ” We could make a start by not throwing almost infinite amounts of additional money into an unreformed NHS. The NHS is literally killing tens of thousands of people every year in terms of clinical outcomes in Britain compared with the clinical outcomes in several other European countries in the treatment of such things as cancer and heart disease.”

        Tampering with the NHS Budget is Electorally Toxic! We need to get a Brexit- supporting Majority in Parliament to get Brexit done properly. When- and only when- Brexit has been delivered (and the Left no longer a threat to Britain’s democracy) can the Conservatives risk defeat by reforming the NHS.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Lansley supposedly reformed the NHS, he just screwed it up. Need to do it properly.

          • AlmostDead
            Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

            We need to get rid of the NHS in its entirety.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      HS2 could be descoped to just run fast diesel trains, lots of the expense would disappear if we did that.

  12. Iain Gill
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Stop subsidy to foreign workers in this country, tax them at least as much as locals.

    No first year in the country free of national insurance.

    No tax free supposed expenses for things Brits working far from home cannot claim.

    No working for outsourcing companies paying tax in havens.

    • Mikex
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Not to worry, with the pound in near freefall there won’t be many foreigners coming here looking for work and with all of the bad press there won’t be many tourists coming either- we’ll have the whole place to ourselves

  13. GilesB
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    We need more rail capacity. But does not need to be high speed: that was an EU requirement for HS2.

    The cost of collecting the TV licence, not just what is given to Capita, but all the resources wasted in the Court and Prison systems. Pay the BBC from the exchequer: one bank transfer.


    Defining, investigating and prosecuting so called ‘hate’ crimes.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      define high-speed. Is that saving 15 mins on a 90 miles existing train route? Or top speed for 20-30 miles of a journey? Averaging over 100mph, 150mph, 200mph? Priced at roughly existing journey cost or much more? What ease of access to starting station, and ease of onward routes at destination? Cost £20bn, £40bn, £60bn, £80bn we don’t know?

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Avoiding pointless & counterproductive wars and making defence expenditure sensible & efficient would save billions too. Currently it is totally incompetent, inept and hugely wasteful.

    I just listened to the “Book Talk” on the book “Heroes or Villains?: The Blair Government Reconsidered”. One of authors (lefty John Rentoul) said:- The “Blair lied thousands died” narative is simply untrue. Unfortunately that narative is spot on – for Blair’s most appalling error and predictable error. Only one of rather many.

    What will historians make of May’s endless dishonesty and attempts to force the nation into paying many £ billions to become a vassal state of the EU? Or the appalling Conservative MPs who went along with this and the 200 who even voted confidence in her long after it was clear what a traitor she was. At least thousands did not die I suppose – though they might well have done later had May managed to ram her appalling, anti-democratic W/A disaster through.

  15. Iain Gill
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Stop funding clinical commissioning groups, rationing decisions to be taken nationally, give funding direct to patients whenever possible.

    Stop funding education authorities, funding to be given direct to parents whenever possible.

    • jerry
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      @Iain Gill; “whenever possible.”

      Our host asked for ways to save money, not spend more…

      The state needs to either provide a universal service or it doesn’t, if education up to the age of 18 is to remain mandatory converting the state into a ‘provider of last resort’ (rather than the primary provider) will actually cost more, just as having to keep a primary school open from just a handful of local children does.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Not if you stop wasting money on education authorities overhead

        • jerry
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

          @Iain Gill; Without (local) education authorities how would your proposed voucher scheme be administrated?

          • Iain Gill
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

            printing some cheques does not take much to administer.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        I believe there is wholesale waste going on with 16 year olds taking up fill-in courses to 18 which avoids them studying at school for A levels. Many have no real interest or wish to use any knowledge or skill they might pick up. However, they escape school attendance. Meaningful apprenticeships are rare and tradespeople see little value in training people themselves.

      • AlmostDead
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        “The state needs to either provide a universal service or it doesn’t”

        Answer: It doesn’t

        • jerry
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

          @AlmostDead; It does if the law states that children between age 5 and 18 must attend school, if the parents can not afford your proposed private school fees (or a private school is not accessible due to location) then the state hast to provide a school of last resort – or are you seriously suggesting that such education become voluntary once again?…

          • NickC
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, That’s what the education voucher is for – payment via general taxation (as now), but direct to the parents not to the education “authorities”. And no it wouldn’t cost more than piggy-backing some words onto the existing child allowance system.

          • jerry
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; The existence of an education voucher is totally irrelevant to the problem you and others keep skirting around as if it was a bad smell.

            What if there is no suitable private school in the catchment area, what if the parents do not have the ability to home school or can not find a suitable private tutor, are you suggesting that parents be forced to send their children to boarding schools?

            There will thus need to be suitable schools of last resort funded by the State, in addition to providing your beloved vouchers, and without the economies of scale that cost could be excessive – to the tax payer…

          • AlmostDead
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 12:03 am | Permalink

            To be clear control should rest with the individual or parents. The law requiring mandatory education should be repealed.

    • AlmostDead
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Agree with both of these. In addition, the NHS should be ripped up and replaced with a private payer system driven by market demands. I’ve lived in many countries and used many national health systems and the NHS is by far the worst in terms of patient outcomes. The entire system is rotten to the core and should not be on the government payroll. Privatise the whole thing.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Correct, turn it into a state backed insurance scheme, get the state out of owning and running providers of care

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

          @Iain Gill, so let me get this correct, you want to replace a mandatory State NI tax with a State mandated fee you must pay (from your post tax income) for private health insurance cover, somewhat like German system?

          The words deckchairs and Titanic come to mind!

          One has to ask who would actually benefit, not the sick, not the tax payer (they might actually end up paying more), so that leaves those receiving share dividends from the private health providers who quite understandably expect to make a profit from our their investment…

          • NickC
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Amazingly I find myself in agreement with your views on retaining the NHS, in principle as is.

            What the NHS needs is fewer forms, duplication, and managers. We have to revert to trusting professionals like surgeons, doctors, nurses, ancillaries to do their job without immensely time wasting bureaucracy. Consequently, incompetents, and the dangerous, must be able to be sacked rather than protected by colleagues, of course.

          • Iain Gill
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            pay like now out of tax

            just instead of current situation of rationing and allocation, patients are simply given cheques to take to any provider they like when diagnosed, rationing done in the policy wording and not when you are ill by nameless faceless bureaucrat

            copy Australian, new zealand or belgian systems

          • AlmostDead
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

            This rose-tinted idealism has become so ingrained within the public consciousness, though, that to even suggest reforming our healthcare system these days has become political suicide. The NHS is a much celebrated by the British public. However, there is one problem with it: it doesn’t work very well. Many like to think that our NHS is the “envy of the world”, but this is far from the case. In international comparisons including from the WHO, OECD and the Commonwealth Fund, it almost always ranks in the bottom third of developed countries, on par with the Czech Republic and Slovenia. The Commonwealth fund study is by far the most generous, and thus is the one that its defenders most often site. However, even in this study, in the health outcomes category it ranks second to last. In other words “The only black mark against the NHS was its poor record of keeping people alive”. A much better solution would be a social health insurance system, the model used by many social democracies. They combine the universality of a public system with the consumer choice, competitiveness and innovation of a market system. With social health insurance, everyone in the country, no matter their level of income, has universal access to quality healthcare, just like the system we know. And in terms of patient outcomes, quality and efficiency, these systems beat the NHS on almost nearly every single measure. Our out-dated, bureaucratic, fully state-controlled healthcare system is badly in need of reform. Privatisation isn’t a bad word – it can work very well, as we learn from our European neighbours. Instead of clinging to what we’ve got, we should be exploring these alternatives. Healthcare policy should reject the ideological quagmire it’s currently stuck in and focus on what really matters: the patient.

  16. GilesB
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Reduce the size of the House of Lords.

    The US manages with 100 senators in their revising chamber.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Totally agree. The H of L needs drastically reducing. As does the House of Commons. It’s ridiculous that there are still 117 MPs with Scottish, Welsh & NI constituencies at Westminster when most of their workloads are done for them by MSPs and AMs in their own parliaments. If they couldn’t interfere and vote on matters that neither concern them nor their constituents, they would be sitting on their hands most of the day with very little to do. Part time MPs on full time salaries and pensions are an unnecessary and undemocratic waste of taxpayers’ (mostly English) money.

