Thursday, 25 September 2008

Don't try this at home

I'm reading the Bumper Book of Government Waste at the moment. It reaches the conclusion that this Government has so far managed to waste about £100bn.

Now, figures like that are always hard to put in context. Inevitably, some money will always be wasted - I wouldn't be so arrogant as to suggest that I have never wasted any, for example. So we can't expect HMG to get every spending decision spot on. So I wondered how I could make that figure meaningful.

Then I realised - I know roughly what I pay in tax each year. I know the total tax revenue is of the order of £500bn, so if I divide one into the other, I get the proportion of tax revenue that comes from me. Reassuringly, it is quite a small percentage. However, when I multiplied that by £100bn, I was left with a number that was roughly equal to my total pension savings to date. That, I will admit, made me stop and think.

In short, if Gordon was not such of a wasteful taxgrabbing inefficient narrowminded unfair (yes, unfair) apology for a leader, my pension would be twice its current level. Or I could have a new car; a very very nice new car.

That is theft; I want it back.

Anyway, I'm now very angry, which is not good for the body or for the soul. So I don't recommend that you try this exercise.


  1. I knew I'd blow a fuse if I read that book, so please take the pain for me and report back.

  2. Give us a few of the biggies.
    The helicopters that don't fly.
    The hospitals that open just before being merged and close again...

    I wonder how much of Government waste is party or ideology led, and how much general administrative incompetence.

    Private Eye must have a file as thick as schools minister by now.

  3. No file could ever be that thick, BQ!

    LFAT - yes, fuses are blowing a little too frequently to make swift progress through the book so I've temporarily moved onto something more amusing until I can return.