"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Monday, 24 May 2010

The Axeman Cometh: The Cuts & The Speeches

Osborne and Laws prepare for their news conference

This morning's announcement on the £6bn cuts is just a tiny step on the way to reducing Labour's debt and deficit but it's a good symbolic pruning of the state:

Department for Transport: £683m
Business: £836m
Department for Education: £670m
Department for Work and Pensions: £535m
Chancellor's Departments: £451m
Home Office: £367m
Communities and Local Government:  £780m
Local Government Departmental Expenditure Limits: £405m
Ministry of Justice:  £325m
Law Officers Department:  £18m
Foreign Office: £55m
Energy and Climate Change: £85 million
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: £162m
Cabinet Office: £79m
Devolved administrations: £704m

Across all departments, the savings are distributed as follows:

Contracts and projects: £1.7 billion
Discretionary areas (eg consultancy & travel costs): £1.15 billion
Quangos: £600m
Other low value spend: £520m
Property costs: £170m
Civil service recruitment freeze: £120m
IT spending: £95m

The Times has a very good 'as it happened' account.

Here are the videos with Osborne setting out the bigger picture and letting David Laws, the LibDem Chief Secretary to the Treasury, give the detail (neat).   There's also a lengthy Q&A session:

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

UPDATE: This is from the The Daily Mail, which also has feedback from quangocrats, union bosses, the DGs of the CBI and the BCC, and the Taxpayers Alliance:


Here are ten of the craziest ways that Gordon Brown and his Labour administration has wasted your money:

1. The Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health between them have 573 help lines which have received NO calls at all, ever. There are more than 200 Department of Health numbers which receive under 100 calls a month, 58 phone lines for Primary Care Trusts and ten for the Ambulance Service that have never taken a call.

2. The government splashed out £125million on taxis

3. Over £580million was spent on furniture across government and £800million on office supplies and cars

4.The Department for International Development spends £60,000 on airmail for each edition of its in-house magazine

5. HMRC runs 271 face-to-face enquiry centres, which have received as few as 11 visits a week.

6.The Department for Education spent £5million on a ‘play strategy’ which looked at ‘the short, medium and long term objectives in bringing to life children’s right to play’.

7.Whitehall departments spend £1.5billion on consultants and a further £500 million a year on temporary staff. Local Government spends a further £2.5billion.

8. Consumer Direct, the consumer rights watchdog, has 68 separate regional call centres.

9. £1million was spent on ‘Government Office Networking’ to allow bureaucrats in the regions to have meetings.

10. More than £1billion a year is spent on advertising and a further £700million on ‘marketing’ for the government.


  1. GV I heard on LBC that someone wants to sell off the motorway network for £100Billion.

    They did this to the crown heads of Europe. Rack up the gambling debts, or foment war and civil unrest, then call in the markers and take the state.

    This isn't markets at work it is long planned larceny.

  2. This is all the tip of the iceberg. Labour has created about five million public sector jobs since it came to power, and I calculate that about five million of them have been utterly pointless.

  3. I usually listen to LBC too Incoming, but I missed that - I did hear that over the past twenty years millions of UK babies have had their dna retained (from blood samples taken at the heel test) and info sold on for medical research etc (the Petrie Hoskin show). Nothing is unbelievable any more.

    Yes, WW - it's just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Some parts of the country are just recovering after the 80s - everything seems to be conspiring to stop the majority of people advancing. I certainly don't feel sorry for MPs whining abt their expenses system or for Ministers not having dedicated Jaguars any more.

  4. Been out of the loop for a few days but this will be the plan to stop the deficit rising as fast as it was under X-Nu-Labour?
    The mysterious 'foreign investers' might spot the flaw in this plan methinks.

    Many many years ago someone worked out that if we added up all the assets of UK PLC from, as per INCOMING!!!!!!! , the motorway network, railways, ports, housing stock, farmland, industry and services, good faith, military capabilities and other intangible assets the total would, even those many years ago raise enough to be the equivalent of £1 million per person, then we could all go and live in a Spanish villa and leave Blighty to the Arabs or whoever.
    Just wondering what that figure might be these days?

  5. That sounds like a plan to me - except maybe not Spain! Someone else will have to work out the current figures, I have enough problems sorting out my own 'budgetary requirements'


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