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

      I heartily agree with this comment. The numbers are out of control and many do not deserve to be there anyway. It’s actually beneficial when many of them DON’T turn up!

      There must be a better way to organise, and enlist members, of the second chamber.

    • agricola
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      I might add that the USA with a population of around 365 milion only needs 250 representatives. That many of the 250 are just as self centered and vociferous as our 650 only indicates that like the UK the wrong people find their way into politics. Perhaps it is the choice of last resort.

    • graham1946
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Mrs. May is going to appoint her cronies soon so it will be even bigger.

    • Ian!
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      In the US they even vote for People to speak for them, can you imagine?

      The again with a population of 350million they manage very well with 435 seats in congress. the UK 60million 650 seats.

      The UK has 650 seats in Parliament and they just obey the EU while fighting the people they want to vote for them.

      Some gravy trains just don’t offer value for money.

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

      I would also reduce the number of MPs in House of Parliament to less than 100 and MPs shouldn’t get a salary or a pension. That should reduce number of scroungers we have today.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        pay them exactly what they earnt in their last year in the private sector, plus RPI, if they have never worked in the private sector pay them no more than an army sergeant gets

  17. Iain Gill
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Stop funding limo’s for so many on the public payroll, vast numbers of the Scottish parliament have them…

    • agricola
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      The problem is that these parliamentarians are allowed to set the rules for themselves. I believe they even have their own dedicated tax department in HMRC.

      If they used the same transport facilities as joe citizen it might be a much better system.

    • Pete S
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Not to forget that pro rata the Scottish Parl is 4 times bigger than the UK Parl.

      • Fred H
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        and no expense spared in there. It is luxury and spacious – fit for Kings? – no fit for joke politicians who are up their own backside!

  18. APL
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    JR: “Then there is the case of the world’s dearest new railway, HS2. ”

    Build a new coal fired power station instead.

    HS2 will be a useless hunk of scrap plastic and steel, without electricity.

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

      You could build 10 coal fired stations and have a shed load of money left.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Interesting comment on the Business New Europe website re German renewables bubble bursting.

      “Germany installs fewest wind turbines since 2000…..down 82% ytd on 2018….two more years and more will be scrapped than added.”

      • Fred H
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Build some in Brussels – lots of wind there… the old ones are the best ones.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Why not start by allowing Drax to revert to coal? Is there anything more stupid than insisting that a coal fired power station be adapted to burn wood like some posy housewife?

      Scrap the aircraft carriers which do not add to our defence capability: they can’t launch proper aircraft, just the grotesquely overpriced, under performing Lightning 35B and with a range of 10,000 nautical miles and a cruising speed of 25 knots, they will require refuelling every 16 days, apart from which they are huge sitting ducks whose loss would be devastating.

      • JohnK
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink


        Do stop hating on the aircraft carriers.

        One is built and the other will be by next year. There is nothing to be saved by scrapping them now. The cost for both is about £6 billion, which government spends in three days, but they will serve our navy for 30 to 50 years.

        You claim they do not enhance our defence capability. You ought to have a word with America, Russia, France, Spain, Italy, India, Japan and China, all of whom have carriers already and are building more This seems odd since you have decided these ships have no value. Please write to all these countries and point out their mistakes, I am sure they will be happy to hear from you.

        Then again, you might just be mistaken. Is that possible? Have a think about it and let me know,

        • forthurst
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          They need to be crewed and operated. Call them aircraft carriers if you like but they are amphibious assault ships in terms of what they can deploy. The F-35B was designed specifically for the US Marine Corps to operate in theatre and its STOVL capability comes at the cost of substantial weapons carrying, manoeuvrability and range loss but it is useful for ground attack against sandal wearing forces armed with AK47s; with a range of 900 nm, it pulls its mother ship within easy range of hypersonic missiles.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        the carriers leak anyways, so they are hardly combat ready

        • JohnK
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          Only HMS Queen Elizabeth is at sea. She is undergoing her shakedown cruise as any new ship does. Yes, a pipe has burst and there was a flood (she did not spring a leak). It was contained and she is being repaired. Similar things happen to all new ships. Please do not repeat such flippant and ignorant comments. The only person they reflect on is you.

          • forthurst
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

            You could also add that nobody drowned although the water was neck high. You’re obviously a defence expert so why didn’t the water drain into the bilges?

          • Iain Gill
            Posted August 14, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            there is a lot more to this than is in the public domain, all classified. if it was public it would be front page news.

      • APL
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        forthurst: “Why not start by allowing Drax to revert to coal?”

        Odds on, some nitwit in the Civil Service has probably signed a 99 year lease with the wood pulp producer.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      APL — HS2 will be a useless hunk of scrap plastic and steel, EVEN without electricity.

  19. Noneoftheabove
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    All of the above, at least!

  20. Graham Wood
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Sir John. Your comments and suggestions are full of sound common sense and
    wise practical stewardship of national resources as usual.
    If any one issue is to be singled out for urgent attention then in my view it would
    have to be the badly conceived and grossly wasteful mis-use of public money in
    the destructive and bizarre HS2 project.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      It was an EU instruction under their trans Europe network. Just hidden from the public as always.

  21. JimS
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    It has to be far cheaper in both economic and social costs to do more to support ‘migrants’ in the region that they come from. Africa, for instance, has the potential to grow far more food over a longer season than Europe.

    Moneywise it is small beer but please start the ‘bonfire of Quangos’ and do something about the way judges increasingly see themselves as law makers and extenders of ‘negative’ rights. Related to this is the way modern parliaments keep adding ‘Canute’ legislation, trying to put targets and aspirations into law. All that does is keep well-paid lawyers in work at public expense.

    Let’s get rid of ‘can’t do’ legislation, why can’t parents build a scout hut or bake a cake? The social cost of these laws has been tremendous yet lives saved must be minimal.
    (A scout group by me used to pay £1 rent but now has to pay an ‘economic’ rent that is relieved by grant aid six months later after it has ‘proved’ that it is operating in a ‘diverse’, ‘inclusive’ and ‘politically correct’ way. Plus having to employ an accountant to satisfy the Charity Commission because rent-out/aid-in inflates the budget. Why would anyone want to set up a new volunteer group under this regime?)

  22. Everhopeful
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Ofcom and the “Culture” Department…or are they one and the same thing?
    Abolish with immediate effect.
    Why are they still imposing draconian censorship straight out of Brussels???

    • Everhopeful
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      What on earth is the point of censorship if we don’t have freedom of speech?
      And abolish the BBC
      And everything JR mentions.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        Certain scrap the unfair and anti-competitive licence tax funding for the lefty, greencrap, pushing propaganda outfit that is the BBC.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          What wasteful public expenditures would you like to see reduced? Well all of it of course. At least 50% of government expenditure is pointless, totally misdirected or even actively damaging. 20-25% of GDP is more than sufficient for the government to spend. It would also them be a much higher GDP as we would be so much more competitive.

      • jerry
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        Censorship is created by law makers not from within the media, BBC or no BBC.

        The media in the EU27 is often far less ‘censored’ that it is here in the UK or the USA/Canada, although the USA media does have a “right to know”, but that often causes more problems that it solves.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          I was talking about the new internet censorship laws from the EU that will come into force in 13 months time.
          I was merely adding the BBC to the list of public money pits that should be abolished.😊

          • jerry
            Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

            @Everhopeful; Whilst I was replying to your second comment!

            Why do you keep banging on at the BBC anyway, Ch4 and Sky News are far worse in their censorship and bias, especially when it comes to Brexit.

            Also the BBC is not a public money pit, any more than BSkyB is…

          • AlmostDead
            Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

            Doesn’t apply to us as we will no longer be members of the EU.

        • NickC
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, Some censorship is created by law makers, true. But the BBC also self-censors its own output. The BBC world view is very predictable and has been discussed by ex-BBC employees, not just by me. And unlike Sky etc is the only one mainly financed by an hypothecated tax (as well as by sales, and the EU, of course).

          As the sole monopoly broadcaster the BBC Tax had some merit. Nowadays with other broadcasters and especially the internet, the BBC funding model is indefensible.

          • jerry
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; All the media outlets self censor, that is why the Labour leader gets a rough deal in the right wing media and the Tory leader gets a right deal in the left wing media, whilst the LDs & Greens get a rough deal in all except the Guardian!

