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Cutting Public Services - but which?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
In another thread (Goon and Blewit), it's been suggested that the nest Govt will cut services, hardly a surprise eh?

SG suggested that there should be small govt and fewer services anyway.

So this thread comes with the question...

Which services do you think should be cut, how and why?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    In another thread (Goon and Blewit), it's been suggested that the nest Govt will cut services, hardly a surprise eh?

    SG suggested that there should be small govt and fewer services anyway.

    So this thread comes with the question...

    Which services do you think should be cut, how and why?

    NHS bureacrats ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The amount of Quango's
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MrG wrote: »
    The amount of Quango's

    Which ones though... it's easy to say and most of us would agree but then most don't know what there is and what they do... an easy policy that one.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    NHS bureacrats ;)

    Actually I agree.

    Do you want a list ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you want to be more serious you could get rid of the RDAs by merging them into a national body with regional offices (getting rid of multiple HR, finance as well as cost saving on Chairs and Chief Execs). There's also a lot wasted in education - such as the free book scheme and the new laptops thing, no real evidence they work nearly as well as the cost justifies.

    I'd also move child benefit to being means tested - the bureacracy costs would increase, but we'd save more by sharper targetting. I'd also move to the Swedish model of social housing (ie the state doesn't build or maintain houses, but pays the rental costs for those who can't afford private housing, which puts much more of the maintenance and upfront capital costs onto the private sector) - though to do so I'd cut some of the development costs which hamper housing build.

    I'd also talk up the banks recovery - none of this silly 'punishing the bankers' rhetoric; which just drives down the share price and makes it take longer for the shares to rise to a level where they can be sold for a pretty profit.

    I'd disband the RAF (they're might not be any cost savings in this I just detest crabs) and pass their role to the army and the navy.

    On the NHS I'd move to a more health insurance system for minor cases, with the Govt funding those who can't afford to pay, children (and pre natal care) and the elderly (also whilst we're at I'd return to proper military healthcare rather than the NHS), with the NHS being reserved for emergency, long-term and preventive propoganda
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    NHS being reserved for emergency, long-term and preventive propoganda

    what?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Doesn't really come under services but the Tories have said they will cut benefits to people who don't need them.
    There are people receiving tax credits and family allowance who clearly don't need it and it's not what these things were designed for.
    I'm surprised it's the Tories.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    NHS bureacrats and ineffective use of resources.

    You don't need a senior clinician managing the day to day running of a dental service, private practise make it work very well with a practise manager. You don't need clinicians with hours spent on writing up letters and doing admind, get a secretary to do that and let the clinicians spend their time seeing patients and writing medical notes - far more cost effective!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i'd change it so PFI isn't the only option, actual capital expenditure can be made, save a load there
    merge alot of the quangos together and abolish some
    thin off the management layers across the NHS
    reduce pay for anyone on anything over £45k or keep it constant for a few years
    try to reduce agency dependency through slight overstaffing of jobs so people can cover internally
    employ non-police officers for behind the scenes paperwork stuff so actual police can do their jobs, though i'd reserve the right for police to work on it themselves if they think it's an awkwad one
    i'd shelve loads of the big defence projects which are in effect penis comparisons between the 3 branches of the armed forces
    shelve the ID card system and it's associated database
    shelve SPINE for the NHS too
    see where open source software can do a better, cheaper job compared to microsoft (not always the case of course)
    i'd scrap tax credits and just raise the tax bands to save on bureaucracy
    pull out of afghanistan
    stop supporting the banks, and just guarantee all savings instead
    i'd raise capital gains tax to match that of income tax lower band so 20%
    and blah i gotta start cooking so who knows what else

    also i'd do things to raise the tax intake to help things as well like tax breaks for new small businesses, encouraging industrial research & development with tax breaks, support teh video games industry which is actually huge here whilst passing laws to encourage better shareholder involvement in companies so the execs can't take the piss, buy a company, load the debt of buying it onto the company itself, and bleed it dry whilst selling assets like say, man utd lol

    encouraging a good business base has to be part of it, just don't do what the irish did which is bribe big companies in from abroad, aactually invest in letting the big companies of the future flourish
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    what?

