Blog

Postman Pat-ernalism needs reform

News broke this morning in the Daily Mirror that Royal Mail had agreed to alter its pension’s policy; forcing workers to put in five years more graft in order to claim their pension.Despite this being taken from a ‘company document’ seen by the Mirror, Royal Mail this afternoon denied they... Read more...

More congestion...

The future may look a little brighter today for those in the West Midlands who are in opposition to costly road pricing proposals (Birmingham Post, 24.07.07), as the region will now not be amongst the first to pioneer the plans. However, we mustn’t be fooled into thinking that this was... Read more...

Government doesn't have a magic wand

                                                        Freedom Fighters?Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and last book in the Harry Potter series, has just become Britain’s fastest selling book in history, beating the record held by... Read more...

A Night At The Fag Packet Olympics

2012 planning meeting As we've blogged many times, the 2012 London Olympics is a classic of fag packet planning. And that original £2.375bn budget was almost certainly dreamed up over an evening playing the Withnail drinking game down at the Stoat and Weasel.Last week the National Audit Office produced its... Read more...

Temping Docs

Hands up anyone who'd like to try a brain op We've blogged before about how the NHS wastes vast amounts of money through employing expensive- and quite possibly poorly qualified- temps (eg here).Now it turns out that hospitals are having to employ hundreds of locums to cover for shortages caused... Read more...

Cost of Government Day: Monday 23 July

The TPA has extended the concept of Tax Freedom Day, long championed by the Adam Smith Institute and now an established part of the political calendar (in 2007 it fell on 1 June) and can now provide an estimate of the Cost of Government Day.  This is the date in... Read more...

Weekly Waste Round-Up 68

Hope you guys are insured... In the news this week:Hull Council's insurance fiasco cost £200m- "Taxpayers face a massive bill to repair flood damage in Hull after the local council admitted that its properties were not insured. Officials at Kingston-upon-Hull City Council revealed that most of the city's 28,500 council... Read more...

Police (In)Efficiency

On Burning our Money we have always doubted claims that our £17bn pa police are efficient. The latest report into police funding from the Home Affairs Select Committee spells out precisely why we are right to be sceptical. Read more...

Spinning Crime

Aide memoire for crime stats This week the Home Office published its latest annual crime statistics. The question is whether anyone takes them seriously.The reality is that hardly any of us believe all those government claims that crime is plummeting, or even this year's more measured assurance that "crime is... Read more...

Delays for road pricing

Councils in the West Midlands have failed to come to any agreement on the prospect of a road pricing scheme for the region and, according to today’s newspapers (Express & Star, 20th July), are set to miss their deadline. Proposals have already cost £4 million to draft and look set... Read more...

Audit warns of more Olympic Overspend

A report form the National Audit Office today warns that the costs of the already over-budget Olympic Games could increase further.  Funding of Olympic venues, construction price inflation and the Olympic Park were areas the NAO highlighted as leading to possible increasing costs.  At £9.3 billion, the 2012 Olympics is... Read more...

Ambulances for the obese

West Midlanders who live in fear of ill health, not because of hesitations about local treatment, but due to worrying if their sheer weight will thwart their transit to hospital, needn’t fear any longer. The West Midlands Ambulance Service is now fully equipped for those who weigh in at 19... Read more...