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    • Former MSE Wendy
    • By Former MSE Wendy 8th Jun 10, 11:56 AM
    • 868Posts
    • 1,782Thanks
    Former MSE Wendy
    What Goverment spending would you cut? poll discussion
    • #1
    • 8th Jun 10, 11:56 AM
    What Goverment spending would you cut? poll discussion 8th Jun 10 at 11:56 AM
    Poll Started 08 June 2010:

    What Goverment spending would you cut?

    The Prime Minister and Chancellor have both confirmed that the country will need to face swinging cuts in public spending, with David Cameron announcing they will consult the public for ideas on where pennies and pounds could be saved.

    If you were in charge, which of these areas of government spending would you think should most be cut?

    A. Defence (military spending - £35bn)
    B. Education (schools and universities - £32bn)
    C. Environment (waste and pollution - £5bn)
    D. Health (the NHS £124bn)
    E. Housing £4bn
    F. Law & Order (police and courts - £15bn)
    G. Overseas aid (money to the developing world – £12bn)
    H. Social Protection (state pension and benefits - £171 bn)
    I . Transport (roads & railways - £11bn)

    Please vote here or click ‘post reply’ to discuss below.

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    Last edited by Former MSE Wendy; 08-06-2010 at 12:06 PM.
Page 3
  • BlueAngel
    My biggest bugbear is giving aid to overseas as I agree that most of it, is filtered off before it ever gets to the people who really need it. In a lot of the countries, the governments are living in luxury whilst the ordinary people live in poverty.
    We are actually contributing to the people who have, rather than the people who haven't.
    I would like to be given the choice of who I want to have my money (charity). Charity begins at home and if we are struggling, then sort our country out first.
    If the government insist on giving overseas aid, maybe it should come as an added tax for people who are earning above a certain amount or optional if people on lower incomes choose to pay it and only the money raised with this tax should be used, then everyone would have the choice?
    • deedee71
    • By deedee71 9th Jun 10, 9:10 AM
    • 854 Posts
    • 919 Thanks
    Get rid of free prescriptions in Wales and Scotland.
    Originally posted by slummymummyof3
    Devolved states get a budget and choose how to spend their "pot". In Wales and Scotland we have forgone something else (layers of NHS management??) to allow for free prescriptions. Getting rid wouldn't save money as the money would be spend elsewhere in the NHS instead.
  • rag31
    Oh how very daily mail this thread feels

    Having worked (voluntarily) on various committees in our local NHS PCT I can vouch for the astonishing waste of money that goes on. E.g. our local PCT has two hospitals. They decided to close down both maternity units and open a new super-unit on a third site. Two years, a quarter of a million pounds and countless 'consultants' 'designers' and committees and they realised there was no room for the special care baby unit on this site and the whole thing was quietly dropped.

    Not to mention the zillions of managers I met whose job was *entirely* to attend various committees and meetings and examine and implement various guidance and targets that were coming out. In the years I was there none of them came to fruition before a new guidance came out and they started again.

    I can't, however, see how this could be changed without just starting afresh. Constantly trying to fix something that is so broke just creates more cost, more bureaucrats and I feel something else is needed. What? I don't know.

    I'm sure universal benefits (child benefit) could be means tested without any hardship to families. Simplify the benefits process, it's so complicated and difficult, and again - levels of bureaucracy is just mad.

    I also wish there was more long term thinking. Lots of things could save us money long term but cost more than doing the same old same old in the short term.

    No, I wouldn't cut the overseas budget. Frankly it sickens and saddens me that this is what people latch onto. Short term thinking in action. If it needs to be properly and more efficiently directed then we could do worse as a country to give to NGO's who do a fantastic job of creating change on a shoestring.

    Environment and public transport?? NOOOO. Short term thinking AGAIN. This is where we should be investing, sorting out our future energy situation and getting a decent public transport system to reduce car ownership and oil consumption.
    Mum of 4 lovely children
    • keith26
    • By keith26 9th Jun 10, 9:15 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    Cut benefits for a start, then add a surcharge on all those who have voted labour over the years as they are the ones who got us into this mess yet again. Never been in debt, never voted labour, never had anything off the government I dont see why its now MY problem at all.
  • charliewiggs
    I am a benefit fraud investigator for the past 12 years and from my experience I can state that fraud within the benefit system is rampant. If this Government is serious about reducing the massive public sector bill which the last Government ( and previous Governments) have accumulated they must address the fraud in the welfare system. Despite what the last Government has claimed in that they had reduced the fraud in the system I and my colleagues in local authorities and the DWP would challenge this. I agree with the comments of some of the other contributors to this post and it's insulting to those hard working, taxpaying members of the public who witness day in day out benefit claimants blatantly stealing money from taxpayers. Remember it's the taxpayer who funds the public sector not the Government ! So here's what I would do:

    Abolish Child Benefit (There's Child Tax Credits which is means tested)

    Abolish Job Centres and replace them with Employment agencies run by the private sector and reward the agencies by the number of claimants they place in employment.