            In some respects Sky News is even more anti Brexit than the BBC is, ITN (ch4 News) is worse that both the others put together, this is not a BBC problem, it is a govt/regulatory issue.

            Nor is the BBC a monopoly broadcaster, ITN and Sky News are both free-to-air, both also supplying news content to various national and local radio stations, whilst Sky has a streaming internet presence too. Then, of course, there are the various non UK news channels available on either the FTA DVB-T or DVB-S platforms.

  23. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Management hierarchies in the NHS.

    Too many politicians and their advisers

    Spurious claims in the House of Lords

    Public sector pensions

    The cost of administering the tax code

    Housing benefit

    All payments for benefits to EU nationals, indeed no person who has voluntarily moved to this country should be paid any benefit until they have paid tax for five years.

    Tax credits topping up low wages by multinationals.

    The costs of Quango management.

    The EU membership fee.

    Subsidies for the railways. Refunds for delays not claimed should be deducted before any payments made.

    MPs second homes.

    Energy subsidies to multinationals

    Consultancy fees

    Any subsidies or Grant’s aimed at a specific group of people not at the whole population. How does the payment benefit everyone?

    Council CEOs’ salaries

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Cut student loans for Mickey Mouse courses and fund free of charge STEM or other courses where there is a real demand for skills. Require students to work in UK for a period after graduating else to repay grant money.

    • jerry
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      @NS; “Spurious claims in the House of Lords”

      More of an issue, spurious appointments to the House of Lords, based on political patronage rather than a subject expertise. The Lords could easily be half the size of the Common without affecting its ability to scrutinise and revise, if they do lack specialist expertise they can seek expert witnesses.

    • Graham Wood
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Narrow Shoulders. Yes the list is endless and you have made a good start.
      Unfortunately you forgot the cost of the counter-productive and absurd Climate Change Act, and not forgetting the £Trillions that the idiot May agreed to on
      reducing our (mythical) “carbon footprint” !

    • Iain Gill
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Yep tax and benefits system could be massively simplified, making it much cheaper to administer. But would need politicians to stop meddling.

  24. Stred
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Other countries do not supply free translation and translators to foreigners who do not speak the native language. We spend millions producing leaflets and supplying translators for the users of government and health services. They should have to pay if they need them.
    Overseas aid is dispensed very badly by overpaid civil servants as though it is a whim to suit their political ideas and often following UN agendas that are created by undemocratic elites. Cut it to disaster relief and population number reduction and close the Department with little redundancy payment by offering loe paid jobs digging water wells in Africa. The Foreign Office can take over after it is purged of Remainers and Trump haters.
    HS2. Cancel and rebuild the Central Line, as proposed and cancelled by Milliband and Cameron.
    Heathrow. Cancel and add extra runways st Gatwick and Stanstead with transfer facilities for onward d flights to the popular places like India and Australia.
    Cut education expenditure on trendy useless political teaching and train teachers to use whole class front of room methods like successful countries do without thousands of classroom assistants. Every school to have a nasty ex army discipline enforcer and get rid of the dopey head teachers with pay cuts.

  25. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Quangos, the high salaries paid to the job hopping administrators, as well as their golden hello’s and goodbyes should all be cut to the bone.
    Stop sending civil servants, police and others on politically correct, politically motivated and expensive courses.
    Very few believe that our overseas aid is spent wisely or effectively. It appears to support oppressive regimes and line pockets – It is another form of wealth transfer – More socialist dogma. It should be cut to the bone, heavily justified and transparent.
    HS2 costs are going through the roof. It should be derailed.
    The way that government contracts are given out to companies should be inspected for cronyism, quality and cost by a Treasury Review committee, and then reviewed for effectiveness.

  26. Fred H
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Limit Council/Borough/CEO salaries to £100k. Plan how to reduce H of L to 100, sitting outside London. Investigate how to reduce H of C to 300. Fix salary/travel expenses to say £120k – no ‘second homes’ nonsense, rent accom. Decimate numbers of quangos. Develop contracts (and contractors!) to perform overnight major road works with time penalties. Overhaul form-filling required of police incidents. Limit school Heads’ salaries (& other staff) to £100k.

  27. Ian Wilson
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Smart meters are a total waste of taxpayer’s money.
    Subsidies for electric cars are hard to justify too – if someone can afford an £80,000 car should the taxpayer be chipping in?
    Some overseas aid may be warranted but not the farcical schemes ‘to fight climate change’ (the sun does a better job of doing that!)
    You are right to highlight HS2. While I’m no railway expert I suspect there are better ways of improving capacity and journey times.
    Power generation is worth examining too. Small modular reactors might be better than behemoths, and subsidies for wind power should be ended. In fact cut out any expenditure on the non-problem of climate change.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Far better ways to spend the HS2 money give it back to tax payers they will do so at least 10 times better.

      Politicians always like one Grand Project so they they say they delivered X or Y. It is usually far better to spend the money on thousands of more minor improvements all over the network.

      Having said that roads are where the main transport investments should go. Especially with driverless cars on their way.

    • jerry
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Any State subsidies for EV’s should first go to provide public (and in very special circumstances private [1]) charging points, and then some form of aid to the motor trade who will need to retrain their employees and invest in EV specific service tools and technologies if the motoring public are not to be held hostage by dealers.

      [1] I’m thinking about private blocks of flats, or developments that have en block garaging with either Freehold or are Lease hold but the landlord is long absent and perhaps even untraceable after decades of take-overs, mergers and bankruptcies

    • Ian!
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      As a rule those that get the subsidies are the ones that could have afforded it in the first place.

      HS2 is based on old technology and is redundant before it gets out of the ground. You could build a real railway for what is envisaged.

  28. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    You suggestions for diverting the 0.7% overseas aid budget to housing, schools, benefits and health costs for refugees make sense but how will you compensate us, the taxpayer, whose cost of living goes or are inconvenienced by not being able to access public services driven by the demand these people add to the system?

    Where is our relief?

    • Iain Gill
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      housing is only expensive because of government manipulation of the market anyways

  29. Dominic
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    To keep it simple. Abolish all taxpayer spending that is connected to the EU and the financing of Labour’s client state. Expunge these two parasitic bottom feeders that have been sucking us dry for years

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Dominic, let’s look closely at who the real parasites are, shall we?

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

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

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

      As for non-European Union immigration, which is a slight net burden though does contribute significantly to the overall economy, well, the UK has always had sovereign control over that.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        £78,000 more in tax than they cost the UK you say.
        Wow that is incredible Martin.
        Almost unbelievable.
        So all we need to do is allow 20 million more to come in as soon as possible and we will all be rich.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          Yes, Edwards, here is the link:


          There have been no restrictions, so those here were not “allowed in”, and there is no excess demand, far from it, now.

          That is one reason why NHS waiting lists are growing very rapidly longer.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 13, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

            Very strange use of data.
            Almost as if they set out to get a particular result and then by some strange miracle got the result they wanted.

            Have a look at GDP per Capita figures Martin.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

          kick out the brits, invite the immigrants.

      • Shirley
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        If that is the same survey that I read, it omitted lots of costs to the taxpayer, eg. education of their children, the NHS, etc. In other words, it conveniently omitted lots of the true costs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Indeed pin state sector average remuneration with pensions to the same as the private sector. It is about 50% higher currently and for far less real output.

      • James1
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Massive savings could and should be made in government expenditures. They could and should also be made in local authority expenditures. Take as only one example the Town Planning Departments of local councils. The way immediately to hugely boost house building (not to mention vastly reducing the frustration of house developers) would be to quite simply:-

        1. Eliminate council charges for town planning applications
        2. Eliminate contributions having to be made to councils towards ‘infrastructure ‘
        3. Provide that there is a deemed consent in respect of any town planning application that is undecided after 28 days from the date of the application
        4. Provide that the local authority must pay the appeal costs of the appellant in the event of the appeal being upheld
        5. Provide that there is a deemed consent in respect of any town planning appeal that is undecided after 12 weeks

        Production in the house building industry and in the housing market would rocket upwards. The scandal of unused council owned housing could also be quickly ended by instructing that every vacant and unused house or flat owned by a local authority be sold forthwith to the highest bidders. There are multitudes of young couples who would dearly like the chance to reinstate at their own expense derelict properties standing vacant and unused. The sale proceeds could be used by local authorities in whichever way they saw fit to benefit the ratepayers

  30. David Potter
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    I am not in favour of cutting our overseas aid budget (0.7% of GDP).
    However, I am in favour of redirecting it.
    We owe a great deal to the Commonwealth. Twice in the 20th century they stood by us. Yet we kicked them where it hurts when we joined the (then) EEC.
    I am no expert in overseas aid so the following may be complete and utter tripe but I wanted to share my thoughts anyway.
    I suggest that our aid should be first and foremost used to support those countries. If natural disasters occur and our armed forces are required to render assistance then this should be paid for from the aid budget. Help should be given to those countries who produce raw materials to earn more money by processing those materials within their country and then selling them on the world market. We should be looking to provide factories to enable those countries to produce manufactured items so that poverty can be eased in those countries with high unemployment. We could build schools, hospitals etc and help support those institutions with training staff to man them.

