A reminder to Liam Byrne "There is no money left"

Labour's shadow Housing spokesman, Liam Byrne, was on the box today complaining about the reforms the government is making to Welfare.

Now I would be the first to admit that no government, including the present one, is perfect and the changes to housing benefit will not be an easy matter for all those affected. I am particularly glad that the government has listened to some of the criticisms made of the original proposals and has exempted members of the armed forces. (They were always planning to exempt pensioners.)

However, the reason that the government has to make savings is not because the government thinks everyone on benefit is a scrounger, or because they like hurting people. The reasons we need to give people incentives to do the right thing, and why we have to save money, were perfectly summed up in the note which Liam Byrne himself left his successor as Chief Secretary to the Treasury while clearing his desk on the last day of the last govenment. He said



Jim said…
You have mentioned Milton Friedman in a couple of posts and replies Chris, so yeah can go with his work.

Acording to Friedman there are 4 ways to spend money.

1. Spend your own money on yourself
2. Spend your own money on others
3. Spend someone else's money on yourself
4 Spend someone else's money on others.

1- with this type of spending you can be sure that I want the maximum amount of quality for the minimum cost, I will ensure every penny goes as far as it can.

2- with this type, then quality kind of goes out of the window, long as it passes the laugh test, but you can be certain there are limits on price here.

3- Well quality is everything, cost not so important, you can bet I am going to have a good meal on this one, it costs just what it costs.

4- No longer care about price or quality, this is also the category of all government spending.

Now cuts to the spending budget need to be made, and they are needed more than ever, as welfare is the biggest expenditure, then it needs to be slashed, I know people will yell and scream, but it must be done. Reform will help elsewhere, the NHS, Education, Stopping insane energy subsidy, that type of thing would also save a fortune.

At the moment I too would like to see a true opposition, that would help a lot. Would like to tell Mr Osborne to "stop talking out of his hat* and think again, then produce a sane budget"
Also if the british government were to ask to borrow from me, I would tell them to go and er.. reflect on why the answer was "no"*

* I am aware this is a family blog.
Jim said…
Since you posted this one on April 1st please let me point to a an entry from "Burning our Money" but anyone who wants may easily find this highly recommended blog, from an economist who does his homework. any way here is his REPRODUCED post from government wasted spending on April 1st alone:

£4,800 for boob job - "WANNABE glamour model Josie Cunningham & her new 36DD boobs - served up on the NHS. Josie, 22, had a £4,800 breast op funded by the taxpayer after telling her GP that being flat-chested was causing emotional distress. The Leeds telesales girl said: “My new boobs have changed my life, now I want to be the new Katie Price". Despite earning just £9,000-a-year in telesales, Josie has made several trips from her Yorkshire home to get used to the celebrity lifestyle in London nightspots. She has also had chocolate brown highlights in her hair to copy busty Katie, begun a collection of Louis Vuitton handbags — and ordered a chihuahua puppy."

£90k for prisoner sex change ops - "Two prisoners at a maximum security jail have used human rights laws to force taxpayers to foot the £90,000 bill for their sex-change operations. Both men are serving lengthy sentences at Full Sutton jail near York. Alongside the £45,000 cost of each operation, thousands more has been spent training guards to deal with the inmates’ new identities."

£16m for fatcat civil servants - "Fatcat civil servants at the Department of Energy were handed more than £16 million in bonuses and payoffs in the past two years. Taxpayers have funded exit packages worth more than £7.6 million since 2011, with some employees getting more than £100,000. And £9 million has been paid out in bonuses in the last financial year. Labour MP Pamela Nash said the payments were an “absolute scandal”. She said: “It is not surprising the Government are not tackling rising energy bills seriously when they can’t even control the bonuses.” (Mirror 30-3-13)

April 1st total - £16,094,800

(The joke being entirely on you)
Chris Whiteside said…
My posts on April 1st were not an April fool - but some of the things public money is still spent on certainly should be.

Not that everyone who claims benefit of any kind is a scrounger or a fraud, far from it. The problem is that when we don't encourage people to aim high enough, we all lose out - including those for whom claiming benefits is genuinely the only option.

And I agree with you, Jim, that the current level of spending and benefits is unaffordable and will saddle our children with a mountain of debt.

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