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Thursday, September 22, 2011

All we want is government not to squander our money. It's not asking much.

We live in difficult times. The legacy of irresponsible bankers, their financial instruments and their bonuses stick in the throat. To balance things up, the average Joe willingly took advantage of give-away credit facilities and many overstretched households caught a cold.

Now, we are being asked to tighten our belts, stabilise the economy and reduce the deficit. All we ask is that when government gets its tax receipts, they are spent prudently. The reverse is the case and the evidence just keeps pouring in.

Witness today's announcement that the £12 billion NHS Computer Scheme is to be ditched. Add on Labour’s report recognising its incompetence over messed up defence procurement. Andrew Lansley’s PFI interview on this morning’s Today programme, completed the tale of woe of what happens when politicians get their hands on our money. The abortive reorganisation of the fire service was yesterday’s example of wasted monies. How much money has been spent winding up the so-called bonfire of quangos?

Once HMRC gets our money we have the right to expect government to use it with probity, value-for-money and tight scrutiny. Those are the imperatives when you run your own business. Somehow government, council and the public sector don’t apply the same principles in their own decision-making and we all lose. “We are all in it together” became a short-lived political strapline. The trouble is some of us are in it more than others.

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