    What? - you don't understand

    What? - you don't agree

    Or

    What - take some words out of their wider context

    PS - you don't bother needing to reply. I've noticed for a while you often don't bother to address the points either answering something that wasn't said or taking some minor point and running with that. congrats you're the second person who's gone on my ignore list
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    NHS being reserved for emergency, long-term and preventive propoganda

    As in, where does the 'propoganda' fit in? I don't understand that statement - are you saying that you'll put it in as a thing to keep some continuity with the service or what?
    I've noticed for a while you often don't bother to address the points either answering something that wasn't said or taking some minor point and running with that.

    Oh come on! Anyone looking at our previous conversations would clearly see that this is not true, and I find it somewhat surprising that you're mentioning it suddenly, having not done so before.

    Most recently; in the Obama thread that's running at the moment I've responded in detail to every point you've made, then asked clear and directly relevant questions. I haven't insulted you or been abusive to you at any point.

    I'm quite sure that if you'd felt this previously you'd have made a point of raising it, especially as we've both been debating directly for some time over various issues. I don't think we'd really have been able to do that if what you're saying is true, or that you'd have bothered continue such debates.

    Maybe you've had a bad day or something, because this clearly doesn't make much sense.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru

    I'd disband the RAF (they're might not be any cost savings in this I just detest crabs) and pass their role to the army and the navy.
    What, entirely? :eek:

    I'm no military expert but isn't that going to leave the Armed Forces a bit handicapped?

    Back to topic, I wouldn't want cutting on any public services- not where customer service might be affected anyway. I'd get rid of every last fucking PFI initiative and kick every last private sector partner out of public services though. Waste of money.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The thing that is meant most prominently when we say 'cuts' is code for '(un)employment'.

    Flash stated that cutting NHS bureaucracy would be the favoured option, and no doubt it could do with some reform. But as Aladdin points out, none of the PFI's and PPP's (Public-Private Partnerships) that have fallen on the public purse when they fail, have been mentioned much.

    There is also the question of the social cost. Making lots of people redundant, having large numbers of people unemployed or underemployed is bad in the short term and disastrous in the long term - particularly when one looks at the legacy of communities devastated by mass unemployment in the 1970s through early 1990s.

    Communities take generations to build up, and just a few years to destroy. If anything has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt in social terms since the late 1970s, it's that mass unemployment and underemployment is very bad news for everyone. Not least because communities represent the site of reproduction of human capital.

    The challenge in balancing public finances would be to do so in such a way that does not repeat Thatcher's mistakes in terms of sledgehammer economic and public sector reform. This might be done (for example) through more creative and adaptable forms of employment where reduction in workers is absolutely necessary (such as extensions in job-share arrangements).

    It would be about recognising the centrality of employment to a stable society, and also of the role of public services in providing both a direct service; and also employment in providing that service, which in itself is an essential social function.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Get rid of road tax ...the paper disc the thousands employed administering it and put the duty on fuel.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    blah, blah blah

    I can see a decent argument for most of those but felt that I had to comment on these...
    I'd disband the RAF

    The Ice Cream boys? Who will look after the women then, while the real mean go off and fight? ;)
    On the NHS I'd move to a more health insurance system for minor cases, with the Govt funding those who can't afford to pay, children (and pre natal care) and the elderly (also whilst we're at I'd return to proper military healthcare rather than the NHS), with the NHS being reserved for emergency, long-term and preventive propoganda

    Massive vote loser. Massive. The NHS is the sacred cow of UK politics. You can track election votes alongside public faith in Govt handling of the NHS. Where there is wide dissatisfaction there is a change of Govt.

    I don't see how it would help though becuase you would have to reduce taxation so that people could afford the insurance and that would have a detrimental effect on the emergency care which actually is the more expensive side. Also, evidence from US suggests that costs of admin would increase.

    However, on the main point I can understand. Hell, given what I know I can argue a good case for it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Get rid of road tax ...the paper disc the thousands employed administering it and put the duty on fuel.

    Yes please. Make those who fuck up the roads pay much more for the priviledge.