  31. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    John, the public number about sixty-six million. Seventeen-and-a-half million is not a majority of them, therefore.

    Yes, Leave won the referendum, but please do not misrepresent the numerical meaning of that.

    Parliament has a duty to work for the whole country, including those who cannot vote at all, the young, or our fellow Europeans paying tax here etc.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      Tosh Martin or Andy. Its those eligible to vote that count and unless you are a complete idiot this much is obvious.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      Martin – right now the duty is to ensure we LEAVE.

  32. David Cooper
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Nanny state advertising, much of which is patronising, offensive, and illustrative of a “must be seen to be doing something” attitude.

  33. Bill
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Cut all the lefty crap.

    Sack every public sector employee with the words, diversity, outreach, community, equality, engagement, etc in their job titles.

    Would save billions.

  34. Nig l
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Allocating money for migrant housing? How about allocating money for the alleged million council homes needed for the people already here?

    Every government department should have a cost reduction team within it. Waste, duplication, amalgamation. Head count, systems.etc. Cost KPIs to be introduced so that whilst overall spending can increase so must its efficiency of use.

    Do we need umpteen police forces and Local Authorities? Systems, back office functions. Are there gains to be made?

    Finally your ultimate cop out. An almost total failure to sort out public sector pensions and put them on the same footing as the private sector. Easy to disadvantage millions of woman approaching pension age at a stroke. Now do the difficult thing.

    Businesses use cost/income ratio as a key measure with a a target to reduce year on year sub text various measures against headcount. Your ratio is spending as a percentage of tax take and again as a headcount reduction which will be your biggest cost.

  35. BOF
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Oh yes, Sir John, all of those. Perhaps the best way of achieving all those savings would be to change the MP’s who wish to continue with such wasteful and expenditure.

    What about the dozens of pointless quangos?

  36. J Bush
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Wow, the list is endless, assuming BJ keeps his promise we are leaving the EU with no financial and red tape strings attached, here are some starters
    • ‘foreign aid’
    • ‘green’ including electric cars subsidies
    • quangos – starting with the EC
    • civil service root and branch reform, reducing excessive layers of management and red tape
    • NHS procurement
    • NHS health tourism
    • vanity projects i.e. HS2
    • social engineering i.e. indigenous race replacement with mass immigration, ‘hate crimes’, gender, islamophobia (fear is not a phobia)
    • migrant social benefits
    • Barnett Formula
    • HoL reform & all politicians expenses
    • HMRC taxation system

  37. James1
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Most people would like to see wasteful expenditure reduced. The difficult part is identifying what is wasteful and actually getting it reduced. Trying to prune government departments piecemeal would probably take far too long and would likely to be effectively fruitless. Better to broadly free up and release immediately at least every third person in the public sector to do something productive in the private sector, and then incentivise the residue of public sector employees by offering a bonus to any department that cuts its budget by 10% each year. Also, no new regulations should be introduced without getting rid of at least 10 old regulations.

  38. Dave Andrews
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, but a list of relatively trivial savings are being cited here. To reduce public spending, you will need to target the big ticket items. If half of NHS spending is on treating lifestyle diseases, removing this liability from the taxpayer will save £60bn a year. (The figure of half comes from a GP friend of mine; his estimate of the amount of work he saw that could be attributed to an individual’s folly)

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Indeed endless waste and incompetence at the dire state monopoly NHS it needs to charge and we need fair competition. Freedom and choice with fair competition should be the Boris agenda. In healthcare, television, education, housing and everywhere. Freedom to spend you own earnings as you choose to.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      A neighbour of mine drinks and smokes heavily. She has just been in hospital for a total of 5 weeks for major lifesaving heart surgery. In this time she has not drunk alcohol or smoked. She’s been home two days and has started both again. What a waste of money.

  39. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Above all – a radical simplification of the very Gordon Brown tax system.
    That would make more people pay because it would not need an expensive accountant.
    It might bring in the 43% of people who pay nothing and still expect the NHS and Welfare as their “rights”.
    It might encourage people to work harder and so become richer instead of wasting it on magnificent state projects where the people who plan it and “pay for it” get the benefit and other people cough up. (see above)

  40. Chris Dark
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Spend money to teach people English when they arrive here without the language? If I were to go to Spain to live, I would be expected to already know the language. If we stop importing these useless people then we won’t have to waste the money on them. It is not our duty to provide the entire world and its pet dog with food, housing and education….who do you think is paying for it? That’s right, the poor over-burdened tax-payer. We really are mugs for allowing this rape of our kindness and country to continue.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      Chris Dark. Too bloody right. Never a truer word spoken. I can’t believe our hosts opinions on immigration and giving away free housing etc when we have so many of our own people on a very long housing waiting list. Just where is the sense in it all. To day Joe Public is pissed off with it all is an understatement. I really wish the BP would come and put a bloody great bomb under our political parties and give them a kick up their smart arses.

  41. Christine
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    So you think that because Parliament want to keep the Foreign Aid Budget we should spend it on housing foreigners when our own families can’t afford their own place to live. It just shows how out of touch politicians are with the British people. We never voted to give our taxes away to wasteful projects. Between the three main parties you have all wasted our money for years. It’s time for a new party who puts our interests first. I’m sick of the incompetent lot we currently have in power. The contributors on here have been telling you for years what needs to change but nothing is ever done.

  42. Alan Jutson
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Has anybody tried to contact or deal with the Probate offices of late ?

    Going through that process now for a family member, what a nightmare, they never answer the phone, do not answer e mails, you cannot even leave a message for them to call you back later, indeed the standard answerphone message you get is, “we are busy at the moment, call back later” you are then cut off.
    The feed back comments on their reviews are simply shocking, so its not just my experience.

    Given the way fees (penalties) have risen on a massive scale recently (for the same amount of work, large estate or small) you would have thought you could leave a message for a call back, or at least be held in a queue until you can speak to someone. but no.
    The arrogance seems to flow through these departments as they do through many Government and Local Authority Departments that users (customers) are just a pain in the arse, and need to be put in their place.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      “they never answer the phone, do not answer e mails, you cannot even leave a message for them to call you back later, indeed the standard answerphone message you get is, “we are busy at the moment, call back later” you are then cut off.”

      This is almost standard practice in much of the state sector that deal with the public. I held on the phone for HMRC for about 25 mins only to have them hang up with no way to even leave a message. Even if you do get through the person rarely knows very much and usually cannot do anything. Though sometime they confirm they have had all your letters but have just not bother to reply to them!

  43. Alec
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Given that every single government policy either doesn’t work at all, has the opposite effects to those desired or is actively detrimental to the people of this country and others I’d like to know which government expenditure isn’t wasteful. Welfare has increased not eliminated poverty, housing policy has resulted in extremely high property prices and bondage to banks in order to buy it, economic/ political policy has led us to paying vast sums to foreign powers for extremely dubious “benefits” like mass immigration. Show me a policy that has assisted us more than the taxation and repressive rule making has harmed us.

  44. Julian Allder
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    House UK tax payers properly and return the assylum seekers to the first safe country they arrived in.

  45. Anonymous
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Where to start.

    It is not just wasteful expenditure that needs looking at. It is expenditure which is actually harmful to us. The vast Human Rights industry which has delivered prisons ruled by prisoners and turned Britain into the Wild West, worse than ever under the Tories.

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      PS, this is why Corbyn has been such a threat. May has been like watching an anaemic slug trying to fight its way out of a wet paper bag. Labour shouldn’t even be in the game.

  46. GilesB
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Cost of collection of BBC licence fee. Both the payment to Capita and the strain on court and prison systems (10% of cases!).

