The Sun ran a poll carried out by YouGov last week, revealing the public’s deep dissatisfaction with the way government spends taxpayers' money and the lavish severance packets of top public sector bureaucrats.
This is a brief summary of the results:
• Asked to think about the most wasteful area or government, the top three choices were welfare at 52 per cent, immigration at 51 per cent and health care services at 30 per cent. The fact that health ranked third on 30 per cent is striking. It shows that despite ring-fencing NHS budgets, the public is fully aware that there is still plenty of fat to trim.
• 83 per cent rated big government projects that did not work or go over-budget as either a very large or a fairly large problem. Given that HS2 is already reported to cost more than £10 billion than first budgeted, this is hardly surprising.
• 81 per cent said that wasteful administration of Whitehall departments was a very large or fairly large problem, with just 1 per cent saying it was not a problem at all.
Efficient government spending
• Asked to think about which party spends tax most effectively, none covered itself in glory: 47 per cent said neither party spends tax money effectively, 3 per cent said they were both equally effective and 13 per cent did not know.
• 79 per cent said that a complex and badly-run tax system was either a very large problem or a fairly large problem. George Osborne’s supposed drive for tax simplification has stalled with the 2013 Finance Bill one of the longest in years. Britain badly needs simplicity and competitiveness - The Single Income Tax would deliver both in spades.
• Recent severance bonanzas in the BBC and NHS have fuelled discontent with excessive payouts.
• Only 2 per cent of those surveyed said there should be no cap at all on severance pay. 16 per cent favoured a twelve month cap, 15 per cent said there should be a three month cap, and 12 per cent said there should be a one month cap and 30 per cent said there should be no severance pay whatsoever.
• 59 per cent thought that “Severance pay for these officials is usually a way of rewarding their failure in the role.”
• Only 13 per cent of respondents said “Severance pay for these officials is usually a fair recognition of the work they have done in the role”
The message is clear – we need simpler taxes and less wasteful spending.