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Give us your suggestion - big or small - of where public money could be saved

141 replies

dotnet · 14/11/2010 13:05

Mine would be - turn heating down by 5 degrees fahrenheit - or a little more - in all our hospitals.

Sick people don't need to be cooked, it doesn't help - and if any patients really do NEED to be kept in a blazing hot temperature, have a few designated 'hot' rooms per hospital and turn up the radiator valves in there.

OP posts:
CardyMow · 15/11/2010 22:46

And £12 an hour isn't a figure I've plucked from nowhere - that would be the amount that would be needed to meet the governments' own statements on where the poverty level is, if you take someone on Income support, child tax credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit. If they worked a 37.5hr week (standard in our town, for most jobs) they would need £12/hr to get the same amount - which the government classes as the minimum needed to live off.

ADreamOfGood · 15/11/2010 22:54

Who is "us"?
Have you okayed your research with MNHQ? Hmm

TheCoalitionNeedsYou · 15/11/2010 23:00

Redundancy pay is still less than keeping someone employed. You will have to cut frontline and management, and tie management reward more closely to performance. We need to decide what we want the state to do as it can't afford to do all the things it has been doing.

CardyMow · 15/11/2010 23:08

TheCoalition - I understand that redundancy pay is less than keeping someone employed - but is it less than paying unemployment benefits for them for the time it takes them to find another job? I agree that management reward in the public sector should be tied more closely to performance - maybe they could start with the management of the CSA, as their performance is sadly lacking, to the point where there are vast sums of money being paid out in compensation for maladministration each financial year, yet the managers are still employed, and there are still plenty of LP's that don't get any maintenance because the CSA is so incompetent.

And if the CSA was made 'fit for purpose', it would dramatically lower the amount of benefits paid to LP's - thus saving money!

littlepossum · 15/11/2010 23:10


I'm confused by your statement.
£12/hour x 37.5 hours = £450/week.

According to ONS, the median gross hourly earnings was £12.34 for full time workers in 2009. For full time workers median weekly salary in 2009 was £489 and for part time workers £397.

So you are implying that almost the necessary minimum wage /hour is almost the median wage/hour!

Are you sure you aren't confusing household income with individual income? This would mean for two working full time the necessary minimum wage would be closer to £6/hour.

GrimmaTheNome · 15/11/2010 23:16

Grimma- the unions would never agree to that

Unfortunately true. Goes without saying my company wasn't unionised - hence it's still around and profitable 20 years later.

Would individuals in the public sector accept salary deferral if it meant their colleague not being made redundant?

clemetteattlee · 15/11/2010 23:20

I wuld tackle the hysteria that has is "infection control" in hospitals. Not the hand washing/alcohol gel etc, but the wasteful way in which health professionals are expected to use equipment. A new disposable apron and pair of gloves every time you go near a patient - even if it is plumping their pillows. Metal equipment is no longer sterilised but just thrown away after a single use. We are wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds and much of it is entirely unnecessary for the protection of public health.

CardyMow · 15/11/2010 23:23

No, it would be higher than £6 an hour for two full time workers to allow for the fact that there would be full time childcare costs - which would bring it, admittedly, to maybe £9-£10 an hour needed. BUT not every family has the possibility of having two FT workers - those with disabled children, those with disabilities themselves, Lone Parents, all of those people would either need a minimum wage of £12 an hour, or some form of benefits that covers the shortfall.

If the minimum wage was brought up to £, it would also bring up the median weekly salary, and effectively everyone's salary. Minimum Wage at present is still under £6 an hour.

If you look at what the government says is the minimum required to live on, and add up every benefit that someone out of work gets, it equates to a (admittedly) household income of £12/hr WITHOUT any childcare costs to pay for.

So Basically the government is telling people who don't work that X amount is the minimum needed to live off, yet that X amount is only the wage that 50% of people will be earning more than? Does that mean that as far as the government are concerned, 50% of the working population would be living below the poverty level without additional benefits? SHIT that's a lot. I know our family is included in that, but FUCK something has gone wrong with wages somewhere if the government thinks that 50% of the working population will be below poverty level without TC's...

CardyMow · 15/11/2010 23:26

OH and at earning £397 for a PT job in my area! If I worked 16 hrs a week, I'd earn so little I'd still be below the tax/NI threshold! In fact, I think I was in my last job where I worked 22.5hrs/week.

CardyMow · 15/11/2010 23:28

Wish my hospital would spend more on infection control - when I was in there with pneumonia in February, my bed on the ward had dried blood all down the side of it. Hmm.

littlepossum · 15/11/2010 23:32

Sorry got the part time number wrong ... its even worse than you thought!

Full time average weekly wage: £488.7
Part time average weekly wage: £152.9

Full & PT average weekly wage: £397.3

So on £12/hour = £450/week you'd be earning way more than 50% of employees.