    Pay BBC from general taxation.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      No ! Make the BBC go to subscription.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        yep if the BBC cannot get people to pay voluntarily then let it shut

        • AlmostDead
          Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

          We should apply the same logic to everything including trade. Introduce a 0% tariff schedule on everything no exceptions. Get rid of regulation and instead support consumer choice. All businesses should compete at world-prices. Lets have a clear out of businesses that are not competitive and don’t invest in new technologies.

  47. JoolsB
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Scrap HS2
    Drastically reduce the foreign aid budget
    Cut the House of Lords down to around 100-200
    Cut the House of Commons down to 600 equal sized constituencies as was promised by Cameron
    Drastically reduce the number of people working for the state
    Stop guaranteeing public sector pensions and let them subject their pension contributions to the markets in the same way those paying for their pensions are subjected and that includes MPs
    Stop providing an International Health Service
    Get our money back from RBS who have stuck two fingers up at us ever since their bailout using the money for their own benefit rather than their customers.

    • JoolsB
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Forgot in work benefits. All tax credits do is encourage people to work the least number of hours in order to get them.

  48. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The Commonwealth – it’s time the U.K. asked for its ‘independence’!

  49. glen cullen
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Whatever you cut must be included in your manifesto as a financial commitment otherwise like you have suggested in your article ‘’This Parliament is unlikely to want to cut that’’

  50. oldtimer
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    You identify three egregious examples. Re the aid budget, responsibility should be returned to the FO where it once belonged and a separate ministry eliminated.

    The silly season reminds us we have too many MPs. The reduction to 500 needs to be implemented. There needs to be a similar cull to the HoL, at least to 500 maximum for now.

    The tax code is over complex. This is reflected in its length. There is huge scope for simplification and elimination of taxes that yield relatively little tax revenue and/or are expensive to collect relative to yield. Focus on tax efficiency should yield both public spending savings and increased tax revenues.

  51. dennisambler
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Abandon the Climate nonsense and get back to sensible energy policies based on things that work when you ask them to. Get rid of the Climate Change Act and the Climate Change Committee.

  52. Brigham
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink


  53. Andy
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I’d axe state pensions and all old age perks with immediate effect.

    I’d axe the defence budget and scrap the military – save for a small force to help with disasters – and would sell off military bases to developers.

    I’d sell off the Palace of Westminster and move Parliament somewhere cheap – like Stoke.

    I’d halve the number of MPs – and require them to take staff from a central pool.

    I’d abolish the Lords and replace it with a 200 member chamber appointed proportionately depending each party’s vote share at the last Commons election.

    I’d move all government departments out of London.

    Scrap the monarchy, sell off the palaces.

    That’ll do for starts.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      You really are in a very absurd and extreme minority. It’s a great reassurance to see.

    • AlmostDead
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      Again, agreeing with Andy. Wow……going to lie down

  54. Iain Moore
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Aid was a policy promoted by a Christian group , the 0.7% level picked by them without any economic theory backing it, they disregarded 0.5% as some countries were handing out more than that, they didn’t think 1% would ever be acceptable so they plumped for 0.7% , and the whole Aid justification was on the back of a the work of an economist from 1949. This is the justification our politicians would have us spend £14 billion a year on, even when the evidence of the last 50 years of giving Aid , the West giving over several trillion dollars worth, shows it has done precious little good, for the countries in need of Aid then are the same countries in need of Aid now. Aid is an obscene £14 billion a year virtue signalling exercise, and it should be done away with.

    Asylum, is a blank cheque written by a past generation that we have no hope of honouring , it is also completely unworkable, especially with the extended criteria the Judiciary have added to it under the Human Rights Law.

  55. Martin
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Make the civil service more productive through better management of staff. Sack staff who take excessive unwarranted sick leave. Tighten up on timekeeping in organisations such as the Environment Agency. Consider culling 1o% of underperformers in each department on a yearly basis for four or five years, using rigorous staff assessments.

  56. agricola
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Guess what it is the 12 August, so up pops a noisy shadow minister from urban Cornwall talking a load of rubbish that only emphasises his ignorance and social predjudices. He is even trying to drag climate change into his fatuous argument, mostly to please his urban unwashed followers. Where do they find these class warriors.

  57. Alan Joyce
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    The EU membership fee, the BBC, the Barnett Formula and HS2.

    Is it possible to scrap dangerous ideas from public servants? I am thinking about Caroline Lucas’ plan for an emergency cabinet of all women to block a n0-deal Brexit.

    Does anyone recall the 1980’s ‘Two Ronnies’ comedy serial called ‘The Worm That Turned?’ The serial depicts a futuristic world (2012) where men occupy the roles previously held by women and vice versa. I urge readers to YouTube it for a jolly good laugh. etc ed

  58. Iago
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    With no borders, the question is somewhat academic.

  59. Kmills
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Per Facts4EU.Org………who have recently made reference to a proposed Off Budget fund to which we will be expected to contribute £1.2 billion!!!!!!! to facilitate the EU in the role of a Global Actor!!!!!!!Perhaps Mrs May has already signed us up for this?
    There are then other Off Budget/Book funds which never appear within the Treasury details,but what are they,what is the cost and are we in for any more payments after 31/10?

  60. David Maples
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The quangocracy, state aid to charities, absurd salaries to senior local government officers and the pensions that go with them, perks to civil servants, government freebies and overseas trips, brand new cars for the disabled, over expensive police cars, state pension payments to those who have not paid national insurance contributions, legal aid to the compensation culture, dubious cosmetic surgery, set aside subsidies to farmers, MPs expenses, pointless government enquiries, space science research, trashy university courses, public libraries, bus passes for the elderly, anti climate change initiatives etc, etc!

  61. Kenneth
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    A few things come to mind (I’m sure there are a lot more)…

    1. Agree that we should urgently stop money bleeding out of the country to the eu

    2. Agree that HS2 is wasteful and should be scrapped in favour of better schemes.

    3. Social services costs should be cut. The more the State does to take responsibility for individuals, the less families and local community does and so the demand for state funds rises even more. We must cut this viscous circle and allow families to take care of their own members. Most families and communities used to be self-policing. I believe that if the State withdrew its attempts to micro-manage individuals, we would see a return of self-policing and a reduction in crime.

    4. We can virtually eliminate land-fill and refuse collection costs by having a reusable packaging scheme. This will also stop the dumping of plastic and other pollutants in our rivers, seas and streets. Smart reusable packaging will also substantially bring down automation costs, making us more competitive globally and will revive manufacturing.

    5. We should cut heating to public buildings and encourage the use of personal heating. This will save a great deal of money and stop the madness of converting energy into heat only to see it lost into the atmosphere

    6. We should introduce a payment bond for all non-UK passport entrants in order to bring immigration down to manageable levels. If some sectors and companies feel they need immigrant talent and labour, they can pay the bond if they wish.

    7. We should turn GP surgeries into triage centres run by nurses and free-up GPs to prioritise their work on the genuine cases. We will not need so many expensive GPs as they could cover a wider area. Too much expensive GP time is bogged down with trivial cases or lonely people.

  62. Turboterrier
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Climate Change Committee

    Subsidies and constraint payments for windfarms, solar and bio mass installations.

    Foreign aid. Charity begins at home.

    Reduce size of the House of Lords. Introduce a performance review and cut allowances.

    Really tackle waste in the major public services.

    Parents to be financially responsible for the action of their children.

    Better utilisation of our reservist forces in stopping illegal immigrants and illegal fishing.

  63. graham1946
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Reform the Barnet formula so that every citizen can expect the same level of service and be fairer to the English who provide most of the money. Post code lottery on health, education and services is not acceptable.

  64. Turboterrier
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Visitors should be told that at the time of booking a flight or crossing to the uk that is part of the ticket allocation process that proof of health insurance is produced.

  65. Bob
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    There are 1,148 Quangos costing the taxpayer £90 billion per year.
    David Cameron promised a ‘bonfire of the quangos’ but only managed to abolish 192 and merge another 118.

    Scrapping the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport offers potential savings of £6 billion.

    • Scrapping the Equalities and Human Rights Commission and the Government Equalities Office we can save £67 million p.a.

  66. Turboterrier
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Subsidies on hybrid vehicles and electric transport. Not needed as it is not new technology requiring funding in the true sense of the word. Too open to abuse as are any road tax allowances.

