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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:
Creamlegbar · 17/11/2010 11:51

When the credit crunch started, dp got frantically interested in the 1930s depression. It was common for companies to enforce a large paycut for everyone, to save jobs. Possibly we could do this for public sector employees, except the lowest paid. I think teachers' salaries and conditions have improved dramatically. I don't understand why GPs are paid so much.

Get rid of as many taxpeople as possible by simplifying the tax system.

My personal idea is that tax should be voluntary with a guideline, like the Science Museum. It would only work if a critical mass of people played ball, but huge save on tax-collection. And tax evasion would become more socially unacceptable.

Creamlegbar · 17/11/2010 11:55

And I am not sure how much good some drug 'rehab' places are. A big issue seller was telling me how at his, he had been the only one to stop taking it, and that was normal. There is a lot of employment in the rehab business for very little result. And the relatively few who do succeed shout very loudly, giving an impression of success.

scaryteacher · 17/11/2010 15:54

'Do we need bases in the South?' For the RN yes, though needing Portsmouth is debatable! Devonport is the largest Naval base in Europe and is there because of the SW approaches. It is the easiest way to get into the Atlantic and then out. Devonport can take the attack submarines, the frigates, destroyers, the Trident boats as they go there for refit, and the carriers.

Attack from the French isn't a worry, but from Devonport it's not long to Biscay and the Med; across the pond to the US etc and also into most of the oceans fairly easily.

Selling bases isn't just about the instant transfer of responsibility, it's about who runs them; who are those companies ultimately owned by? If you close the bases, as seen with the loss of Kinloss in Scotland, it's the local economy that suffers. Much of Plymouth and the surrounds, and a good bit of Cornwall is reliant on defence for income. If you take that away from one of the poorest areas in the UK, then you have a huge problem.

HappyMummyOfOne · 17/11/2010 19:51

Scrap tax credits and child benefit and raise personal allowances, agree with the others that say no point paying tax and getting it back in benefits.

Make everyone pay for prescriptions and reduce the cost of them for all. That way everyone is equal.

Cap HB even lower than the new rates, £1600 a month to somebody that doesnt work is still way to much.

Channel more public sector employees to more needed jobs rather than paper pushing.

Creamlegbar · 17/11/2010 23:01

OK, not bases in areas of low employment like the SouthWest, but the ones that are in the SE, where people need houses, and have jobs. (Thanks for answering, st)

CardyMow · 17/11/2010 23:11

Happymummy - for the gazzilionth time it's not only people out of work that get some HB. Plenty of FT workers on a low wage cannot cover their housing costs without partial HB. Why can seemingly articulate people be unable to grasp that concept? 2-bed mid-terrace house in our town, private rented, £1000pcm. Minimum wage - £1000pcm take-home. Do the maths! WHere does the money for CT, food, utilities and travel to work come from?

Make everyone pay for prescriptions - so the min wage worker has to choose between paying for his essential medication, without which he would be dead/ unfit for work, and paying his rent? And never mind wanting to eat at all?!

Creamlegbar - So would you close down bases like Colchester? People need houses, granted, and jobs, but military bases provide jobs at least.

Creamlegbar · 18/11/2010 20:11

Military bases. I have not made myself at all clear. Because military bases create lots of local jobs, I would relocate some military bases to areas, like the NorthEast, which need employment, and where land is relatively cheap. So, no closing bases in areas of low employment. But bases around Cirencester are in areas of high land prices and high employment. These bases could be sold for a good price for development, new jobs created in Northumberland. I don't know about Colchester, but I would have thought Essex has high levels of employment.

thereiver · 19/11/2010 00:29

there are poor pensioners? try vistiting most shops you cant move for the buggers. reduce the tax breaks for them and give to disabled people instead

thereiver · 19/11/2010 00:31

leave the eu and stop foreign aid that would save £50 billion + a year

scaryteacher · 19/11/2010 07:01

Creamlegbar - military bases are normally where they are for a reason. I don't think relocating Colchester would be a good idea, as those in the NE may not be too happy to have the Forces prisoners dumped on them, and you'd have to build a new prison.

It may be cheaper to keep bases where they are as the military infrastructure and equipment is there.

Agree with thereiver - leave or at least renegotiate the relationship with the EU; one like Switzerland has for example might be an idea.

CardyMow · 19/11/2010 17:11

Essex as a whole has reasonable levels of employment (I think), But Colchester has a) The highest level of unemployment in Essex per 1000 population, and b) The lowest average wage in Essex. (Hence shop managers here being paid £14-£17K max pa).

CardyMow · 19/11/2010 17:12
reallytired · 21/11/2010 15:26

I would reduce the amount of printing in the public sector. In many schools children waste paper on pointless colour printing. There is no concept on how expensive colour printing is.

I think schools should use email and have copies of letters on their websites. There is no need for a printed weekly newsletter.

Reduce the number of pointless building projects. Ie. a hospital ward is refurbished and then closed down six months later.

Get rid of the stupid rule where budgets have to be spent by April or next year's budget is reduced. It should be made possible to carry over money.

Maybe they could do with turning heating down in schools as well or at least having a more intelligent thermostat. Children don't need to be cooked either.

reallytired · 21/11/2010 15:32

Bring back crown immunity for the NHS. The level of compensation for NHS mistakes should be decided by a govenant arbitrator.

Patients and their families would represent themselves and there would be less money spent on lawyers. Only people who were too infirm should have representation. PALS could help people prepare their cases.

The victims of NHS mistakes would get more money as the lawyers would not be getting a cut.

It would discourage no win no fee lawyers getting money out the NHS for silly cases.

TooImmature2BMum · 03/12/2010 22:40

Definitely get rid of the rule that if you haven't spent your budget by April it will be reduced next year! Also...and I'm not particularly well-informed on this one, but it strikes me as ridiculous...the rule that a Council service eg road maintenance has to produce a surplus every year to demonstrate that it is competetive with the private sector road maintenance companies. It's just juggling money from one part of the Council to another, especially as the surplus is set in advance. It's a great way of hiding how much things actually cost.

Oh, and scrap targets that promote quantity over quality. RL example: cleaning road drains - target to do 105 in a week to achieve bonus. No one checked which 105, hence every tricky one was left to flood every time it rained, and the easy ones were cleaned over and over and over again. It also meant that if a worker was off sick for 2 days, they were better to stay off for the rest of the week and get their full bonus level sick pay, rather than come back in, because they didn't have a hope of cleaning 105 drains in 60% of the time. There are hundreds of examples of this in my local authority alone, and you could save heaps of money by increasing productivity.

Takver · 05/12/2010 19:19

I would add another voice to those wanting to turn down heating in schools - I can't imagine that any of the kids in school are getting that level of heating at home.

Also, why on earth do we (in a ridiculously rural area, where we have the lowest crime rates in Britain, you can go out & leave your doors unlocked any time of day and night, and there is not exactly the worlds greatest night life) need streetlights on all night? I'd turn 'em off in side streets at 11.30 in the week, midnight Fridays/Saturdays, and say 1am on the main road. If that was done all over the country in quiet rural areas (as used to be the case in the 70s) it would save a fair bit of power/carbon/cash.

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