Sunday, December 30, 2007

Recent Bonfires- 87

Which just leaves death and taxes

In the most unfestive news this year:

Outsourcing overruns cost £9bn- "Research by the European Services Strategy Unit shows that 105 outsourced public sector ICT contracts have significant cost overruns, delays and terminations. The unit examined large outsourcing contracts, PPPs, PFIs and strategic service delivery partnerships in central government, the health service, local authorities, public bodies and agencies over the last 10 years. It found that cost overruns amounted to £9bn for the 105 projects, with an average percentage cost overrun of 30.5 per cent. It also revealed that 30 per cent of contracts were terminated and more than half (57 per cent) had cost overruns." (Kablenet 24.12.07)

Mrs Martin blows £4,280 on cabs- "Michael Martin, the Commons Speaker, will be asked by MPs to explain why his wife has claimed about £1,000 a year in taxi expenses even though she is not employed by Parliament. Mary Martin claimed £4,280.20 for taxis since May 2004, which were “entirely in connection with household expenditure that supports the Speaker’s duties”. According to the Speaker’s spokesman, she needs to take taxis to shop for food for official functions... [but] a large Sainsbury’s is close to Parliament Square and the Oxford Street branch of Marks & Spencer will deliver food to the front door." (Times 29.12.07)

Scouse wedding already £20m in hock- "ON the eve of Liverpool’s year in the spotlight as European Capital of Culture 2008, the city has run up a £20m debt, leading the head of its arts programme to liken preparations to a “scouse wedding”. The deficit is so large - almost as big as the entire £22m budget for arts projects for the year - that Liverpool council has asked the government to bail it out." (Sunday Times 30.12.07)

£150m wasted on teenage sex campaign- "Every year, almost 50,000 girls under 18 fall pregnant, leading critics to claim that government-led efforts to encourage safer sex are backfiring. The number who conceive is at its highest level since a multi-million-pound teenage pregnancy crackdown almost a decade ago. As a result, Britain tops the league table of teenage mothers in western Europe, despite also having a record number of school-age abortions. This comes despite the Government investing more than £150 million in an attempt to stem the tide of conceptions - and pledging to cut teenage pregnancy rates by half by the end of this decade." (Sunday Telegraph 30.12.07)

£30m for wannabe pop stars- "More than £30 million of taxpayers' money has been spent on a government scheme to help aspiring pop stars to make it in the music industry. Since its launch in 1999, a total of 13,463 unemployed musicians have taken part. But new figures show only 3,880 of them went on to "sustained employment" in the industry. That works out at £7,731 for each job found. A further £269,000 has been spent on producing workbooks on subjects such as jobs in the music industry, recording, copy­right and performing. Critics last night dismissed the scheme as a "bureaucratic waste of money" and said Britain's booming music scene would have enabled most of the participants to find jobs without the Government's help." (S Telegraph 30.12.07)

Total for the season to be jolly- £9,200,004,280.20


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