Sunday, May 20, 2007

Recent Bonfires 65

In the news this week:

£15,000 for Prescott farewell boonie- "John Prescott is to visit Barbados on a "farewell tour" as Deputy Prime Minister. The trip – which will cost the taxpayer up to £15,000 – is billed as marking the 200th anniversary of the end of the slave trade. Yet it will be seen as little more than a final sunshine break for the gaffe-prone Mr Prescott who has been accused of enjoying the high life at public expense. As with previous world trips, Mr Prescott is likely to travel first class and stay in a five-star hotel with his advisers." (Mail 19.5.07)

£300m pa wasted on drugs- "GPs are wasting more than £300m a year by prescribing drugs to NHS patients in England which are never used and choosing branded medicines over cheaper generic alternatives, parliament's spending watchdog says today in a report to MPs. The National Audit Office found some doctors overprescribe, allowing patients with long-term conditions to build up stockpiles of medicines. In other cases, patients failed to collect drugs dispensed by pharmacies or refused to take them after they got home." (Guardian 18.5.07)

£93,000 on yet more rebranding- "The Children's Commissioner has been criticised for spending £93,000 of taxpayers' money on a rebranding exercise. Opponents say the new name - 11 Million - is meaningless and money which should have been spent helping children has been wasted. Sir Al Aynsley-Green, who was appointed two years ago to head the newly created Office of the Children's Commissioner, hired PR firm The Team to create the new identity... In 2001, The Team was paid £110,000 for designing the Government's ten-year strategy on education document, at a cost of around £537 per page." ( Mail on Sunday 20.5.07)

HIPS to cost £4.7bn- "The true cost of Home Information Packs (HIPs) will be massively more than the Government's estimate, according to research. What homeowners will have to spend on them has been underestimated while official predictions of savings on their energy bills have been wildly optimistic, the study found. In reality, the packs will cost home owners at least £337 million a year more than any savings they encourage, the researchers calculate. The difference is four times what the Government estimated and represents a total cost to the country of £4.7 billion by 2020." (Sunday Telegraph 20.5.07)

Total for week- £5,000,108,000

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