Ideas for saving public money? The Treasury wants to hear from you

The Treasury has launched a website asking for evidence from the frontline about how public spending can be saved:

This week’s Budget set out a 25 per cent cut in spending for most departments over four years. Now, we want you to help us find those savings so we can cut public spending in a way that is fair and responsible. You work on the frontline of public services. You know where things are working well, where the waste is, and where we can re-think things so that we get better services for less money.

Share your idea with us. Either one you’ve been thinking about for a while, an idea you’ve had in response to this challenge, or something you’ve worked up with your colleagues. Your idea could be small-scale, but quick and easy to put into action. It could be more radical, involving significant changes to where and how government works. Either way, please be as specific as you can. We may come back to you to to discuss the idea with you in more detail.

You can submit your idea anonymously, if you like. Individual ideas won’t appear online, but every submission will be looked at in the way set out in the ‘What happens now’ section below. The website is open until July 8th, after which the process will be opened up to the wider public.

More details and the form to submit ideas are at

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  • Al public sector job advertising should be on the Web. No need at all to use print media for this. Would save millions.

  • SMcG – there’s one small problem there in this area – the neighbouring authority Manchester have specifically disqualified people outside its borders to apply for ALL entry-level jobs. Basically they have a scheme of training up people who are unemployed (no bad thing there) and then using that scheme to put people into ringfenced jobs thus affecting disadvantaged people in neighbouring boroughs. It would be very revealing though and no bad thing in my book for this to be publicised by default.

  • I look forward to George Osbourne acting on my suggestion that the money to the Monarchy should be cut and that MPP’s benefits should be slashed.

  • “You can submit your idea anonymously if you like”

    This gives every bigoted critic and opponent of the public sector and the welfare state the opportunity to exercise their prejudices whilst masquerading as employees of public services.

  • I think it’s great they are asking front line staff rather than managers, they are also scouring blogs, social networking sites & have teamed up with Wikileaks

  • Andrew Duffield 26th Jun '10 - 3:53pm

    Stop banks collecting interest on the sterling they create from the ether whenever they approve a ‘loan’. This is an effective public subsidy of over £100 billion a year, for which the banks are charged nothing while taxes rise and services are cut. The state should issue the nation’s currency to the banks (as it does with the 3% of money that is notes and coin) – and charge interest on the lot. Alternatively, let the banks carry on issuing our money supply and charge them for the privilege. This is what Osborne’s bank levy should target. The more the banks try and pass on such money creation charges, the more housing becomes affordable and the less debt we take on – reducing the risk of another boom-bust and reducing the pot for taxpayer subsidised bankers’ bonuses as well.

  • Andrew Suffield 26th Jun '10 - 4:18pm

    This gives every bigoted critic and opponent of the public sector and the welfare state the opportunity to exercise their prejudices whilst masquerading as employees of public services.

    It’s an invitation to submit ideas, not a consultation. They’re going to throw the thousand complaints in the bin and read the handful of submissions that actually suggest things they can do.

  • @John what an odd policy!
    @Mac why on earth does it matter if someone works for the public sector or not?
    @pat could you give some examples please

  • Alright it won’t save billions, but why do public libraries (in may area at least) open on Sundays?

  • Ian mitchell 26th Jun '10 - 8:25pm

    I think this is a really strange idea and the wrong question is being asked in any event.

    The first Q you should ask is whether the cuts are needed in the first place to the extent planned.

    The Tories planned most of the cuts in advance anyway so really what is the point.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 26th Jun '10 - 8:41pm

    “The first Q you should ask is whether the cuts are needed in the first place to the extent planned.”

    Yes, but that’s why we had an election last month, isn’t it?

    Oh, no – wait a minute …

  • Ian mitchell 26th Jun '10 - 8:55pm


    My maths aren’t the best but around two thirds of the voters stopped short of where we are now.

    Lest hope this govt doesn’t give Coalitions are bad name otherwise the hopes for PR could take a dent (thats an even bigger one than the limited concessions secured in the caolition have dented them so far).

