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to think we should invest in public services eg police/military

24 replies

boschy · 28/05/2013 22:30

OK, this country spends too much on all sorts of things, depending on what any one of use sees as 'too much' in whichever area. Education, health and international aid are all ring-fenced according to George Osborne's speech today.

it seems to me that it would be good spending to increase recruitment/investment in the armed forces/police/fire/health service - because these are all things we need as a country, and because all these roles provide jobs and good working skills for young men and women, whether they stay in their chosen 'service' for life or move on after a while.

Eg, ex police can work in security or consultancy, the forces train people in mechanics/engineering, health service staff can move into management or into private caring roles if they so choose etc etc.

I agree with ring-fencing health and education; not quite so sure about international aid (due to the fact I am not sure about how it is regulated at the receiving end).

It just seems to me that our young people need proper jobs; as a country we need the services they provide. Why dont we marry the two together?

OP posts:

ShellyBoobs · 28/05/2013 22:37

If the entire international aid budget was cancelled, it would make absolutely bugger all difference - it's minute compared to other budgets.

So where do you think the extra money should come from?


WafflyVersatile · 28/05/2013 22:48

  1. they lie about ring-fencing. They said that about the NHS. Liars.

2. Many many ex army fail to get jobs. It's a massive problem. Most of them are not trained to be mechanics, mostly they are trained to kill.
3. the main problem with international aid is so much of it is used by the govt to help their western corporation mates in their efforts to exploit developing country's resources to the detriment of those countries citizens. I work in ID and we get a little funding from DfID and it goes direct to partners. We regulate them. Detailed reports have to go to DfID.
4. I'm not sure which things outside of police and armed forces you think should be cut. They also provide training and skills without having to kill people first.
5. There is money to pay for all public services. There is not the political will to do so because they are busy moving money and resources out of our hands and into their own.

EduCated · 28/05/2013 22:50

Lack of money. As Shelly says, international aid is minute compared to the sums in other budgets.


Damnautocorrect · 28/05/2013 22:54

I think they'll be spending alot more on police and military after the past week


Lazyjaney · 29/05/2013 06:57

The glaringly obvious budget to trim is welfare. But yes, I'd cull Aid for a while as well, every bit helps.


WafflyVersatile · 29/05/2013 07:03

Only if you're a vindictive Tory or gullible fool.


HollyBerryBush · 29/05/2013 07:03

Some Aid I don't understand (hoping an economist will come along and tell me) like India or China or indeed Argentina. Other Aid I do understand.

The glaringly obvious budget to trim is welfare. Over 50% of welfare is pensions, so whos welfare are you cutting?

If you look at the bigger picture, the population is aging, rapidly. The elderly place the biggest strain on the infrastructure of the UK - NHS and welfare. I'd be curious to hear solutions on how to prevent the population aging.


meditrina · 29/05/2013 07:20

The military is one of the largest provide of training and education in the country. The infantry is only one section of it. There is far more to it than "trained to kill".

But unless there are more jobs on the outside, putting more people through uniformed services will only increase the number of unemployed exService (or unemployed someone else, who they displace).

The staff costs of the public sector are massive: increasing staff numbers is an expensive options (plus increase to oublic sector pensions liability).

There is no spare money in the Govt coffers. To increase investment spending in these would mean cuts elsewhere. What would you it to pay for this?


Lazyjaney · 29/05/2013 07:29

"Only if you're a vindictive Tory or gullible fool"

WTF? It's simple arithmetic, as Welfare is the biggest budget by far. Where else would you go?


flatpackhamster · 29/05/2013 07:32


If the entire international aid budget was cancelled, it would make absolutely bugger all difference - it's minute compared to other budgets.

It's nearly £7Bn. That's a hefty chunk of money by any measure. It would go some way towards plugging the colossal deficit.


meditrina · 29/05/2013 07:42

The aid budget is 0.7% of Government spending. There is cross-party support from the major parties for maintaining it. BNP/EDL/UKIP all condemn it though.


