Sunday, May 13, 2007

Recent Bonfires 64

In the news recently:

£8,000 compensation for "unfavourably treated" prisoners- "Inmates at Norwich Prison have successfully claimed thousands of pounds in compensation for “unfavourable treatment”, injuries and having their property go missing.... two prisoners had received £8,000 in compensation after making allegations of unfavourable treatment. But prison governor James Shanley... said: “It is my belief that although the issues raised could not be substantiated by the claimants, the Home Office decided to settle prior to any court case as that would be the best use of public funds.” (Norwich Evening News 12.5.07)

Foreign criminals cost us £398m to jail- "Keeping foreign nationals in overcrowded British jails is costing the taxpayer more than £398 million a year... 15 per cent of the nearly 80,000-strong prison population are from outside the UK. The largest contingents among the 12,122 come from Jamaica and Nigeria, with 1,490 and 1,070 respectively. Shadow immigration minister Damian Green, who brought the details to light through Parliamentary questions, said "It shows what happens when the Government loses control of our borders. We seem to attract criminals from all over the world, and the British taxpayer ends up paying for them. Many of these criminals come from friendly democratic countries where deportation could be arranged. If we could remove the Jamaican prisoners alone we would save £49 million a year" (This is London 2.5.07)

£10bn pa on pensions black hole- "Every family in Britain must spend an extra £400 this year making up a shortfall in public sector pension funds. Official figures show that the cost of pensions for the country's state workers is expected to reach £29 billion this year. But contributions from employers and employees total just £19 billion, leaving a "black hole" of £10 billion which must be paid for by the taxpayer. This extra cost is the equivalent of each of Britain's 25 million households being given a bill for £400 to cover the shortfall." (Telegraph 10.5.07)

Tax credit errors waste £1.9bn- "Another £1.4bn is likely to be written off in overpaid tax credits, according to a report from a committee of MPs. The Public Accounts Committee said this would bring losses from overpayments to £1.9bn. A revamp to the system meant it would pay £500m more a year, it added. The new tax credit system started in 2003, but it has been plagued by complexity, overpayments and fraud." (BBC 8.5.07)

Absurd EU water directives cost us £65bn- "To an astonishing degree capital spending on water is skewed by the need to comply with three EU water purification directives... Up to 1997, we had spent £48 billion on complying with the often absurdly over-the-top requirements of these directives (the companies had to spend over £3 billion, for instance, on "denitrification plants" to solve a problem that turned out not to exist). Lord Pearson asked the minister how much more money had been largely wasted on these directives since 1997, and how much had been spent on the infrastructure needed to improve the efficiency of our water supply and sewerage systems. In a letter, Lord Rooker, as "Minister for Sustainable Farming and Food", has now given the answer. Spending to comply with the directives now totals £65 billion. Only £14 billion has been left for infrastructure. It is hardly surprising we still have hosepipe bans, despite our ever-soaring water bills." (Sunday Telegraph 13.5.07)

Total- £77,298,008,000

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