The 4th Agenda

Principles and values, not political spin

Taxpayers' money is wasted

£31 billion of taxpayers’ money was wasted in the first 18 months of the Coalition government, according to the National Audit Office.

The government could save £19 billion a year if it could match the efficiency of the private sector, a Deloitte report indicates.

When most people are being asked to tighten their belts even further, it seems unfair and immoral for government to waste so much of our money.

Spending has doubled

Government spending has more than doubled in just 15 years, rising from £312 billion in 1997 to £688 billion in 2012. Taxes have had to increase to pay for it. But what have we received in return? Is education twice as good as in 1997? Do we contribute twice as much to the poor and needy in our society? Are our transport systems, defence, the NHS or policing twice as good?

It’s not just the increased spend that’s the problem – it’s what the government spends it on. At a time of significant cut-backs in services, £26 billion has been wasted on computer blunders, £76 billion has been wasted on Trident, £18 billion has been wasted on ID cards and £5 billion was wasted by selling the country’s gold at a historically low price.

The tax payer funded subsidy for MPs food and drink in Parliament costs us £6 million each year yet MPs earn more than £67,000 a year, with a substantial allowance and pension package on top. Why must taxpayers (averaging just £22,000 a year) subsidise their wine, beer and food?

What’s worse, David Cameron promised before the last election that this subsidy would be abolished.