Posts Tagged ‘Tax’

Another £469m Wasted.

September 20th, 2011




In today’s news, we found out the final minimum bill for the disastrous regional control centre project for the fire and rescue services – £469 million.  In an utterly botched attempt to centralise the country’s fire and rescue control systems from 46 smaller control rooms into nine regional centres, the only success was that the buildings were actually constructed.  Unfortunately,  eight of the nine now sit empty, costing 4m per year to maintain and of little use to anyone else.

The FireControl project has all the hallmarks of large public projects of recent times.  Poorly visualised, inadequate communication, complete lack of budgetary control and most significantly, zero accountability.  Between 2004 and 2010, half a billion pounds of public money has been wasted on nine buildings and very little else.  According to the Public Accounts Committee report, the project was “flawed from the outset”, a “comprehensive failure” and “one of the worst wastes of public money for many years”.  The centres were supposed to be state-of-the art but the IT system was “simply never delivered”.

Of course, the government blames Labour and the unions say “told you so” but the reality is that these complete failures and lack of project control occur under all governments and the unions are opposed to any change which isn’t an increase in pay or benefits.  As always, the blame will lie with no-one. Everyone involved will move to a different department and carry on as normal.  At least £469 million has been wasted when it could have been put to much better use.  The country probably even borrowed the money and we are now paying interest on it.

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Benefit Fraudsters Plead Guilty

January 5th, 2011

Three people have pleaded guilty to benefit fraud for failing to notify a change in their situations and continuing to claim benefits to which they were no longer entitled.  The benefits claimed totaled £37,927 across Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Job Seekers Allowance and Incapacity Benefit.

I am a higher band tax-payer with no children and expect my high taxes to benefit those in real need and I have no problem with paying if that’s where the money goes.  Instead, what we have now is a culture where benefits are claimed as if it was free money to be grabbed whenever people can get away with it.  People have forgotten that the money they claim comes straight out of the pockets of others, maybe their own family and neighbours.  Benefits are supposed to pay for essentials such as food, housing and health.  I don’t pay taxes to buy people cigarettes, cans of Carling, mobile phones, large screen TVs or games consoles.  It’s just not what it’s for.

The people in court here have been told to repay their stolen benefit but at what rate, £1 a week, £2?  We’ll never get it back and this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as benefit fraud goes.  Howl long did it take to investigate these cases? How many more are there getting away with it?

My rant as a fed-up tax payer is now over…..

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