War on Waste: April - June 2024

While the last few months may have been bustling with promises of change, in the real world, waste has been running rampant! Naturally, as Britain’s waste watchdog, the TPA team have been keeping on top of it all, from the woke to the blatantly bizarre. Here are a few highlights (lowlights?) from the last three months.

Our investigation into the shocking excesses of quango staff networks made waves in the Daily Mail. Almost £1 million was spent on staff talks like ‘intellectual property and queer theory’ and events like ‘The history of queer tango’. Naturally, they had to be held during the working day… This is a blatant waste of taxpayer’s money. Quangos are meant to serve the public interest, not bankroll lavish internal networks and allow staff to take up activism during their nine-to-five. It’s high time these agencies were held accountable and scrutinised for their spending and time-wasting.

Continuing with woke wastage, we exposed the absurdity of so-called ‘woke grants’ in the Telegraph. A staggering £2 million was funnelled into projects that, frankly, defy common sense. From teaching children about ‘gender fluidity’ to funding obscure art installations, these grants reflect a troubling trend of diverting funds away from essential services. Taxpayers deserve better than to see their money squandered on politically charged pet projects that offer little to no tangible benefit to the community.

Guido Fawkes joined the fray by shining a spotlight on the scandal of business class flights for civil servants, revealing that, despite claims of budget cuts and austerity, many officials are still flying in luxury at the taxpayers’ expense. In just three months, the Department of Business and Trade spent over £80,000 on 14 business class trips. This practice is not only a gross misuse of public funds but also a clear indicator of a culture of entitlement. It’s time to clip the wings of these high-flying bureaucrats and ensure that government travel is conducted in a cost-effective manner.

Our revelations in the Daily Mail about sick days in public sector quangos added fuel to the fire. Over 2 million days were lost due to absenteeism in the last two years, with some quangos reporting average sick leave far above the private sector norm. This epidemic of absenteeism is draining resources and impacting service delivery. The public sector must adopt more robust measures to manage and reduce unnecessary sick leave.

Rounding things off, local councils were in a spin when we exposed the bizarre case of adult cycling lessons funded by the local ratepayers in the Telegraph. While promoting healthy living and reducing carbon footprints is commendable, spending £2 million on cycling lessons for adults is far from justifiable, especially in councils that have effectively already declared bankruptcy. As council tax continues to rise (the average band D bill is now above £2,000), this is yet another example of well-meaning initiatives that simply shouldn’t be a priority for supposedly ‘cash-strapped’ councils.

Stay tuned for our next update. With a new government incoming, we’ll be holding their feet to the fire whenever they waste your money!

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