  • are you seriously asking us to complete the unfair and nasty cuts that have already taken place and will impact on the young old disabled and vulnerable?

  • gramsci's eyes 27th Jun '10 - 10:21am

    Give the poor a good kicking and shout “we are all in this together”.

    Maybe not a good idea, I don’t think lib-dems would buy that one? Would they?

  • Well, we could start by binning the highly costly ‘free schools’ policy.

    And given that the railways cost so much more to operate now than in the days of British Rail, what about taking franchises back into public ownership as they expire?

    Of course, neither idea would be considered for a moment as they conflict with Tory ideology.

  • @Andrew Suffield @Smcg

    Are you sure you’re not being just a little bit gullible? I happen to think that this is a huge spinning exercise to allow the Tory partners in the coalition to assert that public sector turkeys really have voted for Christmas based on submissions of a wish list of Daily Mail/Sun inspired cuts from annonymous members of the anti-public sector brigade.

  • I lived in Greece for 6 years until my recent return. Although in the ‘Euro Zone’ ,you need a residents permit to ‘Buy a House, Car or Motorbike’ . In order to obtain a residents permit European’s living in Greece must attend the Police Station with their BANK STATEMENTS, Passport and several other documents, and must be able to PROVE they can support themselves whilst living in Greece, and will not ask for any state help. (not available anyway, and there is no unemployment benefit payable). There is no free health service for overseas residents, which means visits to doctors or stays as inpatients in hospital will have to be paid for in full, by private funds or private insurance. Any prescribes drugs are also charged at the full cost. There are some concessions to UK pensioners, but that is only because the UK government make a monthly payment to the Greek government to help with health care.
    If it is okay for one European country to operate in this way, I suggest we adopt a similar system with the thousands of Euro migrants who only come to the UK because of the FREE benefits they are currently entitled to and we cannot afford.

  • Martin Ward 5th Jul '10 - 10:21pm

    If we are to have voting next year why not change to electronic voting. Thus saving the wages of all people counting votes etc.

  • Martin Ward 5th Jul '10 - 10:24pm

    Change traffic lights to the European system, so in quiet periods of the day an amber light (instead of red) one gives away to the right but continues if clear. Think of the reduction in fuel costs sat at red traffic lights when nobody else is about.

  • Martin Ward 5th Jul '10 - 10:36pm

    Most of the signs on the motorway, such as “think Bike”, “Slow Spray”, etc which are obvious should not be displayed. Also 99% of the warnings mean nothing leading to a “cry wolf” situation as one gets to the siuation there is no problem. I am sure these signs must cost at least £250k. what a waste of money.I haven’t seen these signs in europe. The next thing is they will be in 20 different languages!!!!!!

    In Wales, where I was brought up, we managed with signs in English, now they are multilingual, why 99.9% of people in Wales speak & read English so why waste money on new signs.

  • Peter Resteghini 6th Jul '10 - 12:26pm

    I have worked with in my profession as a physiotherapist for 20 years during this time I have been encouraged by the NHS and Government to expand and develop. This I have done and am now a consultant with a doctorate. This service development has resulted in an improvement in patient care with reduction in associcated costs (I am cheaper then a GP or secondary care consutlant!).
    However, with recent GP incentives there has been a move not to refer certain pathologies as the GP’s themselves prefer to deal with these given there is an incentive attached. In terms of cost it would still be cheaper for the NHS to make maximum use of those AHP’s who they have trained to take on new roles in addition to patients receiving a better and more holistic treatment package.
    Make better use of experienced AHP’s in the delivery of key serivces.

  • Diane Ludeman 9th Jul '10 - 4:37pm

    Please review the amount of money given to Foreign Aid and adjust it ,in order that the aid is given to the truly needy . I don’t think countries which are well enough off to fund nuclear power, should receive aid at all.

