Public Spending we could do without – your thoughts

17 06 2009

The government's anti-obesity campaign is a needless waste of our money and an intrusion into our private lives, according to one blog reader Jane Sandeman

The Chancellor Alistair Darling has declined to conduct a public spending review this autumn. This is in line with the government’s unwillingness to face up to the deep debt this country is in. There is no doubt that the best way out of this financial hole, as I have argued before is through innovation and economic growth. However, it is also true that there are whole parts of the state we can do without. There are also areas in which the state could be doing a lot more, particularly in enabling innovation and modernising the infrastructure of the UK.

Since I began this discussion there have been a number of very good proposals and some interesting ones. They range from the traditional left wing targets of Trident and ID cards from Charlie McMenamin to free market based changes from Julian Morris of the Policy Network. There are also a number of  comments which attack the various ways in which the state has intruded into private and family life, particularly from Jane Sandemanand Brid Hehir. James Woudhuysen reminds us that the education and health systems are now funding degrees in quack medicine. If you want to see all these and more in detail then go to the comments section on this blog.

Please feel free to add more suggestions and to comment on those already made. This blog will do its best to cost these suggestions up and put together an alternative public spending review based on the principles of economic growth, scientific and technical progress and personal privacy.

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3 responses

17 06 2009
Johny Morris

This seems like an open invitation for the grumpy old man in all of us to single out those aspects of public service that most irritate. For me it\’s trafic calming and the proliferation of wheelie bins and various boxes and baskets for categories of refuse and then they only collect them once a fortnight. I don\’t want to buy a dog then bark myself.

But on the subject of the spending review, we should be lookking at income as well as expenditure. Given that our current historically large deficits are made up of the traditional recession mix of lower tax take and higher social security spending but with the addition of the huge amounts borrowed to shore up the financial system, does anyone on this blog have figures for the latter amount and do we have a model for when this will be paid back? Further, as mnay of these loans are now being converted to equity, do we have a rough idea as to how much these equity holdings may repay in, say 2 or 3 years time given the likelyhood of a rapid rise in the stock market value of these assets?

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