Sunday, September 10, 2006

Recent Bonfires- 31

In the news this week:

Cherie cops another £3 grand- "Tony Blair's wife Cherie Booth has been paid £3,000 of taxpayers' money to present a TV series about teaching children "rights and responsibilities". The three-part series - Human Rights with Cherie Booth QC - will be broadcast on Teachers' TV, a Government-funded channel aimed at school staff." (Guardian 8.9.06)

£2.6bn on business headline grabbing- "Many business support schemes are unnecessary and waste vast amounts of taxpayers' money, the entrepreneur appointed by the Conservatives to review the system said. Doug Richard, a high-tech investor and former panellist on Dragons' Den... cited the "plethora of well-meaning government initiatives" confronting people starting up businesses as one of the biggest single barriers to entrepreneurship. "It's very discouraging to find so much money being spent inefficiently," he said. The government spends £2.6bn a year on business support but has not explained the rationale underlying many of the schemes, nor set up systems to test their effectiveness, Mr Richard argued. He characterised the schemes as "3,000 separate attempts to create a headline about the government's intention to help small business". (FT 8.9.06)

District council blows £50,000 on glossy propaganda- "SALISBURY district council has been accused of wasting taxpayers' money on lavish brochures "bullying" tenants into accepting the transfer of its housing stock... The council insists it was legally required to produce 7,750 copies of the 90-page booklets explaining the proposals, delivered at a total cost of nearly £30,000. A further £19,500 was spent putting together an additional 13-minute DVD, which illustrates the major points of the proposal to transfer control of the council's 5,400 homes to a new not-for-profit housing association. But one council tenant who has fought the transfer for 15 years said she was reduced to tears when the booklet dropped through her letterbox. "It is such a waste of money. Everything in the brochure has been said time and time again". She was appalled at the no-expense-spared appearance of the booklet, which she fears will lead to tenants believing that opposing the plan is pointless. "People say to me it is a waste of time to vote because it is a foregone conclusion... I am angry at... the bullying way the Council is treating its tenants." (This Is Wiltshire 7.9.06)

£100m to make things worse- "THE Department of Work and Pensions is spending more than £100 million on a debt recovery system that has actually led to a fall in the amount of money being recouped for the taxpayer. DWP is owed more than £1.2 billion in benefits that have been fraudulently claimed or overpaid by mistake. But the total amount reclaimed fell after the new system began operating. In 2004-5, the department's debt management unit recouped £186.6 million. The following year, when the new IT system started operating, the total reclaimed fell to £180.4 million. This year, the debt recovery effort is again said to be falling behind target because of problems with the computer system." (Scotsman 9.9.06)

Total for week: £2,700,053,000

No comments:

Post a Comment