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John The Pessimist

Where Will The Cuts Fall?

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The condems have committed to a major assault on the deficit. If they are to be taken seriously, there will have to be tangible cuts announced in the next 3 months. Where & when do you think these cuts will fall?

Everywhere.

Even areas they say are "ringfenced" will be ringfenced in terms of budgetary total, not in terms of operational spend as it manifests at present. Priorities will change.

From what I can see at present, the first wave of cuts (which we are currently seeing) are largely administrative. There's a drive to relinquish leases on privately-owned commercial property in favour of crown property, that sort of thing (no more shiny buildings). They are planning to close offices and merge and move operations -- I get the impression that rather a few government areas will move out of London all together. There is a total freeze on recruitment in many government departments.

HE cuts have already been announced (they were under Labour and they are brutal). I know surgeons will no longer get paid extra for doing certain operations.

From what I see, everything that can be viewed as extraneous will go before the really nasty cuts come. I suspect the nasty cuts will come after 2014, regardless of the party that comes to power -- it will be a matter of necessity by then.

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I was looking for something more specific. Which benefits and services will be deemed "surplus" and what will undergo efficiencies?

Ah, so which one are you? David or George?

Or am i wrong in worrying this is a governmental straw poll newcomer?

It will all happen at cabinet level!!

And Management level!

That will be popular with we of the masses....

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I was looking for something more specific. Which benefits and services will be deemed "surplus" and what will undergo efficiencies?

The government has created so many cottage industries around such areas as the environment, planning, homelessness, equalities, childrens' services, etc. that I imagine most of them will be cut to some degree.

As someone who travels I would like to see some efficiencies made in immigration. Why does it take far longer to enter my own country than it does to get into some god forsaken place in the third world? All this useless bureaucracy and still more illegals are here than in any other European country.

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Tell us which benefits and services are essential, then you will have answered your own question. :)

What is "essential" is a matter of perspective. As a parent with young children, I deem education as essential. Defence doesn't worry me, but it is close to the heart of your average Daily Mail/Express/insert your paper of choice reader. For an older person whose children are grown, education is less important, whereas health is critical.

What services are politically acceptable to go after?

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I was looking for something more specific. Which benefits and services will be deemed "surplus" and what will undergo efficiencies?

Higher taxes more than lower spending is likely.

BTW the deficit can be fully removed simply by capping all handouts and budgets at todays level for 5 years. That wouldn’t be too difficult.

In fact I would give the government full praise for such a simple and effective measure. All budgets frozen for 5 years. do more with less, it would mean the public sector would need to increase productivity by 3% or so a year to maintain services which is achievable and probably easy considering the waste.

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Higher taxes more than lower spending is likely.

BTW the deficit can be fully removed simply by capping all handouts and budgets at todays level for 5 years. That wouldn’t be too difficult.

In fact I would give the government full praise for such a simple and effective measure. All budgets frozen for 5 years. do more with less, it would mean the public sector would need to increase productivity by 3% or so a year to maintain services which is achievable and probably easy considering the waste.

This presupposes that there will be inflation. There's a strong school of though on this website that there may be deflation over the next few years..........

Edited by John The Pessimist

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Higher taxes more than lower spending is likely.

BTW the deficit can be fully removed simply by capping all handouts and budgets at todays level for 5 years. That wouldn’t be too difficult.

In fact I would give the government full praise for such a simple and effective measure. All budgets frozen for 5 years. do more with less, it would mean the public sector would need to increase productivity by 3% or so a year to maintain services which is achievable and probably easy considering the waste.

The reason it won't be easy is the cost of actually making someone redundant in the public sector. There was a drive a few years ago to use more temp workers and marginilise the existing permanent workers with the idea that they would all eventually retire. The financial crisis has destroyed those plans and the knee jerk reaction is to get rid of the temps and make do with the permies who are all unionised. Good luck increasing productivity with that lot.

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What is "essential" is a matter of perspective. As a parent with young children, I deem education as essential. Defence doesn't worry me, but it is close to the heart of your average Daily Mail/Express/insert your paper of choice reader. For an older person whose children are grown, education is less important, whereas health is critical.

What services are politically acceptable to go after?

You don’t need to cut any services if you offer them more productively.

For example instead of hiring one more GP at £150k a year the government could hire a competent nurse at £30k pa. This nurse could be a pre-GP checker and filter out the easy stuff GPs deal with. In effect she would do 90% of a GPs job at only 20% of the wage.