    Of course, the Hauliers wouldn't be happy and we'd have to find a way to tax the European drivers too...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru

    Oh come on! Anyone looking at our previous conversations would clearly see that this is not true, and I find it somewhat surprising that you're mentioning it suddenly, having not done so before.

    Most recently; in the Obama thread that's running at the moment I've responded in detail to every point you've made, then asked clear and directly relevant questions. I haven't insulted you or been abusive to you at any point.

    I'm quite sure that if you'd felt this previously you'd have made a point of raising it, especially as we've both been debating directly for some time over various issues. I don't think we'd really have been able to do that if what you're saying is true, or that you'd have bothered continue such debates.

    Maybe you've had a bad day or something, because this clearly doesn't make much sense.

    Saw your comment, exploded, put you on ignore, calmed down, took you off ignore. I still think there's some truth in my comment, but I possibly overegged
    As in, where does the 'propoganda' fit in? I don't understand that statement - are you saying that you'll put it in as a thing to keep some continuity with the service or what?

    Propoganda may be the wrong word - education may be the better. I was going to say preventive healthcare, but that doesn't cover it as health checks would be done under health insurance
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    I can see a decent argument for most of those but felt that I had to comment on these...



    The Ice Cream boys? Who will look after the women then, while the real mean go off and fight? ;).

    Another reason why I'd disband the RAF:)


    Massive vote loser. Massive. The NHS is the sacred cow of UK politics. You can track election votes alongside public faith in Govt handling of the NHS. Where there is wide dissatisfaction there is a change of Govt.

    I don't see how it would help though becuase you would have to reduce taxation so that people could afford the insurance and that would have a detrimental effect on the emergency care which actually is the more expensive side. Also, evidence from US suggests that costs of admin would increase.

    However, on the main point I can understand. Hell, given what I know I can argue a good case for it

    I agree that it is untouchable. The NHS is the shibboleth of British politics - it is impossible to touch, which is why perhaps that it produces poor value for money compared to so many other countries.

    I'm not an expert, but the model is used in Singapore very succesfully. Competition would reduce the cost of insurance and knowing that they are only dealing with the relatively cheap things and that the state covers the expensive would mean that there is less of an incentive to try and dodge out (research I've sen on car insurance albeit about five six years ago suggests that companies are happy to pay relatively cheap claims as if they contest them they might save a few quid, but the customer takes their business elsewhere).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Saw your comment, exploded, put you on ignore, calmed down, took you off ignore. I still think there's some truth in my comment, but I possibly overegged

    Yeah thought as much - for my part it wasn't very nice just to put 'what' up there and I realise that probably came across as a little dismissive (it was because I was doing 86 things at the same time).

    I still can't see as there is much to it unless you can tell me where this is.
    Propoganda may be the wrong word - education may be the better. I was going to say preventive healthcare, but that doesn't cover it as health checks would be done under health insurance

    Right, yes: preventative healthcare I'm all for; it's waaaay overdue. But this would still to be done (in my view) within a system that does not seek to profit from exclusion - i.e. we wouldn't be emulating the insanely exclusive American system.

    Part of encouraging 'preventative healthcare' is also down to diminishing forms of social capital though - for example: the decline of large employers who would often maintain facilities for workers. We need to find a way to recover what has been lost in these terms, in order to make healthy lifestyle choices something that is reproduced at the level of individuals, communities and families.

    However, I am absolutely against a profit-driven healthcare system because of the massive and rapid accumulation of vested interests that inevitably end up setting the agenda - instead of it being the advancement of public health.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fuck health insurance. Certainly as long as it works as any other standard insurance. What about people with preconditions? What about people with family history of certain diseases?

    One of my colleagues at work is American, and she and her mother moved to Britain partly because they were deemed more or less uninsurable for certain conditions due to their history. They're by no means the only ones, and there are countless cases in America where people are left to their own devices because the profit-driven health "care" insurance system there refuses to offer them cover.

    That odious system has no place in Britain.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Another reason why I'd disband the RAF:)

    I agree that it is untouchable. The NHS is the shibboleth of British politics - it is impossible to touch, which is why perhaps that it produces poor value for money compared to so many other countries.
    .

    half the price of the american system, without some areas having a lower life expectancy compared to sub saharan africa, not too bad imo

    got it's flaws and things that are too expensive, but as a general idea it works 'quite' smoothly
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Most of us don't want to move to an insurance system because we know a good, if imperfect gig when we see one.

