Wednesday, 29 April 2009

How to really cut government spending

Here are a few suggestions for cutting government spending. The reasons that no-one in government think of of them are two-fold:
  1. The are so detached from the real world that they don't know what is going on;
  2. The Civil Service would never suggest them, as it might mean cutting Civil Service and QUANGO jobs...
Here goes, if any of these are truly stupid please let me know...
  • Put out to public consultation which QUANGOs could be cut with nobody noticing. I have experience in education and if you closed Becta, QCA and OfQual tomorrow I doubt anyone would notice. I guess the situation is the same in every area of life.
  • Legalise and tax drugs. Savings of over £2B in policing and potential tax revenue of £1B-£3B.
  • Re-organise the appraisal mechanisms for schools and hospitals with peer review mechanisms and careful oversight.
  • Scrap ID Cards - £5B.
  • Do not replace Trident, saving £25B. It is not an independent nuclear deterrent, and the moral high-ground would be worth more than the 'nuclear power' badge.
  • Scrap the mis-named and absurd tax credit system, and move to a fixed payment to every man, woman and child, with a flat rate 40% tax on all income.
  • Move to self-assessment for as much taxation as possible, with heavy penalties for mis-reporting.
  • Scrap the road fund licence - and put the duty burden on fuel. Probably £500M in savings.
  • Require insurers to confirm that a car is roadworthy. Probably another £500M in savings. It should also be possible to have the insurance companies responsible to driver testing and car registration as well.
  • Does anyone know what BERR does? Scrap it.
Further suggestions please!