TheFallenNinja · 29/05/2013 07:46

A lot of foreign aid is simply to keep doors open into the more developed 3rd world countries, as India grows it makes sense to buy our way into it for trade for example.

Foreign aid is used in many cases simply to grease palms.


boschy · 29/05/2013 08:08

Sorry, went to bed last night just after posting!

I dont know what I would cut. But it seems to me that many young people have few opportunities right now and that as a country if we invested in their future we would stand more of a chance than if we just leave them to do minimum wage jobs, or not work at all.

Army/Navy/RAF/police/fire/nursing/ambulance services etc all provide valuable, valued and structured careers. And maybe by the time they came out of these jobs (either through choice or not) perhaps the country would be in a better state, and they would be better equipped for work?

OP posts:

HollyBerryBush · 29/05/2013 08:11

None of the professions you have listed are ones I hope any of my children choose.


boschy · 29/05/2013 08:20

why not holly? I would prefer nursing, but if any of those are what my children decided to do I would support them in it.

OP posts:

Lazyjaney · 29/05/2013 08:22

I think the OP is on the right track, at the moment we are hugely transferring spend from tbe youth to the old, and that is bad news for the long term future as we wind up with a poorer, less skilled workforce and therefore tax base.

Also, the biggest predictor of unrest is young male unemployment.

To my mind the obvious budget to refocus is the Welfare budget, both because its the biggest, and because it is the main mode of wealth transfer.


Bowlersarm · 29/05/2013 08:29

I agree with you OP.

I think all the professions you have listed are vital to be kept at full capacity. The trouble is, at the moment, they won't be due to lack of funding/resources.

I don't know what the answer is other than shifting budgeting around from other areas, but people will always disagree about what is essential and what's not.


HollyBerryBush · 29/05/2013 08:31

None of them are suitable professions for my children.

Having been brought up within the military and police - not jobs I would wish on anyone - although they are jobs that have to be done. But not if you intend to have any quality of family life. One in 4 male prisoners is ex military, unnaturally high proportion of MH patients too.


Dawndonna · 29/05/2013 08:58

So, the answer is to redistribute from those who have the least?


ComposHat · 29/05/2013 10:58

As a nation we spend far too much on the military for a medium sized European nation. Our leaders seem to live in a jingoistic fantasy world where half the world is pink and they need a comparatively large army to intervene in every neo-colonial conflict the USA want to involve itself in.

I agree jobs and training are importantfor young people, but theres no need for that to be done through rhe forces/police. Why not invest in apprenticeships in things that the UK has the potential to do really well in and become world leaders, such as IT, engineering or other emerging high tech industries?

This would have the benefit of generating employment, wealth and tax receipts, with the added bonus of young people not coming back from illegal and immoral wars in body bags.


TheFallenNinja · 29/05/2013 21:15

The Armed forces are not the place to put the unemployed, it is a fighting force that is made up of people who want to be their, any idea that some type of National Service is folly.

Having served myself, the transition from Civvy to Soldier is one thing, the other way is infinitely harder and there is NO support, at all, none. Once you're out you are on your own. I took the view that as I am on my own I will look after me and mine, everyone else can fend for themselves.


HollyBerryBush · 29/05/2013 21:20

I do wryly smile at this now - adverts after the news tonight for army recruiting.

How many service personnel have been made redundant in recent years?

Fresh young cannon fodder needed.


TheFallenNinja · 29/05/2013 21:25

You seem fairly anti Military Holly, I think in one way or another most former services are, I spent a few years being fed up that I was in a family one day, the next, nothing.


boschy · 29/05/2013 22:12

I agree with composhat about apprenticeships, and am working with my children's school on that very area. and also that services (in the broadest terms, ie not just military) need good and willing recruits rather than cannon fodder. holly I am a forces (navy) child. I think it is a good career for those with the right personal qualities, and I do believe that they provide very good training. but yes, agree about the wry smile for the latest adverts.

however, I am pragmatic. at the moment both my DDs are still in education (Y11 and Y9). I would prefer they were in any sort of education and/or on the job training than trying to get an unskilled job in the current market, or languishing on JSA.

OP posts:
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