Friday, 2 April 2010

Thanet tourism season opens for 2010.

And Ramsgate and Broadstairs tourist centres close down.


"Improved service": electronic signs. Mobile tourist van at events etc etc.

The centres already exist. Already staffed. Run for many years etc etc.

The usual "minimargateism" of switching budgets etc between towns.

And 0% salary fraud increases of £10-£20k.

I wonder if you gave our councillors and civil servants and thousand times more budget and time if they'd simply waste more?

Town Clerks underpants not even flying from flagpoles.

And for this we pay £60M in council tax. Plus tax pensions for civil servants?

And Infratil breach all the 106 regulations. And land on the drinking water supply.

Councillors look at each other. Civil servants look at each other. Public look at councillors. TDC look at KCC. KCC look at Parliament. Parliament looks at public.

Belgian Parliament looks at UK.

Time rolls on.

Map of drinking water supply:

You couldn't make it up could you.

Infratil move into meat pie business. Tom Wilson and Matt Clarke move to other airport companies. Other airports to develop.

Two thoughts:

1. Why pay for civil servants pensions? Simply revoke them and refuse any new contracts with taxpensions. Buy a pension from salary like everyone else?

2. The Audit Commission has 850 company cars on its books. £200k per month in tax costs? Presumably other departments too. Robert Mauler of the AC tells me that the actual costs are not for public viewing as the AC civil servants are not civil servants.

So they're exempt from FOI. And anyway that might be commercial information even if they were.

Sounds cobblers to me.

Ask him yourself:

The "not civil servant" bit intrigues me. Unless he's being a pillock.

But why not anyway cap all company cars for Government departments at 50 electric "pool cars": eco-cars, reduced tax cost so more waste elsewhere and greater use of public transport/video meetings etc.

They can always buy a car from salary if they need one - like most people.

3. One other thought. With 20 finance and payroll staff at TDC. 76 lawyers at KCC - and presumably more payroll staff. Plus the other 12 Districts. Plus the NHS etc etc. Plus the AC. Plus the National Audit Office. Plus each government department. Plus each school. Plus each quango etc etc.

Does that seem like bloat and waste to you? To count and account for tax funds?

Wouldn't so much be spent on hiring accountants and lawyers to count and recount the tax-funds - with pensions and cars and expenses - until it was all gone?

Couldn't lawyer and accountants be capped at 3 for any government organisation? If more are required - after review - then those contracts could be placed back into the private sector.

You could even reduce tax by centrally apportioning from the Treasury the required funds for public services. That would allow even tighter scrutiny of public funds.

Combining the public-issued funds with tax-received funds would allow an overview of whether tax should be increased or decreased or public-issued funds increased or decreased. Then politicians wouldn't need to make vague promises on reducing or increasing tax - and the public wouldn't need to work to provide it.

With 40% of GDP provided in tax - a rate tweaked up or down a percent or two by each Party - something seems to have gone wrong somewhere.

I like the BBC I really do. I can't understand why there's so many newsreaders and weather people on each channel. Can't manage with say no more than 5 per channel? Shift work and all that? Seems like bloat to me.

While KCC now has c.350 staff on over £100k: up from c.50 a couple of years ago.

And the new KCC Chief Exec (or County Clerk) is on £197k plus benefits etc - wasn't David Cameron capping all hirings at £150K? Seems daft to pay the 33 County Clerks more than the Prime Minister. To run tax-funded departments. It's not as if the money is not provided.

Maybe the departments are big because they're bloated. Maybe the budgets are big because they're wasteful.

Don't want to work for less than £150K in the public sector?

Get a job in the private sector.

Think £100k to head up a public department isn't enough?

Get a job in the private sector.

I really can't see why any public sector job would pay more than £100k. No pension. No car. No benefits. And all linked to inflation. Certainly expenses for travelling etc etc.

Any exceptions signed off by the Prime Minister personally. Each year. And he can be voted out. Or "fired".

Just like the private sector.

Don't like it?

Don't work in the public sector.

It is private-sector-provided tax funds after all.