    Stop single parents on benefit from being given more money every time they have another child.

    Make all benefits taxable.
    Originally posted by NorthWalesGraham
    Could not agree more.benefits need to be reduced to below what a working person on minimum wage gets then some of them might get a job
    • keith26
    • By keith26 9th Jun 10, 9:18 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    As for means testing child benefits, I fail to see why the unemployed should get more and those that work again lose of to keep them in beer and fags.
    • jenster
    • By jenster 9th Jun 10, 9:29 AM
    • 483 Posts
    • 759 Thanks
    [QUOTE=Gordon the Moron;33594915]A. Defence (military spending - £35bn)
    Get our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, more to save lives than save money, they shouldn't be there

    B. Education (schools and universities - £32bn)

    Employ someone like Martin Lewis to cut waste and you could save a fair bit

    im suprised Martin isnt involved in some way - (maybe hes been asked )

    he could certainly do a job

    i said before Martin for PM LOL
  • LilacLouisa
    I stared at the options for a good couple of minutes and couldn't make myself vote for any of them. Just shows what a difficult job the politicians have ahead of them.
    I'm disappointed in the large proportion wanting to cut overseas aid. Compared to the plight of many developing countries, our difficulties seem a little trivial really.
    Originally posted by stevemcol
    I voted for overseas aid. Not because I don`t realise how lucky I am or because I don`t care about third world countries, but people either from Africa or those with African Caribbean ancestry have been saying that aid has turned Africans into beggars, and are calling events like Live Aid "Death Aid".

    The feelings of at least some is that Governments just rely on aid coming in rather than making efforts themselves (and maybe siphoning the money off for themselves)

    I have talked about this many times with friends, coming to the conclusion that it would be better to gradually phase aid out, but pay a decent rate for whatever they produce, and also prevent western countries exploiting third world countries resources.

    I don`t know how effective Fair Trade goods are, but I try to buy them, and apparently the sale of Fair Trade bananas is at least helping the Windward Islands somewhat.

    I also sponsor a child in Haiti, I can only hope that is helping too and not causing problems.
  • woodcook
    Get rid of OFSTED. School inspectors used to inspect and advise and were useful to schools and society. Now they just look for (desperately some times) anything to complain about BUT offer no advice. There aim is now self justification. I am not a teacher but have contact with multiple schools and teachers and this is a permanent complaint. OFSTED is now a useless organisation as far as improving schools is concerned.
    Picking up on what Slummymummyof3 said, are many people aware that Diabetics get ALL prescriptions free? ie if they get a cold & get a chesty cough then the drugs for that are free.

    I'm all for the drugs to do with their condition being free, but not for anything else they toddle off to the Drs for. It also defies logic that a person who has had a transplant & needs anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives have to pay for these!!!
    • jenster
    • By jenster 9th Jun 10, 9:33 AM
    • 483 Posts
    • 759 Thanks
    Stop all jsa after 6 months.
    No more child allowance or tax credits after the second child, its time to show some social responsibility and put a condom on it 'cos we ain't paying for it any longer.
    Cap council spending, we don't need to be paying £40k for a weekend play time advisor.

    Stop all payments to single mothers. Govt give 12 months notice from today that there will be no special treatment so cross your legs. This will ease the strain on social housing and will also stop generation after generation repeating the same mistakes and clogging up the estates with feral scum.
    Originally posted by worried jim

    agreed but i say upto 3 children only should be given child benifits after that then stop!
  • charliewiggs
    All of these have vast scope for savings but they are all protecting their own backs and generous pensions at our expense.
    The EU is not on the list and must be the most wasteful body ever and we have no control over it.
    The Euro fiasco is going to cost us dear whatever they say.
    Originally posted by 666jon
    The EU should be on the list if only to see how many people want out of it, the money we pay in would probably wipe out our national debt
  • chocolatemaniac
    Benefits, without a doubt.