    Local authorities salaries and severance payments especially for the executive members of staff.

    Cost of policing demonstrations to be the responsibility of the organisers. Guaranteed bond to be deposited with Police Authority before permission given. The responsibity of the behaviour of the protesters must be the responsibility of the organiser. Any problems no refund.

    • sm
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Very good, especially your last paragraph!

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Great ideas Turbo. I particularly like your final suggestion.

  67. Iain Gill
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Sack all of the HQ people in network rail…

    Never have so many people did so little

    Stop the mod recruiting inappropriate ex military people into civil service or contact roles on the grapevine, force them to get properly qualified people from the real world

  68. ukretired123
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    The list is endless but the Civil Service needs an overhaul after 250 years and a cull of EU bureaucratic interpretations which multiplied exponentially after joining 50yrs ago!

    To meet Britain’s new focus on enterprise a streamlined tax system built around it and actually supporting enterprise needs urgently building from the ground up. Like EU bureaucracy the medium sized tax book was turned into several volumes by Brown & Balls whilst top HMRC managers were wined and dined by big business in exchange for lax tax.

    The NHS funding needs constant scrutiny due to the eye watering sums lavished thereon and search for better modern solutions to make it more self sustainable.

    For real leadership proof by example there must be a complete change on MPs expenses from the Bercow secrecy decade where cover up from public scrutiny and document shredding occurs after only 3 years, unlike Joe public who is obligated to keep 6 years records. Public trust needs restoring and new brooms to accompany a new Speaker respected by the public for starters.

  69. majorfrustration
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I think somewhere in the country a French construction company is in the process of building a new power station where its prototype has yet to be completed and is millions over budget and where quality control of the components is questionable. And if that was not bad enough the “energy unit cost” to the consumer is totally out of control. Good Government at its best. But lets just let it drift on under a haze of Civil Service paperwork.

    • Mark B
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      And I know first hand from a QS that works there that the French are overpaid and over staffed.

      We’re being ripped off !

  70. Sea Warrior
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Stamping out health tourism should be the easiest thing to do – but this Conservative government doesn’t seem to care. Maybe it’s because £2 bn isn’t thought worthy of consideration by today’s breed of politicians. But let’s try. We know, generally, from where these ‘tourists’ come. So let’s insist that they have health insurance when they enter the country. And take payment, up-front, if they present themselves to the NHS. And if they can’t pay, put them on the first flight out of the country. And then restrict travel from that country further.
    P.S. I have a close relative who has just been diagnosed with cancer. The NHS shows no signs of wanting to offer any treatment whatsoever – presumably because she has old.

  71. Ian!
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    As things stand today the foreign aid from the UK is seen by the recipients as EU aid, because that is the logo that by EU Law has to be displayed.

    That’s why donor countries think the UK has gone of the grid and neglects them

  72. Tad Davison
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    ‘Migrant workers coming to the UK should not qualify for all the benefits for a specified period, as Mr Cameron wished to do but was unable to get EU agreement.’

    So that is telling us who presently calls the shots. All the more reason to get out of the cursed place then and take back control!

    Truth is, this country is so wasteful and badly run in so many areas, and in the second instance (the EU meddling being the first), it’s all down to the legacy parties and the totally inadequate people who inhabit the corridors of Westminster. No wonder the people feel so frustrated and there is such antithesis towards the political class.

    The UK desperately needs a revolution in common sense, and breaking away from the EU will give us the chance to begin that process. The second step will be a complete change of personnel in that house of iniquity on the banks of the River Thames, save for an exceptional few.

  73. Homemead
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Instead of the bloated HS2 why not build the Grand Central Railway. Planned and partly built in the last years of the 19th Century with 73 miles of track between London and Birmingham still in use.

    Once planned to connect Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham and Birmingham to London’s Marylebone station much of the track is already in place and the stations and viaducts mellowed into the landscape. There would be no need to blast through our green and pleasant land to revive it and (in relation to HS2) it would cost a fraction to build. Trains could attain speeds of up to 140mph more than enough to satisfy the need for 2 hour jouneys between major destinations.

  74. acorn
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    How will know which government spending is wasteful?

    For instance, in 2017/18, the government spent £215 billion on staff costs. The latter spent a lot of their earnings buying goods and services from private sector businesses small and large. The government spent £212 billion buying goods and services from the private sector. It spent £226 billion on social security/state pensions. Recipients of those benefits also spend them in the private sector.

    By how much do you want to shrink the GDP of the UK economy? Do Redwoodians that trade refuse to sell to persons employed/benefited by the government sector?

    Worth having a read of the latest WGA Treasury report. You will see that in private sector corporate accounting terms, UK plc is totally insolvent and has been for years. Alas, UK plc has a magic money tree. BTW, the net payment to the EU in 2018 was £8.6 billion, at an average of €1.14 to the Pound.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Are you sure it’s £215 billion?

      More likely to be £21.5 billion.

      It was around £11 billion in 2015 – too much in any case.

    • tim
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      GOD ALMIGHTY, thank you, that is a very frightening piece of information.

  75. JohnK
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Population growth in Britain is now entirely driven by immigration. This costs immense amounts of money through congestion, the need to build housing, the over use of schools and hospitals, not to mention the costs of an expanded prison population.

    I propose zero net immigration. If, say, 250,000 people left Britain in year 1, then in year 2 only 250,000 immigrants should be allowed in. Once this is established, we should move the figure down to a manageable amount. It was done before, when immigration was less than 50,000 a year. It can be done again, if there is the political will. Clearly, under Mr Johnson, the will is not there.

    It will be necessary for Britain to leave the 1951 Convention on Refugees. This was written in a very different time. In 1951 politicians were scarred by what had happened to the Jews under the Nazis. They could not have known that by 2019 people claiming asylum would be hiding in the backs of lorries or even canoeing across the Channel. The 1951 Convention has served its purpose, but is long past the time when it was useful. It needs to go.

  76. BillM
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    All common sense. But since when did common sense feature in decision-making processes of Whitehall?
    The Chinese spend more on overseas than do we BUT they are actually “Investing” and not handing over cash to all and sundry as do our lot, apparently.
    If our armed forces are involved in relief work overseas that should be paid for out of the Aid Fund and not via the MoD budget. As I said before it’s all common sense. So why do the Politicos make it so complicated? And why are the civil servants in this department paid more than any other? Is it because there is too much cash to spend?

  77. roger
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    There are so much waste where to start. How about a major streamlining of the tax system
    that produces a huge amount of unproductive work in government but as importantly a duplication of this problem with personal and business accountants and solicitors.

  78. David
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    “The set up costs for the first year of a refugee or an economic migrant from a poor country are allowable expenses to qualify. Given the continuing large numbers entering the UK, we should allocate substantial sums to the housing budget from the overseas aid budget to cover more of the costs of provision of additional homes for new arrivals. ”
    Good idea but why not the first two years?

    I would not have housing benefit in zones 1-2 of London – I earn a good wage and can’t afford to live there – why should I pay for others to do so.

    • tim
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      lots of them sub let these properies at many times the rate to private tennants, then go back to their home in their home country.

  79. Frustrated Voter
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    “There is the pledge to spend 0.7% of GDP on overseas aid. This Parliament is unlikely to want to cut that”

    This parliament really is the most antidemocratic ever isn’t it. MPs need to start realising that ignoring public demands over how the public’s money is spent is not going to be acceptable going forwards. Right now it seems that nothing has been learnt from the Brexit referendum. Once Brexit is out of the way, it’s 100% obvious that you’re going to see a massive populist movement begin if MPs still refuse to work for the public.

    Other things that should be cut:
    1.) any expenditure commitments that have the word ‘Diversity or Equality’ in their name
    2.) HS2

    I also agree with the comment above that illegal immigrants should not be allowed to settle in the UK – the cost on the areas they are arriving at is becoming too big and we are already an overcrowded Island with limited resources.

  80. Frustrated Voter
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    “Given the continuing large numbers entering the UK, we should allocate substantial sums to the housing budget from the overseas aid budget to cover more of the costs of provision of additional homes for new arrivals. There should also be larger transfers to the education budget to allow for the extra school places needed and the additional language skills to teach new pupils who have little or no English on arrival. This would increase those budgets whilst reducing total spending.”

    Serious question, what do you think will happen to the numbers coming to the UK if you do this?

