So, we're to know more about government spending

  Forum Editor 08:26 31 May 2010
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Which seems like a positive move.

  HWJC 08:35 31 May 2010

Positive? What would I know about it? I'd want someone competent to do the spending and someone competent to check the spending was reasonable. Neither of those people would be me. Whoever it was would spend\check it authoritatively, so they would need to be paid.

I'm none the wiser about expenses claims now it's all published. I tried to look at my MP's expenses and gave up after 20 minutes because it was unfathomable and contextless. This will be the same.

I can't help feeling this is all a complete waste of everyone's time, except for the fact that a lot of people are being paid to scan, host and constantly update it all, while others point at it and say 'look how open we're being'. I'm completely underwhelmed.

I suppose the concept of doing it right in the first place is too much to ask...

  gengiscant 08:57 31 May 2010

Forum Editor.

Call me cynical but yet again we have the same old chestnuts rolled out each time a new government comes to power. The two words that jump to mind are "openness and transparency", will this mean we will no longer have pages and pages of so called expenses information without the masses of 'redacting' which made the whole publishing exercise a ridiculous waste of time.

It is in the interests of all politicians,top civil servants, quangos bosses and the like to keep the rest of us in ignorance of what they are being paid and expenses claimed,and while these people decide their own remuneration etc they will continue to use the public purse as their private wallet, accountable to, in reality, no one.

I am sorry, I do not think we will see much real change in so called transparency.The Prime minister is, in my opinion, just saying what people want to hear, something politicians are very experienced in doing.

  jack 09:51 31 May 2010

Take it as read no government will ask our permission to dip their hands into our pockets.

The information will be about what they have spent or what they 'saved' by not spending on something they had no intention of doing any way

Yes I am old enough to be cynical

It just the the long worn out 'Sales ploy' of shops
'Save 60% if you buy this now'
60% of what exactly?
Save 100% by not buying at all
Trouble with government is we don't get the option
They spend it anyway- even if they have not got it.

When the last lot were dishing out - the glib term was
'And we will borrow....'
Borrow from whom exactly?

  Big L 266 10:16 31 May 2010

Hello.

What if Forum Editor is on the right track and this new government wants to change the way it reports the spending of its departments? I would applaud it loudy given the cynical amongst the respondants who've so far replied.

Heres a thought for 'jack'....

Government 'borrows' money from you and me. In the case of New Labour, it also 'borrowed' ahead from your family, including any immediate children you might have, later on from your grandchildren, and much later on from your great grandchildren all of whom will be paying off New Labours despicable spending of the past 13 years now under the Con/Lib-Dems who are starting the long road back to recovery.

Here's a way of saving billions....

1.Reduce out daily budget to the E.U. to £5 a day instead of £55,000,000 for them to waste.Savings to the UK? Billions!

2.Rid the NHS of all its fat and bloated strategic health authorities and follow it by the regional health authorities and local health authorities in quick succession and replace them all with one health authority per county. That would save billions!

3.Rid the government of every pointless quango and there must be thousands of them,saving the country more billions!

jack... thats where MY money is wasted but at least this government is making the effort.

Big L 266

  Forum Editor 10:51 31 May 2010

Here's a new Prime Minister saying he's going to give us all more access to information about spending, and immediately the glass half empty people are into the attack, even before there's been a chance for anyone to evaluate what's going to happen.

I applaud the spirit of the announcement, and I'm ready to give the government a chance to prove that it's not just a sop to the electorate. If it doesn't work out I'll be happy to swallow my words.

"Yes I am old enough to be cynical" is about the most negative attitude I can imagine. I'm old enough to believe that optimism is what drives a society forward - cynicism is what sours it.

  Cymro. 11:04 31 May 2010

So it will cost a few bob but in the great scheme of things whats a few billion between friends anyway? Surely it is better for such information to become public. Granted that as suggested earlier many of us will not be able to understand or will not be interested in such things but there are those who are.

I have criticised the British press often enough but you can bet your life that they will go through such figures with a fine toothcomb and any discrepancy will very soon come to life.

  Forum Editor 11:11 31 May 2010

"Positive? What would I know about it?"

Well,

Hospitals will start publishing data on infection rates online from this week - initially releasing three months of information before producing weekly statistics from July.

Details of large government contracts will be published from September, items of central government spending from November and local government spending over £500 from next January.

Civil servants earning more than £150,000 will be named and their salaries disclosed, and this figure will be lowered to £58,000 later in the year.

You'll know about all that, if you care to look, and with respect you can hardly blame the government if you don't understand it. As for 'doing it right in the first place', that's what this is all about, surely? David Cameron says that he thinks there's too much secrecy surrounding public spending, and he wants to offer us the chance to access the information - that seems like a step towards doing it right to me.

  knockin on 11:47 31 May 2010

the rules that MP's try to hide behind when caught out being greedy. I think that few of us would have found the expenses system reasonable, had we known about it. It wouldn't have got off the ground.
However, I agree it's a good start.

As for expenditure of various bodies. I have already worked out that 51 weekly payments of £499.99 and one of £500.51 would show a local authority a simple way around being honest about expenditure.

  jack 13:03 31 May 2010

Our elected representatives -bless them -come up with all this hyperbole when in fact the crowd across the road are jerking the stings.

40 years ago there was a Cabinet reshuffle- Barbara Castle[Remember her?] was shifted from one ministry
to another[was it Health?] The cry went up then - 'What does she know about it?'
Nothings changed people are appointed into post when their knowledge is sadly lacking.
It sill goes on to-day.
Big L286 is right - too many levels of 'admin'and committees
Too many chiefs not enough Indians.

  spuds 13:10 31 May 2010

Perhaps a step in the right direction, but what's the betting that some establishment will find a way out of publishing the true facts.

We had (have) the Freedom of Information Act, yet in reality that as its flaws on how the information is given (if at all).

Our local council, and I suspect many more, seem to deal with information on a mystery tour journey, as to how or if there are rules of exemption before provision.

With respect to hospital information. Here again we may well end up with 'masked' statistics like present, especially if extra funding is required.Sitting or laying on a trolley in a draughty corridor or the back of an ambulance, isn't going to improve or make much difference, if the hospital states 'shortage of funds,staff or beds'.

Even the Audit Commission as had a no-no to a requested recent increase in funding and pay rises!.

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