Category Archives: waste

At last, sense about aid

I’ve written about the foreign aid budget several times previously. It’s a recurring theme with me just how we piss money up the wall to foreign dictators and countries with space programs and nuclear power industries. Basically it either gets trousered or given to countries who don’t give a toss about their resident populations.

And that idiot Nick Clegg – now thankfully no longer an MP – stitched us up when he joined the coalition by making it compulsory for the UK to give away 0.7% of our GDP whether it was needed or not. As a result the aid budget has soared. For every £10 in taxes, we now piss 7p up the wall to foreigners.

In 2010-2011, the Department for International Development had 1,822 staff. By this April this had leapt to 2,208, when other ministries were axeing jobs and slashing budgets. Half of the 386 extra employees have been added since Priti Patel took charge of the ministry last July.

The Dfid hands out the highest salaries in Whitehall, averaging £53,000 a head, and it is one of only three of all 19 government departments to keep recruiting. Pure fucking waste…

Miss Patel called for Dfid to be abolished before she became International Development Secretary. But she launched an impassioned defence of the aid target in the run-up to the election when it appeared the 0.7 per cent target might be watered down. After all, it would be a shame to water down her own self importance, wouldn’t it?

Now former Tory minister, Robert Halfon, who was sacked from his front bench role by Theresa May after the election, said the 1 per cent pay cap should be scrapped and that the finance for this should come from the aid budget. Many Tories agree with him that the sacred cow of aid needs to be severely reigned in. They’re quite right.

Nurse, police and fire fighters have had their wage rises capped at 1% for years while the aid budget spirals out of control. When our own people are struggling to make ends meet, it’s time that we put them first. To say that there’s no money to do this is patently ludicrous when we chuck it away on aid.

And when we’re not paying shed loads to the EU after Brexit, there’ll be even more money to pay key staff properly – but in the meantime the aid budget has to go. I appreciate that there’s no possibility of the disbanding the Dfid but FFS let’s slim it down and get a grip on reality.

It’s time to put our own country first…


More taxing stuff

My ‘friend’ Longrider has been sounding off again ripping apart my ‘logical fallacies’ in the recent posts I published about tax. You can read his latest here.

Normally I would comment on his article at his place, but as he blocks me from commenting I reluctantly have to respond here.

The thrust of his argument is twofold. Firstly he continues to insist that the self employed shouldn’t pay the same NIC for unequal benefits. It might surprise him to know that I agree with him. However, the fact is that even after the proposed NI increases, the self employed will still be paying less than employed.

It is sensible that the government has delayed the changes until later in the year. In the summer the House will examine benefits and it will be made clear how the benefits the self employed enjoy have been improved to bring them closer – not equal but closer – to those given to the employed.

Secondly, he regards all taxation as theft. This is patent nonsense. He sites the waste of government as his justification for this stance. Again he may surprised that I agree with him that much government spending is wasteful and shameful, but that is not the real issue. There has to be collective responsibilty for the operation of a civilised society.

He rightly points out the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. As a chartered accountant I am well aware of the difference. Avoidance is perfectly legal and a thorough knowledge of tax legislation should always be used to ensure each person or organisation pays the proper amounts required by law and no more.

The morality and fairness is irrelevant when one is filling a tax return, as I do every year. Several of them, in fact! However, it is proper to consider such issues when framing the laws that govern what level of tax is appropriate.

I am criticised for citing large companies who pay little or no UK tax on their profits. They do this by setting up complex corporate structures to artificially move profits to tax shelters, thereby paying little tax in countries when their profits are generated. There are laws – too lax in my view – that make such practices illegal in the UK.

And are such schemes immoral? Well it’s answer that depends on which side of the fence you’re sitting, isn’t it?

So let’s have a direct quote from the self appointed expert. He’s fond of quotes so how about this one from him?

“So, to summarise, there is no morality in taxation; merely theft”

Right on the first, but the second is ‘a logical fallacy’ and ‘cockwaffle’

Feel free to comment because I don’t censor you the way you censor me…

Taxpayer funded propaganda

Never mind the EU wasting money and being unaccountable – how about the UK government doing the same?

It emerged this week that the government is spending £10million of OUR money (remember the government has no money because they get it all from the likes of us!) on a 16 page propaganda leaflet explaining why they want us to remain in the EU. I find this particularly offensive because they are using my money to fund a point of view with which I fundamentally disagree.

Apparently, this will be delivered to every household in the UK. Mine will be going straight in the bin.

Environment Secretary Liz Truss today defended the spending by pointing to independent polling indicating 85 per cent of voters wanted more information to help them make a decision. But this isn’t more information is it? It’s actually the argument presented from a single point of view and could hardly be described as balanced or unbiased. She went on “The document makes clear why EU membership brings economic security, peace and stability.” Well Lizzie dear, that might be your opinion, but I don’t share it. And it is, after all , only an opinion not a fact.

This would all be fine if the Leave campaign had anything like the same amount of money to spend on their campaign. Theirs is restricted to funding through voluntary contributions. Hardly seems fair does it?

Both campaigns will have the opportunity to send leaflets around every household before the vote and will be funded by the taxpayer. The production costs aren’t covered by that funding so the Leave campaign leaflet is unlikely to be quite as striking and elaborate as this full colour 16 pager.

But then when you look at the amount of UK taxpayer money that the EU pisses up the wall every day, it’s hardly surprising that a UK government that wants us to carry on with this great failed experiment is following their example…

Robbing Peter…

26J_UK Spending World Map 03
Foreign aid. A subject always close to my heart. Fine when you’ve got the money, but charity begins at home.

We give away £12 billion a year in foreign aid since the idiot Clegg forced the coagulation government to adopt the 0.7% of GDP abitrary Fourth Reich measure. So where does it go? What do we piss it up the wall on?

Well, 40% of it goes to “multinational organisations’ such as the United Nations. The UN last year spent £7 million of the ‘aid’ money it received on spin doctors to promote it’s own image.

The remaining 60% is ‘bilateral’ – in other words we give it direct to foreign governments. Countries like India and China who you might think don’t really need it as they are better off than us. And you’d be right.

And some of the odder stuff? How about £1million to fund a project sending people around the world to teach the natives English folk songs? Or a BBC project for Somalia to give tips to illegal immmigrants on how to get to the UK? I kid you not!

And here’s a classic – £3,400 was spent on the scheme to find female partners for the endangered Mangarahara cichlid fish in Madagascar.

So why did I call this article ‘Robbing Peter’? Well because we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, because we don’t actually have the £12 billion a year we’ve committed to. The government borrows it so they can give it away. No wonder the world thinks the UK is a soft touch!!!

And that’s probably why when surveyed recently, only 3% of the respondents support our aid ‘programme’

The Daily Mail has launched an ePetition to put a stop to it. It’ll likely get the usual lip service, but I urge you to sign it anyway…

The English National Anthem

In view of this week’s pointless waste of time debating in the House of Commons on a National Anthem for England, I thought this piece was rather appropriate…

English National Anthem Bill – what a bloody shame our MPs have nothing better to waste time, money and effort on than drivel of this sort!