    The tax payers in our country feel so much money sent overseas is abused and wasted. We should have a choice on how our money, that we earn is spent and the government has no right to give our money away to people who don’t contribute to our country and often hate us. Money should be given to natural disaster in the world as these are genuine tragedies ,but as we tighten our own belts and pay higher taxes I feel we must review the amount of Foreign Aid given.

    Penalise people with fines, who break hospital /doctor appointments without giving 24 hour notice so that tax payers are not always picking up the bill for missed meetings, which could be cancelled and given to others.

  • Lewis Memmott 9th Jul '10 - 6:38pm

    I want to know why all disabled motorists, regardless of their personal circumstances, get free parking in the most expensive areas of towns. I’m tired of paying an arm and a leg to park my Polo whilst blue badge holders driving Jaguars, BMW’s and God knows what else, park completely free. Surely it wouldnt be unreasonable to levy an annual charge for such a valuable asset.

  • alexander spiers 10th Jul '10 - 2:20pm

    Re-introduce Capital Punishment.
    Save a fortune on life maintenance for murderers,clean up society,and ease prison overcrowding.It would make this country a far better place to live.

  • big problem with social security payments, child benefits, is that they are never always used for what they are
    appropriated for. In my town a large number of the of single mothers etc are using their benefits to buy fags
    cheap alcohol mainly the large three litre bottle’s of cheap cider and lottery scratch cards and in a lot of cases drugs. the reason i say this as i see examples almost every week. and i know a few who are flouting the system, claiming while living with their partners ect. People need money to live on pure and simple but if it is provided by the taxpayer
    it should not be abused. it should be spent where it was meant to be spent, putting decent food in front of children am decent clothes on their backs, not spent selfishly on none essentials like drink and scratch cards. Best idea is to give them half their benefits in cash the rest in vouchers for utilities,travel, clothes,and food, i am sure a few attitudes would soon change.

  • Maggie Rogers 15th Jul '10 - 9:13am

    I think the government should discontinue free bus passes for the over 60’s. I am 66 and do not feel the need for my pleasure trips to be subsidised from tax payers money. This appears to be the main use for the free bus pass. I am fed up of hearing from people over 60 telling me about the wonderful days out they have had and all for FREE!!! Accept is isn’t free tax payers pay for it!!! I do how-ever feel that those on low incomes should still benefit from the free bus pass, asoften that is their life-line to shops etc.

  • Harkin Englethorpe 17th Jul '10 - 5:34pm

    “Disguise it as private sector money” seems to be the highly (un)original line that you are currently acquiescing to. Hoping, as always, that the difference between public money and public expenditure won’t be noticed.

  • I think the Government should reduce the extortionate amount that nurses get paid for maternity leave on the NHS. It’s a hugely above average policy and is completely unfair and unnecessary for a business that, in many cases, can’t afford to give the best medication to suffering patients, keep hospitals clean, etc, etc.

  • Make political parties pay for the policing costs of their party political conferences.

    Last years Lab event in Brighton cost £5.5

    This year both the Con and Lib events will need policing

    Merseyside Police forgot to bid for reimbursement of Lib event from central Home Office funds so as things stand, local council tax payers are £4.4m down!

  • Martin Langley 2nd Aug '10 - 5:13pm

    The DWP “vacancies” database remains stuffed with dreck. If “jobs” were
    tested before inclusion, jobseekers would have a real incentive to “get up
    off their bottoms” and the welfare bill would be reduced.

  • Nigel Parkinson 5th Aug '10 - 6:35pm

    Scrap OFSTED and the many other government quangoes which are a complete waste of public money.

  • I want the government to stop ignoring the large tax dogers, companies and individuals, and recoup the money that they have defrauded them out of in my opinion it will bring in far more revenue than people believe.

  • david Martin 11th Aug '10 - 9:46pm

    A lot of people get free legal advice and services of a solicitor due to their low income.
    Many though abuse the system by continue to use free legal aid soley because they do not have to pay.
    many of the issues are not necessary for legal aid but they are continually getting this and wasting tax payers money.
    Their should a limit on trivel things and a better monitoring system of continue use by the same persons.

