A new report from the Taxpayers’ Alliance claims that the UK public sector wastes £120 billion each and every year
And this is despite claims of tightening belts and being forced to close libraries or fire lollipop ladies.
It’s equivalent to a cost of some £4,500 for every British family.
They say: “A relentless war on public sector waste is needed”
But what do those in charge, our political leaders, do?
They can’t be seen to be cutting public services – it loses them many votes
On the other hand, it’s a vote-winner if they’re seen clamouring for more resources to be poured into such cherished national assets as the NHS – National Health Service – or schools or police forces
Few question what percentage of existing resources allocated to the public sector services are being wasted or whether operating methods they use are as good as they could be – staff are all seen to be working hard, resources fully utilised, so the obvious conclusion is ‘more is needed’
And none dare admit that, on a like-for-like basis, public sector staff are better paid, have longer holidays and receive better pensions than their private sector counterparts
But, if they would only dig a little deeper, they might well find the waste of time and resources is at least 30% across the board – with much more waste on top due to the inefficiency of methods being used
Sadly, no such numbers exist
If they did, one might well find that no extra funding is needed to remove most queues in the NHS, say, or and make a huge improvement to the current poor police record in clearing-up crimes of all types, especially serious crime
Some public sector review body is needed to conduct a regular, two-pronged study of all public services:
Prong 1 should review the specific services each public sector should offer ‘free at the point of delivery’ having regard to what the public is willing to fund – the nation must cut its cloth to what it can afford
Prong 2 should review the efficiency levels of each public service unit, compare them with best practice, make changes needed and continuously improve
At present, neither seems to be happening other than on an occasional, piecemeal basis
Hence Amber Rudd, UK Home Secretary, said:
“Police chief constables need to concentrate on cutting crime – the public do not want to hear about disappointments over funding”
To bleats that police forces cannot sustain further substantial cuts: “Greater efficiencies have been shown to be available”
But who was then charged with doing what?
Chief constables were unlikely to change their tune
Meanwhile, Sara Thornton, Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, pointed out that: “Offences involving knives, guns and serious violence have increased significantly”