It's back and, depressingly, the figure is even bigger than last time. Welcome again to the world of waste. In this new edition of "The Bumper Book", Matthew Elliot and Lee Rotherham have unearthed a staggering GBP101 billion of government misspending - all paid for by you, the taxpayer. It's such an enormous figure it is difficult to get one's head around it. What could be done with GBP101 billion? Well, you could for example, paper the entire East Midlands and London with GBP5 notes, and still have a few billion left over to build one hell of a crane from which to admire your handiwork. Or even convert the GBP101 billion into one penny coins, pile them on top of each other, and reach the moon and back five times.But perhaps more usefully, the government could cut the tax burden of every household by over GBP4,000 a year.Mind blowing isn't it?Here are just a few examples of where all of that money has gone: GBP280,000 on a conference addressed by Blair and Brown on value for money in the public services; GBP400 million on 'cost control' for the Olympic Games; GBP3 million by tax inspectors at HM Revenue and Customs on flights, including GBP2.1 million on flights to Scotland; Over GBP16 million on the creation and upkeep of VIP lounges in Heathrow and Gatwick despite the fact they are not government-owned; GBP100,000 on assessing whether GBP400,000 reportedly spent on modern art for seven hospitals was money well spent.
But then it's hardly a surprise that they don't have a tight grip on our finances when you see an official statistic from the government, claiming that an impressive 102 per cent of all 3 year olds are in nursery school. With this level of numeracy, no wonder we're in trouble! If you're a British taxpayer, you need to read this book - even though it will hurt.
Table of Contents
1. An Introduction to Government WasteA Big Hello to the TreasuryThe White Elephants' GraveyardThe World's First Tax CutThe Price of GovernmentGBP101 Billion of Waste2. Departmental WasteDepartment for Education and Skills (DfES)Department of Health (DH)Department for TransportHome OfficeDept. for Communities and Local GovernmentDepartment for Constitutional Affairs (DCA)Northern Ireland Office (NIO)Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)Department for International Development (DFID)Privy Council Office (PCO)Ministry of Defence (MOD)HM TreasuryDepartment for Trade and Industry (DTI)Cabinet OfficeThe Gershon Savings3. Other Areas of WasteAuntie BeebSuperstar WalletsLondon 2012Public Art GrantsThe Government Art CollectionDevolved GovernmentThe Kost of KenThe QuangocratsA Culture of ConsultancyNon-JobsFlights of FancyThe Cost of LivingBuy BritishMinisterial Gifts4. The Burdens for Our ChildrenPublic Sector vs. Private SectorThe PFI and PPP ScandalInformation TechnologyThe Pensions CrisisHot Air?The National DebtHealth and SafetyLegal AidPar for the Course5. Going EuropeanOn Mountains and DesertsEl Mundo AuditoWhistleblowers6. Taxes Past and FutureThe Flat TaxThe Taxpayers' AxiomsThe Tax on DeathGold in the BalanceAbout the TaxPayers' AllianceAppendix 1: Better GovernmentAppendix 2: Ending EU Fraud
Matthew Elliott is co-founder and Chief Executive of The TaxPayers' Alliance, a pressure group launched in 2004 to represent taxpayers in the corridors of power and to fight for lower taxes. Now with over 15,000 supporters, it generates more media coverage than any other independent political organisation in the UK.Dr Lee Rotherham is also by background a linguist and historian. His Mediaeval Occitan was just one of several languages that proved to be absolutely useless when he acted as an advisor on the Convention that drafted the thoroughly despicable EU Constitution. He has advised three successive Shadow Foreign Secretaries, though the turnover wasn't his fault. A prominent Eurosceptic, hunted across the continent by bands of pro-Brussels politicians carrying lit torches and pitchforks, he has been widely published.