    Markets aren't the answer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Most of us don't want to move to an insurance system because we know a good, if imperfect gig when we see one.

    Markets aren't the answer.

    Monopolies of a coercive nature are ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    One of my colleagues at work is American, and she and her mother moved to Britain partly because they were deemed more or less uninsurable for certain conditions due to their history.

    Who owes an obligation to your colleague ? And why ?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Monopolies of a coercive nature are ?

    Well it appears to be doing a better job of maintaining public health and providing alleviation to large number of people who would otherwise suffer than some comparable marketised systems of an exploitative, coercive and exclusive nature.
    Who owes an obligation to your colleague ? And why ?

    I'd like to hear Aladdin's answer, but I wonder why he would bother, as you have persistently failed to offer up anything but the most conceited sniping lacking any substance whatsoever.

    In isolation that statement appears to imply that you are happy to live in some insane world where we let people die beyond their means out of some vaguely conceived notion that rugged individualism is such a great thing. Of course, what most people, in everyday experience, actually realise is that no person is an island, and that we all benefit from forms of cooperative association that can help improve quality of life for all of us.

    I may have got your position wrong - no doubt I have - but that's to be expected, seeing as you never do anyone on these boards the courtesy of actually stating what it is you are arguing for.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well it appears to be doing a better job of maintaining public health and providing alleviation to large number of people who would otherwise suffer than some comparable marketised systems of an exploitative, coercive and exclusive nature.

    If that is the case I guess they need the monopoly insurance.
    I'd like to hear Aladdin's answer, but I wonder why he would bother, as you have persistently failed to offer up anything but the most conceited sniping lacking any substance whatsoever.

    In isolation that statement appears to imply that you are happy to live in some insane world where we let people die beyond their means out of some vaguely conceived notion that rugged individualism is such a great thing. Of course, what most people, in everyday experience, actually realise is that no person is an island, and that we all benefit from forms of cooperative association that can help improve quality of life for all of us.

    Often times a person can overlook the elephant in the room and perhaps mistake covert coercion for cooperation. I believe there is an important moral differentiation.
    I may have got your position wrong - no doubt I have - but that's to be expected, seeing as you never do anyone on these boards the courtesy of actually stating what it is you are arguing for.

    You are assuming that an argument for something is the most appropriate action needed. A rugged individualist would probably disagree.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Nothing. I'd ruthlessly make RBS the biggest bank in the world, then sell it off at a massive profit. Isn't that the big plan?

    Here's the public spending btw, for anyone who fancies going through it and cutting huge chunks out of it.

    It's a bit of a catch 22 situation to be fair. Cutting things (even bureaucracy and waste, which everyone seems to think they have a magic solution to) inevitably costs jobs, which puts more people on welfare, which not only wastes more money, but means there's less money in the economy for real wealth-generating businesses to get off the ground. I think I'd increase the tax threshold to about £10k, and then raise the basic rate of income tax by a small amount to pay for it. I'd do everything possible to prevent any sort of tax avoidance (but like cutting wastage, it's not something you can base anything concrete on). More money in the pockets of lower income people will result in more money in the economy, because poorer people spend their money, whereas nice middle-class families put it in a sensible savings account, and we can't be having any of that.

    But things I wouldn't be against in principle would be putting back things like trident (maybe scrapping it completely), getting rid of expensive projects like computer systems and ID cards, and cutting the number of university places the government is willing to fund. I don't really know enough about economics though tbh. If I said we should build a high speed rail line between London and Edinburgh, for example, would that be a massive commitment of money we don't have, or a shot in the arm for a limping economy? Didn't they set the NHS up straight after WW2? Where did they find the money for that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The thing is, without a nuclear deterrant, we lose our seat at the UN security council :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Fuck health insurance.

    That odious system has no place in Britain.

    Strongly agree. I don't ever want to worry about whether or not I'm well off enough to get better.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That system (odious or not) has apparent pride of place in Britain.

    The NHS is health insurance.
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