    I agree with benefits to some extent, most of us experience times in our life when we need help, but i am fed up with paying for people to sit on their backside all day complaining they can't get a job (when in fact they just cannot be bothered).

    The only people who should be entitled to benefits are severely disabled/ ill people and their carers, OAPs and people who have been made redundant (for max a year, but there should be higher payments for people with mortgages). If these were the only people the government could then give back the savings to people who work by taxing us slightly less, then everyone would have more money to spend on what they need. Everyone else who claim they just canít get a job should have to do community work in order to get there benefits, otherwise they donít get them.

    Single parents who are looking after young children and donít wish to work should have someone paying their share of that child anyway (like the absent mother/ father), which should be far stricter (DNA testing should be mandatory for people who claim it isnít thereís Ė but if it comes back as wrong ei, mother doesnít know who the father is and just accuses a list of potential men, then that person should pay a fine to the person they accuse!). If they need their benefits topping up to feed their child then they should only get vouchers, and nothing else.

    I live in a flat which I brought 2 years ago, and the flat above me is council. I have had 3 couples living up there since I moved in the first was a mother and child, she openly told me she was claiming benefits for being a single parent when dad came and stayed round practically every night (also claiming benefits and had a council flat!). When she couldnít get the council to give her a house (she claimed the 1 bed flat was too small for her and her 2 year old Ė obviously couldnít just be honest and say it was too small for her, her partner and child as they would loose vital benefits) she then became pregnant again (yes with the same bloke) and then she got moved to a house. Second couple actually worked, but only stayed there for 5 months. Third couple (there now), both donít work, he has two kids already by another women and now his current g/f he lives with is pregnant, so yet another mouth to feed on benefits! Both couples which were on benefits always had the latest technology, mobiles, TVís, IPods, play stations Ė more than I have!!!! To top it all off, they ring up kingfisher (the leaseholder) every 5 mins with a problem and guess who has to pay half the bill if its communalÖ.me!!!!!! Last year I had to pay £650, this year it was £450, I have not once rang them with a problem. The only bills I should have to pay is ground rent, lighting and building insurance, which on their own would only cost me a combined £80. It a bloody joke!!

    Ok, rant over, but you get my point. We live in a society where you work hard and do everything yourself you get nothing (oh no sorry, I am entitled to 25% off council tax as I live on my own, even though itís based on 2 adults sharing so shouldnít that mean I should get 50% discount!!??) but if you do nothing, donít work, s**t on society you get everything for free. Think I made the wrong choice somewhere!!!!
    Originally posted by amy21_84
    I agree, there are too many people claiming benefits and too many doing so under false pretences.
    I also think that benefits should be set at the current minimum wage. If someone has decided that the min wage is what a person can live on, then any benefits should not exceed that. The only exceptions should be disability preventing work ( and I mean genuineley unable to work)
  • chocolatemaniac
    NHS staff numbers have grown disproportionately against population, unpopular but required. If possible reduce staffing numbers to year 2000 figures. And resolve issue with pensions, public sector pensions are not properly funded.
    Originally posted by spendalot sanj
    I presume you mean that administrative and managerial staff numbers should be reduced??
    The numbers of nurses and doctors has not increased that much over the last 10 years, in fact most clinical areas have probably seen a decrease in skilled/trained nurses and an increase in untrained care workers. However the amount of work required has increased substantially. In my area of work my patient numbers have gone from 150-170 per month in 2001 to 650-700 per month this year, we have the same number of staff seeing those people (2).
    As for pensions, I am actually fed up with people saying public sector worker dont contribute to their pensions, WE DO!! It's council workers, civil servants and the armed forces who do not.
    Last edited by chocolatemaniac; 09-06-2010 at 10:00 AM.
  • SoNoble
    A missing choice
    We should be offered the choice of cutting expenditure on EU Membership. I'm not surprised that we are not offered this - Cameron & Clegg are not going to consider this so why should MSE?

    Why EU Membership? It makes the molehill of Westminster corruption pale by comparison. The EU still don't allow their books to be properly audited - dissenters are dismissed as small Englanders - some maybe but many understand the bigger issues of an unfettered, centralised power block with a developing domination agenda.

