Thursday, 5 June 2014

Politicians and bureaucrats do not know the meaning of the word save

Take the example of a department or council that has got the word to save 10% next year on a service they provide.  To you and me that is spend 10% less money than you spent this year.  To effectuate this they start a user pay fee for a little extra around the edges that brings in an extra 20%.  Since the little extra only cost 10% they pat themselves on the back for needing a 10% smaller budget that year. 

Problem is they haven’t actually saved anything.  It’s the other way around.  They have spent 10% more rather than saved 10%.  How the money was collected is irrelevant in government services. Whether the total spend was through general taxes or through some general taxes and some direct fees is irrelevant for the public.  They are still money they have to pay, often not entirely voluntarily. 

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