  • we need to drastically lower the the tax burden on the low paid, which would encourage more unemployed
    to go into employment, but they need a wage they can live on, any one under £20,000 should be taken
    out of tax, it would enable them to save something where they could give themselves a financial safety-net
    where they did not have to borrow money they cant afford, as an example it would allow them to take their kids on holiday perhaps, adding money back into the beleaguered holiday industry increasing employment, get the essential repair to the car done, put away something for their old age…etc. i thing it is essential the government looks at this sooner rather than later?

  • theres is people in this country who are never going to work as they now that wearing inapproiate clothes and going untidy for a job be it a cleaners job or a office job they will not get the job.because they dont want to work anyway but they go through the motion and pretend.AND THEY SJOULD NOT GET ANY BENEFITS .there is a large group who wear scarfs and 80% of them dont want to work ,the system is wrong

  • my daughter in a secured prison for offeneders and they all get benefits and a flat and food on top of there benefit what a crazy countrey trully a nanny state benefit for the whole world all paid from uk tax payers all the MP seems to like people with scarf who are never going to work but breed ,while the working person cant afford t have family a hose or decent food i have to look for out of date while unemployed get the fresh food ,Noyhing is going to change because computers cant see who is wwearing what clothes when you sign for benefits ,coputers are cause of recession,fiddles n loans,and speculators

  • John Bradford 14th Sep '10 - 11:32am

    I realise I’m a bit late with this money-saving suggestion, but here it is, are you able to pass it on to the Treasury — I’ve just received my 4-weekly pension payment. Change all 4-weekly benefit payments to monthly and thereby save one payment per year, thus reducing payment costs by 1/13th.

  • I think all benefit (tax credit, child allowance, unemployment benefit, use of the NHS and GPs) should all be linked to your national insurance contributions. Quite simple if you don’t pay in you don’t get out. I am in my early 40s and had a brief spell of unemployment at the age of 18. I was told by the then DHSS that I would not receive any benefit as I had not paid enough national insurance contributions in the coffers. I also do not agree with people who are not British (including people from within the EU) having access to a benefit system that they have not contributed to. It would save a lot of money and if this was implemented. Immigration, NHS problems, social problems amongst others. The UK would then be seen as not the soft touch that it is. This is the No. 1 destination for foreigners because of our benefits system. If you want to make a better life for yourself here you should have skills to offer the country and be prepared to work like iin Australia.

    I am of carribean decent so am not racist by any means. My parents came here 50 years ago when the country was on its knees to help to build up the country. They received racist abuse, were spat on, forced to to menial jobs and refused social housing but they still came through it through hard work. They brought their own house and worked hard to give myself and my siblings a better life. So come here by all means but be prepared to work and earn your benefits.

  • B & Q wallpaper 2.99 its not flock but it does the job. keep an eye on the stationery and that
    mps dont use it for their other jobs if they do. seize 2nd homes bought with money from the
    taxpayers. tell the green party that energy saving lightbulbs contain mercury and if u smash one you
    should open a window. see iftheres anything left in the shredder of tony blairs expenses. cut winter fuel
    payment for the elderly and build ridiculous sculptures. have another look at mps expenses. overnight stays fish and chips pizzas 2.99 might be a bit dearer in london. make builders carpenters, god was one
    and manual workers retire at 70 when their joints are done and then retire them to the house of lords
    for expenses and subsidied bars. ban smokingin parliament rooms like the all the pubs. ifyouhave a
    HUBBY HAS A PRIVATE ONE BEING SELF EMPLOYED WHICH IS DOWN THE PAN THANKS . PUT NURSES BACK ON WARDS UNDER MATRONS NOT UNI. put me in charge of rbs and then i can retire with a million quid pension pot where are the taxpayer shares we bailed them out i would donote these
    to sending dentists into care homes. save fuelby not extriditing the autistic lad to america. noticed a full
    house standing room only when discussing mps expenses didint see one when discussing troops
    equipment. come on people stand for election bringback co-paroxomol its worked for 40 years

