VitalSpark: Coalition Blog

Posted: 02 July 2010, in Blog

“Advice is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least.”

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773)

HM Treasury want to hear from you.

The “whole way of life changes” are upon us and the Royal Mile Lilliputians are not even having an adult debate about what this means for Scotland. Tip to Parliamentary candidates at next year’s election – be honest and don’t treat us like fools and you might get (re)elected.

So, where would you make the cuts and where would you be innovative in the design, delivery and management of public services? Would you give public sector suppliers and procurers all the levers of control or would you empower new providers, consumers and beneficiaries? Would you take a pay cut to keep your colleagues in a job? What extravagance, waste of money or management perks would you stop if only you had the power? What would you abolish and what would you invest in?

Here are a few thoughts of mine.

Leave Afghanistan and Iraq now.

Merge some police forces, local authorities and universities and colleges. Edinburgh (inc Musselburgh) and Glasgow (including Paisley) have 4 universities each! End the 4 year degree in its current form. The norm should be a 3 year degree.

Copy most of Europe – close all museums, galleries etc on Mondays.

Remove universal entitlement for certain groups to benefits like free travel and free prescriptions/dental/spectacles. These should be means tested.

Cut International Aid to States with nuclear weapons – if you can afford nuclear weapons etc. We actually give money to China!

Cull the number of elected politicians and salaried governance positions in our public life by 25% – this matches the financial cuts that government departments are facing.

Make the G8/G20 and other international summits meet on an aircraft carrier somewhere. This stops cities being trashed, ends inconvenience to citizens and businesses and reduces costs. Canada (our Coalition’s favourite country de jour) is spending over $1bn on “its” summits. It also ends all the self aggrandising pomp and ceremony for the most expensive set of valueless photo opps in human history. Can you recall one major “commitment”  that has ever been met? Have they never heard of video-conferencing?

Put an end to the Brussels – Strasbourg farce of moving the EU parliament. Remove the Duke of Edinburgh from the Civil List. Make our various Parliaments, Assemblies, Councils and the whole realm of public life “dry”.

End the use of First Class travel and 5 star hospitality (inc chauffeur driven cars) for any tax payer funded person.

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