A flat tax on income of say 10% could be introduced: NI and VAT abolished. Tax disks could be issued by insurers. The licence fee capped as is and tied to inflation.

All other "income streams" or "charges on the public funding the tax-service" like car parks etc etc could be identified. Bizarrely to stand as MP you have to pay £500.

I can't understand that. I thought it was a democracy. It's not as if elections every 4 or 5 years are an onerous task for the civil servants.

70% of people don't even vote.

Anyway. Tax funds not enough?

Make cuts.

Then there'd be only 3 taxes: the flat rate, business rates and council tax.

All of which would be clearly fixed to political manifestos and votes. The "public-Treasury funds" would then be evaluated against value as defined for each department.

A "quango office" would evaluate quangos for scrutiny or each quango would report into a specific department and line budget for greater democratic scrutiny.

Fewer or better public services would then release more civil servants back into the private "value-generating" sector.

Then maybe there wouldn't be 6M civil servants. Nearly 1/4 of the workforce.

The Government itself with Total Place (or "how much tax funds are spent in an area: councils, NHS etc etc" - I'm surprised they don't already know but then the DWP for example paid out £200M in benefits last year. To dead people.) estimates 15% of all taxfunds are wasted: c.£25BN. I'll bet it's far higher don't you? Accountants. Company cars. Expenses. Computers. Office buildings. All growing like Topsy.

I've read the DFID accounts and I can't work it out. 2,000 staff in 2 offices in the UK. Very few based abroad. 0.3% in GDP tax-funds.

It's not as if the problems aren't known is it. Schools. Hospitals etc etc.

Yet half of that £9BN is then issued to the UN and World Bank. Isn't that writing 2 cheques? 3 people? One to write it and 2 to check it?

I can't understand why the UN and World Bank don't publish their payroll if they're receiving £4 1/2 BN UK tax funds.

It might be £5.5Bn though. See below.

Nor why there isn't a "House of Commons" democratic assembly in the UN. I thought there was. Apparently not. It's all appointed civil servants.

Stuff all too on the next UNMDG. Or how many schools and hospitals built each year.

Nor a map and address of where they are.

It can't be difficult to build schools and hospitals in the 21st century. Portakabins or brick or whatever.


So the remaining £4 1/2 BN is then run by 2,000 staff? No. It's issued to 6 contractors. And they buy the malaria nets, vaccines etc.

£4 1/2 BN x2 buys a lot of malaria nets and schools and hospitals in places like Burkina Faso. Dollar a day countries. Sure there's corruption and so on. But even so.

And why 2,000 staff? I think it's c.£200M in payroll etc from memory.

It's a bit confusing: 1,600 staff but a further 800 staff or so that are consultants and temps and not staff. Those seem to cost £21M.

The office costs etc don't seem to be detailed - even though one of them is next to Buckingham Palace so presumably is a very high-cost lease.

The actual DFID staff seem to be c.50% spilt between above £50k and 50% below - that's a 1:1 management ratio which seems bizarre.

One manager per staff member.

All of this on given tax-funds too.

And it doesn't say in the 2 volumes of accounts (plus a 3rd bit that might be included in the 2 volumes) the actual staff costs. Strange that. Every accounts I've seen usually confirms the organisation costs. And in one document. That's the point of an accounts.

Then there's some accounts that are not included like pensions and a strange organisation that has no staff but might have funds.

The CDC is separate and that's under investigation for strange sharedealings.

And there's an allocation for all the UK's EU funds (although it might be some of them) - presumably that's allocated just to DFID rather than another department like the Treasury. And presumably that's funded out to the EU as a single payment.

And the 200 or so pages - not including the 3rd bit that might or might not be included anyway - then detail the organisation's strategy - not its accounts.

There were 7M malaria nets distributed though. Presumably in a year but it could be longer. Given they cost c.3 dollars each that's about $21M or c.£10M. Maybe less if you bought in bulk with an annual order. 7M is a lot.

£10M out of £5.7Bn (it's down as £5.5Bn on some pages). And in some places £9Bn.

Presumably the 6 contractors fund those out of their £4.5Bn.