  • give me anoffice an accountant and lets have a look again at expenses see if oughts been missed
    are the taxpayers paying for the legal expenses of the social worker the head of the dept who is
    trying to get componsation for the mistake over baby peters death. cos when i thought i was unfairly selected for redundancy i coiuldnt afford to go to tribuneral in case i lost.. get nurses training under a matron
    instead of university then the ones who are tied to paper work and are understaffed could feed the
    old people when they cant reach their food. dont forget to let drs prescribed antibiotics to old people when you cut their heating allowance they work. and tell the liberal mp who once though a pensioners wage was about four quid or so could he live on this. cut subsidised bars and xcan i please cklaim expenses for my
    light bulbs duck houses my videos windows cleaning and my wallpaper anddont forget to hunt the fox
    its all its fault

  • do you think anyones reading these comments they are just seeing where the land lies as to what they can cut
    cos there another election in 4 years. the person who comes up with the best wasy of solving the
    problems should be elected your doing their job for them. stand for electyon yourself a lot of mps
    have had a great living not all but LOOK AT WHAT THE EXPENSES THAT HAVE BEEN CLAIMED

    £10 a phone call 25 a letter when young families loose their jobs and homes i thought the office of fair trading
    should rule on these charges but then its overturned whose bothered what small fry

  • peter macnab 3rd Nov '10 - 2:22pm

    I, along with the rest of the population, have been bombarded with global warming propoganda. We have also heard about the dire economic mess that we are in. How about turning down the heating in public buildings; and where appropriate, turn it off completely? Going into a public building is akin to experiencing tropical temperatures. Let the best examples of thrift and waste-cutting and community spirit come from Civil Servants, Councils and Public Service workers.

  • 1. School opening times should not coincide with work rush hour: imagine savings in carbon emissions and time. It’ll add up elsewhere too.
    2. School teacher training days should not occur in term time (parents taking days of for child care are costing some one big time).
    3. The costs of healthcare as it includes psychological and social well being issues need to be rationalised centrally : NICE should be kept as it will be a net saving as well as a way of avoiding post code lotteries

  • For years I have been wondering why do we pay people for having children, If the government as to pay child benefit at all, I beleive it should only be paid for the first child or first two at most. This will stop young people like single mothers having lots of children that they can not afford, also it will stop foreign families (non UK born) from coming here and claiming for all their children when they have not contribruted any money into the welfare system. If you look around you will see a very high percentage of expectant mothers are in fact non UK citizens and we the taxpayer as to fork out money to keep them which is totally wrong.
    You the Government our representatives should listen to your people, So if you want to solve alot of problems regarding child benefit you must listen to us.
    1) Only pay Chid Benefit to the first child or the first two at the very most.
    2) Will mean less unwanted teenage pregnancies.
    3) Will mean paying out less money in child benefit.
    4) Will mean more places in our schools.
    5) Will mean less strain on the NHS.
    Regards Alex

  • Some suggestions attack poor people like pensioners and the low paid, wanting to take away even the little that they have.
    If people on £10,000 can pay 20%, those on £40,000, 40%, those on £100,000, 50% why cannot those on lavish income from £500,000 upwards pay at higher rates appropriate to their earnings, bonuses and share options and their other income and capital gains, at least while the country is struggling with a deficit ans increasing debt?

  • I believe that the economy is suffering, and has been for a long time because of the neglected level of benefits to people who should not be entitled. The catergory I think that is crippling the country are the so called “SICK” people. I know of many fit to work people who had never done any work paid or unpaid ever. Irresponsible Doctors and similarly irresponsible DSS medical officers have allowed for their claims. They strategically have been given a ticket of pleasure at the cost of us hard working. I, like many many others are not only working to feed our families but those who claim to be sick and their many children and social partners.