Things she wasn’t sure of she would hand over to the more experienced and trained GP.

(Edit: just to add, you don’t need reduced services to save money. You can improve services and still save money via productivity. Eg hiring two of these nurses would mean waiting times are down and you are more likely to get an appointment at the time that suits you. The service has improved while the cost is still lower.)

That is an example of simple productivity. You may counter that it is a reduced services which is correct but the service is reduced in quality by lets say 10% but the cost reduced 80%

Lots of ways all government departments could be more productive. BTW many government workers are 100% unproductive so getting rid of them will not impact on what we receive in services at all. Whole departments could be cut that do little of what is actually valued or needed.

One I would like to see is 50% of universities just scraped. Useless debt traps most of them.

Edited by cells

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The reason it won't be easy is the cost of actually making someone redundant in the public sector. There was a drive a few years ago to use more temp workers and marginilise the existing permanent workers with the idea that they would all eventually retire. The financial crisis has destroyed those plans and the knee jerk reaction is to get rid of the temps and make do with the permies who are all unionised. Good luck increasing productivity with that lot.

Roughly speaking in all organisations you get some 3% of the workforce retire and 3% leave on their own accord. So not firing anyone you could get rid of 6% of staff per year.

Over a 5 year period you have shrunk the workforce by 20% and not fired a single person and the involved costs.

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Roughly speaking in all organisations you get some 3% of the workforce retire and 3% leave on their own accord. So not firing anyone you could get rid of 6% of staff per year.

Over a 5 year period you have shrunk the workforce by 20% and not fired a single person and the involved costs.

That will work as long as it is the "right" people leaving in the right mix. If all your GPs retire/emigrate to Australia you'll be left with an NHS run by practice managers and hospital administrators...............wouldn't fancy one of them taking out my appendix.

Hard decisions will still need to be made.

Edited by John The Pessimist

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What is "essential" is a matter of perspective. As a parent with young children, I deem education as essential. Defence doesn't worry me, but it is close to the heart of your average Daily Mail/Express/insert your paper of choice reader. For an older person whose children are grown, education is less important, whereas health is critical.

What services are politically acceptable to go after?

But it is not as simple as that. Within all areas of government spend, you can make reductions that do not affect service.

For example, I know of cases where primary schools have spent a hideous amount of money on a specially-designed "intranet" for staff that used technologies that were already out of date and required a part-time developer/engineer to administrate, and never really properly worked.

I doubt, even as a parent with young children, you would argue for the retention of such spend over and above the NHS procuring special bed-socks for elderly patients, or even above paying a chemist to monitor the algae in regional waterways.

Yet the first example falls into the education budget, and the last into an area most people would consider to be extraneous.

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You don’t need to cut any services if you offer them more productively.

For example instead of hiring one more GP at £150k a year the government could hire a competent nurse at £30k pa.

This idea is already been implemented ie. via Walk-In Centres.

Are the necessary savings being made?

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Ah, so which one are you? David or George?

Or am i wrong in worrying this is a governmental straw poll newcomer?

It will all happen at cabinet level!!

And Management level!

That will be popular with we of the masses....

Actually my name is Nick, and Vince is doing the typing.............. :D

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But it is not as simple as that. Within all areas of government spend, you can make reductions that do not affect service.

For example, I know of cases where primary schools have spent a hideous amount of money on a specially-designed "intranet" for staff that used technologies that were already out of date and required a part-time developer/engineer to administrate, and never really properly worked.

I doubt, even as a parent with young children, you would argue for the retention of such spend over and above the NHS procuring special bed-socks for elderly patients, or even above paying a chemist to monitor the algae in regional waterways.

Yet the first example falls into the education budget, and the last into an area most people would consider to be extraneous.

It'll take an awful lot of part-time engineers and administrators to achieve savings of 25% across the board. Somebody will feel the pain somewhere before this is all over. Likewise, if they increase taxes, the pain will be felt somewhere. Will they tax employment? Hardly with 2.5m out of work. Will they tax spending? That's bound to be counter-productive....

Edited by John The Pessimist

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To have a viable economy going forward, we need people off benefits and in work. How will public sector cuts achieve this?

Incorrect, to have a good economy for everyone in the country you need people in productive employment. Not one guy digging a hole and another one filling it up again.

If you fire one guy digging a hole and another filling it up you as a nation have lost nothing but two fake jobs.

Both the private sector and the public sector have “fake jobs” however it is a greater problem in the private sector.

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  • 261 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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