Friday, March 01, 2013

Recent Bonfires - 89

It's high time we had another bonfire round-up:

Wrong kind of railway management costs us £50m+ "Civil servant failures over the West Coast rail contract will cost taxpayers “at least £50 million”, a report by MPs said today. There was a lack of leadership at the Department for Transport (DfT) and a failure to "get basic processes right" over the West Coast fiasco, the report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said. The department failed to learn from mistakes made in previous projects and senior managers failed to apply common sense during the West Coast bidding process... Bob Crow, leader of the RMT transport union, said: "The stench from the fall-out of the West Coast franchise continues to hang over Britain's transport industry as it becomes clearer with every examination that the ministers responsible for this shambles could not be trusted to run a whelk stall let alone multi-billion Government contracts." (Independent 26-2-13)

Wrong kind of cop shop costs us £21m "A state-of-the-art police station is to cost taxpayers a total of £21 million over the next 30 years, even though it is closed to the public. The front desk at the station, which opened 11 years ago in a 30-year private finance deal, is shut to save costs, and has been replaced by a mobile police van in the car park for eight-hours-a-week. But police are still committed to handing over £700,000-a-year for the station at Ammanford, Carmarthenshire, South Wales. The total cost will be £21m - almost 10 times the cost of building the station. Acting Chief Constable Jackie Roberts admitted the station is 'too costly' and 'does not provide the public with value for money'. (D Mail 27-2-13)

Wrong kind of military kit costs us £6.6bn "The Ministry of Defence is squandering billions of pounds on kit and supplies it does not need while trying to save money by getting rid of troops... MPs on the Commons’ Public Accounts Committee found at least £6.6 billion of stock was either unused or over-ordered... [There are] enough spare parts for the Nimrod MR2 maritime patrol aircraft to last 54 years: the spy plane was scrapped in 2009." (D Mail 28-2-13)

Wrong kind of EU rules cost us £850k "Taxpayers in Britain are paying hundreds of thousands of pounds a year for Polish pregnant women to return to their home country and give birth, new figures reveal. Under EU law anyone living and working in Britain is entitled to free treatment in any other member state. Around 500 Poles returned to the Eastern European nation to have their babies in 2012, with the NHS footing the bill. Each birth costs the NHS £1,631, meaning the births of babies to Polish mothers cost Britain around £850,000 last year. The regulations were originally set up to ensure emergency healthcare was available between member states across the EU." (D Telegraph 25-2-13)

Wrong kind of taxman costs us £33m "The cost of hanging on the phone to the tax office was a collective £33m last year, with many frustrated callers paying more than £1 a call. Figures released by the National Audit Office (NAO) showed that nearly a quarter of calls to the Revenue went unanswered while 6.5m people in the first six months of this financial year were left waiting for more than 10 minutes for someone to help them. Customers who call HMRC from their mobile phone face the steepest charges, paying up to 41p a minute to phone an 0845 number or 40p a minute for an 0345 number. Even those calling from their landlines will pay up to 10.5p a minute, depending on the time of day." (D Telegraph 18-12-12)

This week's bonfire total: £6,704,850,000


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