    It’s pretty obvious IMHO – and that means that the money you allocate will never be enough and the infrastructure of this country will continue to deteriorate.

  81. Peejos
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Stop all payments to charities ~ if the public believes that they are needed then it’s up to private people to donate. Biased funding by the state cannot be linked to the benefit of society, just who decides how much public money, our taxes, gets paid to which charity, for how long?

  82. Ian
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    This is why I will be voting The Brexit Party.

    We want and need massive changes.
    Fararge will do that, his team is all on the same page, plus there are already successful business people with bucketloads of Common Sence.

    The Commons has to learn that we put them there, to carry out what there Manifesto states.
    Boris, has zero chance of kicking out all his Remainers.

    He will never get rid of The Fith column, which also inhabits The Lords.

    So while Boris May get us out, it will soon be business as usual, this is why we need another Cromwell.

    There is no other party but The Brexit Party, the others are all full of Remainers

  83. Martin R
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    The government is currently committed to many entirely unnecessary and hugely costly virtue signalling boondoggles. HS2 for one which the IEA has estimated will be at least £100 Bn wasted and that’s probably an under estimate. Then there’s foreign aid, health tourism, smart meters, and payments to a certain foreign empire to allow them to sell £100 Bn more to us every year than we sell to them, an odd arrangement in itself. Yet apparently we cannot afford our armed forces even when defence of the realm is the State’s foremost responsibility, and OAP’s must sell their homes for care when they have been fleeced all their lives to pay for the welfare state. Yet those welfare state benefits are freely available to those from abroad who were never fleeced all their lives to pay for them. And so on.

    Yet there is one mad commitment so indefensible and so economically suicidal that all else pales in comparison (£1 trillion plus). It is of course the commitment to reduce CO2 output. First it was by 80% (mad), then by 100% (insane). A ruinous solution to a problem which simply does not exist.

    Firstly CO2 is not a pollutant. It is an entirely natural component of the atmosphere and one that has steadily reduced to extreme rarity (400 ppm is a very low concentration) notwithstanding the fact that it is the chemical compound which feeds all plants and hence is indispensable to all animal life as well. No CO2, no life. More CO2 and you green the planet and agricultural production expands.

    Secondly there has never been a scrap of real evidence that in the real world CO2 has any effect on climate whatsoever, not a scrap. There is much evidence that it is the other way around. In fact the elevation of this extremely rare trace gas to a planetary catastrophe owes far more to various political processes than to any scientific discoveries. To need to enrich themselves…….to the tune of $ millions, to the UN’s intention to transfer wealth from the civilised world to the third world, to scientists’ needs to receive research grants which politicians demand must pander to climate change nonsense. And so on. All in all there isn’t even anything to suggest that weather is doing anything remotely different from what it has ever done (i.e. varying from year to year), let alone anything to worry about, let alone anything to have hysterics over.

    Even so the the amount of CO2 the UK produces is little more than 1% of humankind’s total. And humankind’s output of CO2 is merely about 3% net of natural annual flows of the gas in the CO2 cycle. That is we produce about 0.03% of natural CO2 flows. And for this we must destroy our economy, which will be the consequence of this harebrained lunacy. What is even more pathetic is the third world is never going to take any notice of this infantile exercise in virtue signalling while they build hundreds of new fossil fuel power stations to provide them with sensibly priced energy for the future.

    As for renewables, wind and solar, they are little more than a sick joke. Because they are inherently unreliable for much of the time they produce a mere fraction of their rated output and there are times when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow when they literally produce next to nothing. That happens. So to keep a modern industrialised economy going there is no viable alternative to retaining a conventional energy industry in parallel which can supply dispatchable energy on demand. Two costly energy industries when we only need one. We saw several days ago the result of relying on the unreliable renewables almost a million people were affected by a grid outage. And we saw the future. That was entirely the result of one thing – the state has cut indispensable reserves to nothing and then cut them again. The grid must have reserves to make power outages impossible because in an imperfect world the unpredictable will always happen from time to time. We always knew that in the past, but Milliband, Blair, Cameron, and May knew better. Being of the left they are all incapable of understanding that energy is the lifeblood of the modern state and essential to maintaining the high living standards we all expect.

    However the worst aspect of this rank foolishness is that it will inevitably condemn Britain to further industrial ruin. As the Global Warming Policy Foundation has pointed out current energy policy relying on renewables is going to double electricity prices. Could be even more than that in the future because offshore wind is already dependant on 200% subsidy. All for nothing other than silliness. Do we need an industrial sector at all? We live in an industrialised world and if we cannot compete in that we will fall by the wayside and become an insignificant economic backwater, the third world of the future, and we will be at the mercy of powerful rivals that are not governed by virtue signalling fools. If we continue to be as reliant on banking as we are currently it will be far too easy ultimately for hostile foreign governments to enact measures in the future to cut us down to size. If they do we have nothing. The key is affordable energy for industry and homes and without it the country is finished and has no future. There used to be saying in this country: where there’s muck there’s brass. It is more true today than ever.

  84. Newmania
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    £350m per week is about £18.219 billion per year, a figure that in the opinion of Mr Cummings was crucial to the referendum victory. ( Truth) £9 billion net to EU 2018/2019 is about 0.4/5% of GDP ( just over 1% of annual spend )
    The cost of raising the higher income tax band as promised is about £10bn a year,( says Boris ). £6.3 billion has been spent , thus far on the actual, cost of preparing for no deal …..
    In terms of lost growth of the various estimates Standard and Poor is on the positive side at £66bn since 2016. Goldman Sachs have a higher figure and the Banks of England say £800m per week .
    The on going lost growth is cumulative and the damage to lives is incalculable.
    I detect not the slightest desire to rein in spending by either main Party , Mr Johnson seemsto feel he can finance annually increased commitments with a one off supposed bit of fiscal headroom ..which is a fiction anyway

    I would advise anyone able to to leave the country

    • Fred H
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      New Maniac ….We’ve been advising that to lots on here. Do you have any plans?

  85. Andy
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I’d cancel your Brexit too.

    That’d save £39bn or more – payable until the 2060s.

    Plus all the billions on extra Brexit bureaucracy.

    Billions engineering in traffic jams in Kent.

    Billions redesigning passports so they can be made in blue by a French company.

    Billions employing pointless bureaucrats we did not used to need.

    Billions making decent EU citizens living here feel like second class people.

    Millions making your pointless 50p piece – which I’ll throw in the scrap when I get.

    Instead I would spend a fraction of the saving educating a few hundred Tory MP extremists – who really have not understood properly what the EU is and how it works. (Though, admittedly when dealing with people as not-so-bright as Francois, Baker, Mogg, Dorries, Bridgen, Bone, Duncan Smith and co this will not be an insignificant expense).

    • JohnK
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Change the record Andy, it’s very boring.

    • tim
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      DEMOCRACY, worth every penny!

  86. Newmania
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    By the way
    Why not change the format of Public sector wages. Each year a certain amount of public money is paid into each employee’s pension fund
    Why not make it competitive?
    Just pay the full amount to the employee and advertise the job without pension
    The public scheme would be available at reasonable terms and at levels the employee might choose or he might opt out and organise his own private scheme
    The point is that the same cost to the public purse would be the headline salary. You may feel this is a presentational difference only but I feel it would change the political weather assist in recruitment and over time bring public sector salaries freeing funds for education and health

    Details to be worked out but you get the general idea

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Why are you such a pushover for the Politics Of Envy?

      All ordinary employees in Germany have a type of defined benefit occupational pension, run by the state, and there is a similar thing in France.

      There is nothing unusual about such pensions on the other side of the Channel, yet you have been brainwashed into thinking that they are “unaffordable” here and in the US.

      Please look around and inform yourself.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        We did have them but Gordon Brown wrecked pensions.

        • Fred H
          Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

          Edward2 …and pretty much anything else he could.

  87. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    All of the things you suggest john plus the subsidies in any form given to renewables and electric cars. I am sick of subsidising the wealthy and giving them tax breaks. Get rid of the quangos and cut the size of the HOL.

  88. Michael Travis
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Taxpayers money is wasted at all levels of expenditure by Government, not just on big-ticket items like HS2 and 0.7% aid targets. The problem is cultural and endmic.

