The Welsh NHS, a lost generation?
Apr 2014 03

For over a decade the Welsh Government has been running the NHS in Wales. Control of the NHS should have given the Welsh Government the ability to localise services and pursue policies that Welsh taxpayers really want. As a result policies such as free prescriptions have been introduced in an attempt to win votes and are often cited as a beacon of success of the Welsh Government. Continue Reading

NHS wastes £46m on spin doctors, diversity advisors & a Third Sector Environmental Sustainability Lead
Apr 2014 01

We can today reveal that the NHS wasted over £46 million last year on 1,129 unnecessary jobs in areas such as public relations, the EU and “green” staff. The money spent on these positions  could have paid for 1,662 full time nurses.

Click here for a link to read the full report
Click here for the full data by region and highest paid

The startling new figures have been exposed by Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to every NHS organisation in the UK. The total cost of NHS non-jobs is likely to be an underestimate given that some trusts failed or were unable to respond.

Key findings:

  • The NHS employed at least 826 public relations staff at an estimated cost of £34 million.
  • It employed at least 165 equality and diversity staff at a cost of more than £6.8 million.
  • It also employed at least 86 ‘green’ staff costing around £3.5 million.
  • West and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw CSU employed 36 public relations staff at a cost of over £1.4 million.
  • Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust employed 22 public relations staff at a cost of almost £1.1 million.
  • Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust employed six equality and diversity staff.
  • Barts Health NHS Trust employed an NHS EU Office Director, an EU Office Manager and a Senior EU Policy Manager at a combined cost of more than£210,000.
  • In 2013, six NHS employees received total remuneration of more than £100,000 for an unnecessary job.
  • Imperial College Healthcare, Northumbria Healthcare and Oxford University Hospitals employ a Trust Energy Manager, an Estates Energy and Sustainability Officer and an Energy Manager respectively. However these trusts were found to have significantly overpaid for their energy in previous TPA research.

Roles identified in this research include:

  • Mersey Care NHS Trust’s Third Sector Environmental Sustainability Lead.
  • South London Healthcare Trust’s Energising for Excellence Delivery Lead.
  • Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust’s Car Park Sustainability Officer.
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust’s Administrator of Green Travel Facilities.
  • Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Diversity and Inclusion Lead.
  • Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Productive Leadership Facilitator.
  • Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Art Curator and Programme Manager.
  • Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust’s Equality and Diversity and Human Rights Manager.
  • Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Energy Management Manager.
  • 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s E-Communications and Social Media Officer.

Click here for a link to read the full report
Click here for the full data by region and highest paid

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said:

“Taxpayers expect the health budget to be spent on real doctors, not spin doctors. The NHS employs far too many people in jobs that do nothing to deliver frontline patient care. It’s time for health chiefs to launch a war on waste and ensure the NHS budget is spent on on patients rather than squandered on bureaucrats.”

Support for Bristol TPA War on Waste
Mar 2014 31

Less than a week after the TPA’s War on Waste grassroots demonstration on College Green outside Bristol City Hall, the elected Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, has responded to Bristol TPA supporter Roy Tallis’ suggestion that there should be a cut in the number of councillors.

‘In my view,’ says Ferguson, ‘there should be closer to 50 councillors rather than the current 70.’

It is a remarkably prompt reply to Tallis’ call for a dramatic cut in the number of councillors in Bristol. Tallis, a businessman and former councillor, told the Bristol Post about his plan to reduce their £1 million allowances bill, footed by the local taxpayer. Continue Reading

Unfunded pension liabilites are £1.7 trillion. It’s time the Government admitted it
Mar 2014 26

Teachers are on strike today. One of the reasons is their anger over pension entitlements becoming less generous after reforms become effective in April 2015. These reforms don’t much affect the rights to pensions they’ve built up already. The changes are primarily about what additional pension rights they’ll be entitled to thereafter.

But there’s a huge problem with the cost of these pensions. As the unions fight for more generous terms and the Government decides how much of the next generation’s money it is prepared to promise them, they aren’t recognising the true scale of how much those promises will cost. Continue Reading

REVEALED: Government underestimates public sector pension liability by £610 billion
Mar 2014 26

We can today reveal that the true scale of the liability facing taxpayers for unfunded public sector pension schemes stands at an eye-watering £1.7 trillion. This dwarfs official estimates of £1.1 trillion, and these numbers are in addition to the official National Debt.

The official National Debt is around £1.2 trillion. But that doesn’t include liabilities for public sector pensions, which are kept off the books. Unlike private sector and local government pension plans, no funds are saved to meet the expected pension payments when they become due. The bill is simply left for future taxpayers to pay.

Politicians must urgently confront the enormous debt mountain that has built up thanks to overly-generous but completely unfunded public sector pensions, the campaign group says. Failure to give taxpayers a better deal will leave our children and grandchildren with a frightening bill to pay for today’s public sector staff.

The Government’s estimate of the size of this shortfall is also not calculated in the same way as the private sector must calculate its liabilities. Both the Government and the private sector reduce the expected payments in future years by a ‘discount rate’, to account for the fact that money held now to pay for a commitment in the future should grow.

But these discount rates are not the same. Instead of using the market discount rates, the Government uses a more generous rate determined by a committee.

Pensions liabilities and finance expert Neil Record has calculated that:

  • The real liability for unfunded public sector pensions is £1.7 trillion
  • That is £610 billion larger than the Government admits
  • The real public sector pension liability has grown by over £1 trillion since 2003-04

The full research can be read here.

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