0.3% of GDP. It's meant to be 0.7% by 2015. It's been on the cards for 30 years to reach that amount.

DIFD is rated as an excellent department.

How many companies have a £200M payroll budget? Have a guess. I don't know. It's a lot isn't it.

£10M for 7M malaria nets out of those billions of budget doesn't seem much does it?

And as DFID is your tax funds or Treasury-issued funds the payroll budget is a given.

Wouldn't that be say the 3 people to write the cheques, and send copies to the Treasury, and then say 20 or 30 people to handle calls and research etc? I don't understand 2,000 staff.

Oxfam and the Red Cross also do research. So do the civil servants in the countries that receive the funds.

As well I can't understand why there isn't both a Tobin Tax on currency transactions between banks. Plus a bank-crash levy (that's being touted as a Tobin Tax by Gordon Brown but isn't). It's fractions of a percent. Plus a separate Tobin Tax Fund issued by the World Bank to fund the UN Millennium Goals.

Each year these would cost c.£25-50Bn to deliver. No hunger. No dirty water. No malaria. Free education to 16. Free hospital care.

A Global NHS and schools and welfare in effect. Like the UK. But more basic. Maybe like Britain in the 1930's or so. That's how 20-40% of the world lives.

Yet to provide free education etc etc would cost £25Bn or so each year. And DFID already provides £9Bn - never mind what Germany, USA etc provides. And Britain's very good at providing aid. The public for example provided £100M in donations just for Haiti - half the DFID payroll remember - in a matter of weeks.

The Turner Centre in Margate costs £17M to build. A UK hospital costs around the same. Most Third World countries for the UNMDG have a couple of hospitals - if that.

10 new hospitals per country would cost £170M - to a UK standard and exchange rate.

50 countries? £10Bn or so - to a UK standard and exchange rate. 6 months or so to build.

Much less as portable hospitals.

You could even work on hospitals per '000 population as in UK.

And the World Bank could issue the "Tobin Fund" funds this year. Next week. UNMDG goals funding achieved. They do control the money supply with the national banks after all.

A different reserve currency or economy is separate.

As things stand. Right now. The World bank could issue the £25-50Bn as a Tobin Fund to fund the UN Millennium Goals immediately. A drop in the ocean of the global economy.

No mucking about with national economy funding each year to 2015. The lot achieved immediately.

And each year the Tobin Tax would provide the ongoing annual funds of £25Bn or so.

Maybe not. Ludicrous.


Paul Carter at KCC now wants to spend £680M (almost £1Bn or at least 20% of the DFID budget or 3x the DFID payroll) on a parkway station for Manston.

Built on the drinking water supply.

As you can imagine I've told him of this several times - lung cancer etc, tourist centres, etc, derelict Arches, Pleasurama, Dreamland etc etc etc - yet he still think it's a terrific idea.

£680M not spent on tourist centres etc etc.

One of Britain’s most derelict High St’s.

After 10 years of Planestation, Infratil, KCC USA, EUJet - now operating from the Isle of Man tax haven apparently - etc etc. Impossible too for them to repay the Kent tax funds invested. Eire apparently was beyond the reach of EU law. Despite being in the EU. According to KCC. And its 76 lawyers on the rates.

Anyway. "Build Manston" and the parkway.

Hard on the heels of "Save Wye" which was building a Milton Keynes "new town" around Wye - on greenbelt as it's cheaper than detoxing brownfield (I can't understand Thanet Earth's greenhouse/warehouse built on prime farmland when there's brownfield sites like Richboro) - it seems KCC is simply a roads and property public service.

It can't be housing need. Dover and Thanet have hundreds of empty properties.

It can't be roads need. Kent has two motorways - and roads connecting all the towns and villages.

It seems to be business parks. Office parks. Retail parks. But not park parks.

And business parks don't create jobs. They're just buildings.

You couldn't make it up could you?

Must check if as an EU citizen you can stand for the Belgian Parliament. Wonder if they charge £500 or Euros or Belgian thingys for MP's etc.

Seems a lot: £500 to stand as an MP in your own country.

Who thought that up?

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