    To take an example, look at the ‘National Leadership Centre’ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-leadership-centre

    What does this comprise? Twenty people in an office on Horseguards Parade attempting to deliver ‘leadership insights’ to police chiefs, senior military officers and NHS managers, with tenders out for a new ‘digital service’ to a value of £1m+ (effectively, a website and contact directory for a million quid)

    It’s the kind of thing the Harold Wilson governments of the seventies might cook up with the trade uinons and the managers of nationalised industry- and we all know how that turned out.

    ‘Initiatives’ like these are aimed at undermining government, not supporting it, by creating a network of people ‘leading beyond authority’.

    In answer to your question, therefore, I would like to see public expenditure at all levels being focused on the primary purpose of each sector and no more, and attempts to boost the role of the public sector strangled at birth.

  89. BillM
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    When are those jobs-for-the-boys Quangos going to be culled? So many promises from so many PMs and so many ‘did-not-happens’.

    • Ian Pennell
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      @ BillM

      “When are those jobs-for-the-boys Quangos going to be culled? So many promises from so many PMs and so many ‘did-not-happens’.”

      I agree, but first we need to get a full coalition the Brexit- supporting Public full-square behind the Conservatives so that a Brexit- supporting majority in returned to Parliament with an (unavoidable) General Election looming this autumn. Then we must deliver Brexit fully.

      An Austerity- weary Public will not buy further cuts to Public Spending budgets (which is how Labour would portray it). In the future, once we have fully extricated Britain from the EU and all its strictures the Conservatives can set about the Quango budget- although there is a case for abolishing clearly some partisan Quangos like the Electoral Commission (that are therefore “not fit for purpose”) outright at the soonest opportunity!

      Ian Pennell

  90. Fred H
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    off topic.
    Anybody noticed the BBC ‘Have your say’ website reader comments on news issues/sport etc now all but disappeared? Could it be that I became aware of more and more negative comments being posted against BBC and obvious bias? All the fault of the Russians of course.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      If the BBC had allowed HYS to continue in its old form, then commenters could have made their feelings known, about the fact that Nigel Farage was the most frequently-appearing politician on the BBC during the run-up to the referendum, for instance.

      They could also have indicated that public opinion was not what the BBC said that public opinion was on any given issue.

      It was attracting too many readers for their liking.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        All I saw was remainers like Heseltine and piles of unchallenged Project Fear statements.

  91. Jiminyjim
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Police and Crime Commissioners – never wanted nor needed and a complete waste of public money.
    The House of Commons should be reduced to 500 members max and an automatic process put in place for boundaries to change, without MPs being able to ‘play politics’ with this, as they did disgracefully during the coalition. House of Lords to be reduced to 100 max.
    Force a merger of counties – it is ridiculous that England has a Fire Dept for each county when Scotland, Wales and N Ireland have been able to manage with one each – four regions for the whole of England exc London is ample.
    Finally and most importantly, we MUST do something to eliminate overlapping areas of local government. One body in each area to cover district, county, city and parish. Our local government is monstrously wasteful

  92. Iain Gill
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Stop the duplication at the top of the three armed services. Turn the RAF back into the army air corps. Use the money for more front line people.

  93. Ian Wilson
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Have just seen a CONSERVATIVE leaflet bragging about having spent £52 billion on renewables and about their farcical ‘zero emissions’ legislation which may well cost in the trillions. Lord Ridley states it’s as realistic as legislating to ban sin. All this is to tackle what is almost certainly a non-problem. If the government wants to save money, look no further.

    This leaflet must fill the Brexit party with joy. They alone have sensible climate and energy policies.

  94. Konta Bill
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Hilarious. A torrent of whinging, blaming, shouting and stamping angry feet at the modern world – and scarcely a single suggestion that could not be achieved while still a member of the EU. The truth is you all voted Leave not because you dislike the EU – you have no clue what the EU even is – but because you are old and sad and wish you were young and hopeful again. You are betraying your grandchildren

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      If being in the EU is so great, why are the young and hopeful in Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Belarus, Spain all heading here?

    • LiLie
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Totally right. I listen to Bill Cash and I listen to soneone who needs medical help. Sad man

    • Edward2
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      We voted to leave the EU to become a sovereign independent nation again.
      Like all the other 100 plus nations on planet Earth.
      In charge once more, of all our laws, all our taxes and to be able to decide on our immigration policy.
      We know what the EU is.
      We have watched it over decades quietly move from a trading bloc of six similar nations to be a superstate which eventually will have well over 30 disparate nations with its own armed force, flag, anthem, ambassadors, arrest warrant powers, and supremacy over our own laws.
      Your usual remainer post has to contain insults because that is all you have left.
      Abuse not facts
      Role on 31st October.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      ‘Hilarious. A torrent of whinging, blaming, shouting and stamping angry feet at the modern world’ – I thought good description of a remainer.

  95. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    In addition of course to mid-Eastern immigrants who love the EU so much they risk their lives getting across the Channel.

  96. Geoffrey Berg
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I have done a calculation about the two and a half billion pounds proposed cost of building more prisons to accommodate 10,000 more prisoners – that is £250,000 for each extra prisoner
    As each prisoner will be lucky to get rather than share one small room, compare this to the building cost of new family homes that are now being built in Northern England for around £50,000 per house at the bottom end (after all there won’t be land acquisition or marketing costs for government. So this cost for new prisons is absurd.
    This shows (yet again) government is so inefficient and so hopeless at getting any value for money compared to anybody sensible that the scope of government should be downsized to the minimum possible.
    Accordingly, considering we could probably get our prisoners incarcerated abroad (perhaps in India, Africa or even the Ukraine) at less than a tenth the weekly running costs of British prisons, why don’t we send prisoners abroad (and even charge much of it to the foreign aid budget)? That would also be a real deterrent to committing crime, considering conditions wouldn’t be great and visits from family or friends would be rare! So this is a win-win for every body except the prisoners and the perpetually moaning prison officers who could then find another job to moan about.
    This isn’t even a novel idea as some small countries already do send their prisoners to foreign countries.

    • Fred H
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      I think we have several Army camps where the accommodation is suitably poor. Use the money to build new ones for the Army families, put in better walls/security at the old camps and ‘house’ the offenders in the old army bases. Easy.

  97. steve
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink


    “Given the continuing large numbers entering the UK, we should allocate substantial sums to the housing budget”

    Ah now you see I disagree with that. Do you know of any country that would give free housing to Brits if they went there, and penniless to boot ?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      Agree. Why are we encouraging people to come if they cannot support themselves? When I moved to Spain there was no help available. I wouldn’t be able to go to NZ, Canada, Oz or the USA and get free everything. Why are we such a soft touch?

      Why does it cost us souch for some high up guy in the national grid to move house 49 miles??

  98. Mikex
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    See on the news that John Bolton US Security Advisor to President Trump is in London doing the rounds, talking up brexit and about how much they are going to help us. However better be wary of greeks bringing gifts- if we’re not careful he’ll drag us into another war for sure- this time with Iran. If they are going to attack Iran, which Bolton and Netanyahu would dearly love to do, it’s getting very late in the day now with the US elections only a year away- we should take extra care

    • Norman
      Posted August 12, 2019 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Wait a minute, Mikex – I think you’ve got that upside down! Iran would dearly love to attack and destroy Israel. Israel and the US are only a threat to Iran because of this fact. While the EU equivocates and appeases, the UK should be on the right side. And bear in mind the US has so far shown considerable restraint. The whole situation, however, is obviously very dangerous – thanks to the Islamic Republics’ aggression and persistent investment in terrorism in the region.

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 13, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Do some research into who encouraged and funded islamic terrorism in places like Chechnya,Syria,Afghanistan,etc.Clue:It wasn’t Iran.

  99. Nordisch-geo-climber
    Posted August 12, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    CANCEL Climate Change Act

    • Fred H
      Posted August 13, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      New keyboards for blog users.
      You do have some valid points, but you might also be Andy.

  100. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 13, 2019 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Cross Rail is over time and over budget. Mr Johnson wants HS3 to go ahead as part of the Northern Powerhouse. Can HS2 be simultaneously funded? I doubt it. Sir John Armitt, a one time Government infrastructure guru, believes that to make HS2 operate as intended, Maglev connections from HS2 stations to city centres will be needed, pushing the total cost up to £100 billion.

    Do we need as much regulation as we currently have and is it effective? How about cutting Ofcom, Ofgen etc down to size and reducing their payrolls?

  • About John Redwood

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

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