    Again, nobody under 53 has ever been allowed a say on a single EU question and several older people now think that they were hoodwinked when they did get a say and would like a chance to give a verdict after 35 years.
    • barryd999
    • By barryd999 9th Jun 10, 10:06 AM
    • 65 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Cut benefits for a start, then add a surcharge on all those who have voted labour over the years as they are the ones who got us into this mess yet again. Never been in debt, never voted labour, never had anything off the government I dont see why its now MY problem at all.
    Originally posted by keith26

    Well said. I dont see however why 22% of you have voted to cut defence. Even if you think our troops should not be in Afganistan they are still under resourced and sometimes ill equiped and deserve the best. They are certainly underpaid. Shame on you!

    Its time to pay the piper Im afraid. It annoys me that the labour government nurtured this debt culture and people just went along with it buying stuff they cant afford and dont need. I mean who needs a 60" plasma TV in a grotty council house? Well Ha HA! Good! Its about time everyone was taught a lesson in real life. I have worked hard all my life, have run my own business for the past 10 years. I have never been in debt and never bought anything unless I had the cash to pay for it. when I got married I saved up and lived on just £30 per week until the wedding and had one crappy settee and a portable tele. Now I own my own lovely home with no mortgage and money in the bank. Business is terrible but I toiled and saved over the years and put money aside for a rainy day.

    It makes me sick that our so called leaders have allowed this to happen and that so many subscribed to the debt culture. Well tough. Your all going to have to pay now. Good luck.

    The can slash all of them apart from Defence by half for all I care. If your in the public sector, I would start thinking about getting a real job if I were you.
  • pine lady
    If I were the government I would start by looking at the waste in paying final salary pensions to MP's and other Parlimentary personnel. This would amount to quite a substantial pot of money and give the govenment a few brownie points in showing that they are willing to give up a few freebies. We in the private sector had our pensions raped by the previous government and final salary pensions are almost unheard of. The money needed to fund the MP's final sarary pensions is astronomicial and the tax payer has to pay this 'hidden' expense. Come on David, show us what a good leader you can be.
  • chocolatemaniac
    That wasn't the plan when the NHS was formed. It was thought that improvements in health would cause a natural cap on the expenditure.

    However the NHS is paying out for things it shouldn't be. In 2005/6 there were over a quarter of a million admissions to NHS hospitals in England for
    selected alcohol-related diagnoses (mental and behavioural disorders due to alcohol, alcoholic liver disease and toxic effects of alcohol). Hospital admissions for these diagnoses have virtually doubled since 1997. Overall probably around 1 in 16 of all hospital admissions are for alcohol-related causes.
    Alcohol-related diseases account for 1 in 8 NHS bed days (around 2 million) and 1 in 8 NHS day cases (around 40,000).
    The Strategy Unit calculated the cost to the NHS in England and Wales of treating alcohol-related conditions to be up to £1.7 billion per annum.

    So if we could stop using hospitals as drying-out units for the Friday night befuddled we could make a hefty slice of savings.

    It's tempting to cut overseas aid, but abolishing it entirely would only save £12bn, less than a 10% cut in NHS.

    Social Protection - a stupidly high spend but hard to cut across the board without causing hardship. And if there are economies elsewhere in public spending (much of which is salaries) then unemployment is likely to rise.

    Figures are probably for England/Wales only - Scotland has a higher per capita spend under Barnett formula and so could come in for some sensible economies.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver

    It's very easy to judge people, I do, all the time. However you cannot start charging for alcohol related incidents, yes some people go out get !!!!ed and end up in ED abusing everyone but some people may have deep psychological problems stemming from incidents they did not have any control over, and drink to help with that. Do we then start charging extra if you are really overweight and have a heart attack?? what about smokers who get lung cancer?? It's never ending.
    • deedee71
    • By deedee71 9th Jun 10, 10:17 AM
    • 854 Posts
    • 919 Thanks
    Well said. I dont see however why 22% of you have voted to cut defence. Even if you think our troops should not be in Afganistan they are still under resourced and sometimes ill equiped and deserve the best. They are certainly underpaid. Shame on you!
    Originally posted by barryd999
    I voted for defence, but wasn't thinking of troops funding, more along the lines of Trident.
  • voiceofreason
    I am a benefit fraud investigator for the past 12 years and from my experience I can state that fraud within the benefit system is rampant.
    Originally posted by NorthWalesGraham
    You would say that.

    Your job depends on it.

    Isn't it true that more money's lost by the DWP through incompetence, mismanagement and poor strategic decision-making than ever is lost through benefit fraud?
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