I was reading an old newspaper (as you do!) yesterday and saw this article about the taxman and our esteemed Chancellor! Mmm, interesting!!! It also reminded me of how much I battled to file my blessed return on the internet. One would think it would be straightforward…but no, it ain’t. Have a query….phone this number!!! Right on> I tried for 4.5 hours at a cost of over £4 and still, all I got was a voice message to say “our advisors are very busy right now, please phone back at another time!!! Enough said or else I will go purple 🙂
Anyways here is the article…abbreviated. It was a newspaper article and very long:
“10.12.09 Yesterday, Mr Darling (such a misnomer), put out his plans for our future. He raised future taxes for anyone earning more than £20,000 to fund schools and hospitals and postponed tough decisions on spending cuts.
The budget deficit runs at more than £170billion with public debt set to double to £1.5 trillion. Promising to have the budget in an – ‘orderly way’ within 4 years he ducked decisions on where to make most of the cuts.
Frankly when reading the large amounts of money they toss about like so much straw in the wind, it makes me feel quite ill. And what exactly does he mean by ‘orderly way’? Why is the budget not in an orderly way now?
Although Mr Darling outlined £5billion of cuts by reducing IT projects, reforming legal aid, privatising prison management (is this a good idea?) and cutting the cost of residential care, he is not specific about the amounts in question for those and leaves big questions about where the rest of the money will come from unanswered. Perhaps the Politicians ‘claims’ would be a good start.
Of course it comes as no surprise that the budget was a bit of a patsy, considering that May2010 marks an election, with the Conservatives accusing Labour of losing it’s ‘moral authority to govern’ by putting electioneering ahead of fixing the economy. On the news last night they even mentioned the dreaded ‘T’ word…..some people even went so far as to say that the present government will reduce Britain to a Third World Country!!!
With what the Times calls a ‘bingo budget’, the Conservatives seized upon the point that Labour considered anyone earning over £20,000 as well off, due to the .5% rise in National Insurance from 2011, this on top of the .5% already announced. Apparently the middle classes (odd that we still have a class system in this country!) have the most reason to squeal as the NI increases will be almost the equivalent of a penny on income tax in 2011. A penny!!!! Goodness gracious!
In addition to this, more people will be brought into the 40p rate of tax as a result of the one-year freeze in the threshold of 2012. The Treasury admitted that the 2-year cap on public sector pay rises at 1% was effectively a cut due to inflation rising above 1%. It would appear the ‘Public Sector’ workers, many of whom are low-paid would have to pay the price for a crash they did nothing to cause, and yet the Bankers are set to receive massive bonuses despite the fact that we the public had to bail them out with our hard earned taxes. Why is that?
According to ‘The Treasury’ 95% of the NHS budget would remain constant; meaning a £3.7billion rise on 2012-2013. This would be a good place for them to start if they want to save money. Have a look at the atrocious waste of medications and equipment that drains through the plughole that is the NHS. I have personally seen massive amounts of wastage in my career as a Carer. Many of the homes I visit have 2, sometimes 3 zimmer frames floating around. When you enquire about this they, the client say that Oh, Yes that was given to me by the NHS, but I dont use it anymore. So return it for goodness sake. When you raise the question with the District Nurse or the Occupational Therapists, that are all NHS provided the answer usually comes back as: ‘that is not our department’. So who is responsible for recovering all this redundant equipment that ends up in the skip in the long term.
And medication! I have never seen such a massive wastage of anything as there is with medication. The system dictates that once prescribed, and even if incorrectly prescribed, once the medications have been boxed and handed over the counter, if returned, untouched and unused they are binned. These medications cost thousands most assuredly it would be incumbent on the medical staff and Doctors to ensure they prescribe the correct meds and dosages in the first place.
Then there is the ‘free’ side of the NHS. It is not free! We pay for it out of our taxes. I am absolutely certain that if they introduced a fair and equitable system of payment for the medical services in this country, not only would that save a massive amount of money, but people would be less careless about how they use it, and with the money saved they would be able to not only pay the Nurses etc a decent salary, but they would be able to train and employ more to take the strain off the very understaffed hospitals.
Millions of pounds are spent on Consultants doing checks on hospitals to see if they achieve the correct guidelines for cleanliness and health, and yet the money and staff needed in order to achieve those targets is not available, before the fact.
Going back to the pre-budget budget, Mr Darling was forced to admit that the recession had been worse than he predicted last year. The economy would shrink by 4.75% in 2009 compared with his Budget estimate in April of 3.5%. Apparently public finances were also deeper in the red with a deficit of £178million this year – £3billion more than he had predicted. So what does he base his predictions on and as the …… most assuredly he should be better able to ‘budget’ and ensure he has the correct figures on the table. Perhaps he should have the pay-cut that he is fond of handing out to those who do a good job and can ill afford one.