I think you're confusing necessary household income to be above poverty line with individual income. Note than while average annual income is around £25k (median £21k), household income averages closer to £35-£37k.

washingmachinefiend · 15/11/2010 23:34

stop people bringing their relatives (mainly mothers and MILs) over from another country so that they can then claim Carers Allowance for looking after them, and said mothers/MILS can claim Disability Living Allowance, without ever having contributed to the finances of the country in the first place.

Sorry but its a fact, see it loads in my job.

GrimmaTheNome · 15/11/2010 23:38

Loudlass - you seem to have done a lot of sums.

Have you figured out how many businesses would fold or move abroad? How many cleaners, gardeners, childminders etc etc would simply become unaffordable?

CardyMow · 15/11/2010 23:42

I can understand that household income 'averages' £35-£37K - but without tax credits, even if I could work FT (which I can't for medical reasons), our combined household income before childcare would be £27K before tax. As I can only work (max) PT, our real-terms maximum household income would be £22K-ish before tax.

And the necessary household income to be above poverty level that is given on letters from the DWP to LP's/couples out of work does average out to a wage (if you got off your arse and went to work) of £12/hr, either individually or as a couple (if you are part of a couple). So basically the DWP is telling everyone unemployed that the poverty level is set at a point that 50% of people will never acheive through work alone. Now I see why Tax credits are such a necessity, and why so many layabouts people on the dole refuse to work at all!

twirlymum · 15/11/2010 23:42

Stop paying child benefit to people whose children are not living in this country.
Stop waste in the public sector. I work in elections, and after every one, ALL the equipment is binned- scissors, pencils, rulers, blu-tac, sharpeners etc. Hundreds of each. This year, I 'liberated' lots, and distributed it to DD's school and Brownie pack.

littlepossum · 15/11/2010 23:46

Loudlass wants to put the minimum wage at £23.4k per year ... above the median salary of £21k per year.

I would expect to see most businesses outsource all jobs by xmas!

CardyMow · 15/11/2010 23:46

Grimma - YES, that's why I said that businesses would not be able to absorb those costs, which is why it won't happen. Which is why the benefits bill has become so huge. Obviously cutting Tax Credits or JSA will not work either, because if that is what the government has decided is the minimum amount that is needed to not be below the poverty line, then if they cut TC's/benefits to below that level - lots more people, working or not, are thrown into poverty.

Hmm Confused. About how that one can be solved!

CardyMow · 15/11/2010 23:49

The thing is, the government, and the taxpayer, are footing the bill for employers paying a wage that does not cover living expenses in this country. The only ways to fix that are either to get employers to pay more money to even the most lowly of staff (which they won't do, they'll outsource to China/India/anywhere else they don't have to pay wages that high), or for the government, via the taxpayer, to foot the bill, or for thousands upon thousands to be in extreme poverty if they stop subsidising this through TC's.

GrimmaTheNome · 15/11/2010 23:50

OK, I misunderstood your tone when you said that.

hobbgoblin · 15/11/2010 23:52

in my bank account?

littlepossum · 15/11/2010 23:53

Perhaps the problem is that too many people are on benefits, tax credits etc.

For example housing benefit pushes up rentals, pushing up house prices. People need higher wages to pay for rent/mortgages.

Other benefits do exactly the same. People get given money by the state and go out and spend it. This creates demand for good and services, pushing prices up. Hence they need even more money to buy the same goods and services next time around.

Benefits, tax credits etc are just driving up the cost of living for everyone.

Perhaps if the state paid out less money, the cost of living would be lower, so we wouldn't need such high wages. With lower wages, businesses could employ more people and generate more wealth.

newwave · 15/11/2010 23:57

WashingMachine you do have a point, this is not a left/right argument more a matter of fairness.

How about if your an immigrant into this country you have to deposit of say 10k into a central fund to cover any call on public services after two years of paying tax the balance is returned to you minus whatever the cost of any public service used.

No dependents allowed in except children under 18 and spouses unless they follow the above.

No medical tourism as well


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CardyMow · 16/11/2010 00:00

Thing is, the state is only paying what it needs to keep the poor poor instead of in poverty. The benefits they get cover basic living costs and not much besides. And that goes for FT workers on TC's too. It's house prices and utilities that are the cripplers, and everyone needs a roof over their head, and heat and light! HB doesn't push up the price of rentals, it doesn't fully cover the cost of rentals, it just enables a low paid worker to keep a roof over their head when there's no social housing (with lower - for now - rents) available.

Tax credits are not driving up the cost of living for everybody, they are enabling people who can't cover basic costs on their wages (heat, light, home, food) to survive.

CardyMow · 16/11/2010 00:02

If we were not getting TC's, £16K household income would NOT cover home, heat, light, food for us. Neither would £22K max before tax if I worked PT.

hobbgoblin · 16/11/2010 00:03

Er, no! It's greed that pushes up rental prices and so on, not feckin Tax Credits.

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