Monday, March 09, 2009

And The Waste Goes On...

Some of BOM's old favourites are in the news again:

Nimrod - at long last MOD is grounding these dangerous old planes pending vital safety work (see many previous posts - eg here).

That has to be the right decision, but it once again reminds us of the hugely expensive shambles surrounding the procurement of the "new" Nimrod (eg see this post). When last sighted, they were set to cost us £290m each - an eye-watering escalation of 205% above the original budget - and were running seven years late.

We have yet to discover any MOD procurement that has come in on time and on budget.

Bogus Gershon cuts - "MINISTERS have spent £900m paying off 15,000 civil servants only to recruit an extra 42,020 in new permanent jobs, according to figures released by parliament.

In the past four years government departments have paid £882m in severance packages, worth an average of £60,000, to staff on voluntary and involuntary redundancy programmes.

Over the same period, however, they have recruited nearly three times as many civil servants, with annual salaries totalling £1 billion, despite government commitments to cutting government waste.
" (S Times)

We've blogged Gordo's make-believe Gershon cuts many times (see all previous posts here). And as this story underlines, the really infuriating thing is not the self-congratulatory nonsense he spouts about their success, but the fact that many of his so-called "cuts" have actually resulted in spending increases.

BBC - "THE BBC is using licence-fee payers’ money to offer 1,600 staff up to £46,000 worth of free rent and bills to persuade them to move from London to the northwest of England.

Details of the “gold-plated” relocation deal, obtained under freedom of information rules, reveal how employees will be able to reside in luxury flats in Greater Manchester during the week while shuttling back to their main family home at the weekend."
(S Times)

We've blogged the BBC's £240m move to glitzy Salford Quays before. By all accounts it's "a crass attempt by BBC bosses to preserve the licence fee amid criticism that they are too “London-centric”. But what we want to know is why aren't they relocating to a really cheap area, like say, Hull?

Waste Warriors - BOM's old friend William Norton has produced another magnum opus on waste for the TPA entitled Paying for the Credit Crunch.

After painstakingly detailing the scale of government waste, he tells us what Cam's government will need to do to tackle it: shrinkage, freezing, elimination, rationalisation, and outsourcing.

Well worth a read... let's hope George does so.

Tonite's Telly Pick - C4 Despatches, 8pm, in which "Journalist and broadcaster Jane Moore investigates how the government is squandering billions of pounds of taxpayers' money."

Government waste as primetime telly - we've come a long way since the last election.

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