    Surely the Government should reassess these people. I suppose, cleverly they are safe because they will not be accused for abusing the system, if they simply do not work. If you work whilst declared unfit for work you would be abusing the system. IF YOU ARE DECLARED UNFIT FOR WORK, CAN WORK BUT DON’T WORK YOU ARE NOT ABUSING THE SYSTEM!!!!!! SIMPLY LAZY AND LEGALLY STEALING FROM THOSE WHO DO WORK

  • Mind your own 8th Feb '11 - 11:24am

    I think the Government should only pay child benefit for the first two children. Thats plenty for anyone. Why should it be paid anyway? Having children is a priviledge not a right.
    Secondly I think child related benefits should not be paid out those who conceive new children whilst in receipt of benefits. That’ll stop the lone parents and benefit scroungers constantly procreating for extra money. And all the sick people too, too sick to work, but not too sick to get your leg over eh?
    This country needs to toughen up. And whats the newest thing about taking naughty peoples ipods. For gods sake give them some hard graft to do and teach them a lesson that bad behaviour is not accepted. Its called community payback, not community cop out. You people need to get some real people, with backbones in office to sort this country out.
    And whilst i’m on one, the reason this place has gone downhill is because you’ve destroyed the manufacturing industries and let them go off abroad. The people on JSA are manual people, that want manual jobs not penpushers or nurses or sales people. Manual jobs like the rag trade, miners, car makers, glass makers, sweet factories etc etc all these things have disappeared from my local area in the last 50 years.
    If you want to sort things out you need to encourage manufacturing back. That’ll sort your dole queues out.
    Anyway, there you go politicians, rant over, you can go back to ignoring the opinions of the public now.

  • Denise Ratcliffe 18th Feb '11 - 11:19am

    Please could you pass this onto whoever decides on the matter. Could the treasury look at the cost of destroying returned prescriptions in the form of tablets in bubble packs. I am sure a great majority could be reused and a system of checking could be devised to ensure the packs have not been tampered with.

  • Maurice Waite 15th May '11 - 10:42am

    @Mrs Harvey
    Just to speak up for health provision for foreigners in Greece (though I realize that you are talking about residents rather than tourists), my son had free treatment in two hospitals in Crete a couple of years ago. We must have just shown either his passport or his EHIC. We had to pay for his medicines but eventually got the cost refunded through the Department for Work and Pensions (which for some reason handles such claims).

  • I feel that the reintrodution of the weekly wage would do away with the monthly pay day loan companys and put more money in peoples pocket. Two years ago I was forced by my company into being paid mnonthly after 27 yaers of being paid weekly since then I have going into my overdraft a few time which I have never done in the past.

  • Some ideas to save money on Childcare element of Working tax credit:
    1) Stop paying the four week run-on period where you get paid for four weeks after you have stopped using childcare.
    2) All childcare providers to provide an annual statement of childcare usage which has to be submitted with Tax Credit renewal. This would ensure that families receive the right amount whereas the current system works on a guestimate system which is easy to get wrong, with some families losing out and some getting big overpayments whcih never get checked.

  • Please, please, please do not cut the mobility component of DLA for children in residential school. These children above all others desperately need to have access to transportation to keep contact with their families, many of whom live far away.

  • 1. Only pay child benefit for the first two children
    2. Why not do as the American Government do and stop “double dipping” where public sector workers do a 30 year stint, retire get their public sector pension and then get another public sector job, this is particularly rife in the Police Service where Civilian posts are created for retiring officers
    3. Deport convicted violent criminals and sex offenders who are of a non-British origin with no future re-entry
    4. Instead of removing car tax for “eco-cars” just increase the car tax by that proportion on the “gas Guzzlers”

  • For every government post in London one question need asking Does this post need to be inside the M25? If it is decided it would be handy for it to be in side the M25 does it need to be there all that time or would it be cheaper for when the post need to be on London to get the train in and a overnight say rather that paying for the cost per desk in London + the London weighing. This will save money and crate more jobs as each job moved out saved over 4000 never mind the desk costs. And a few 4000 could employ an extra person costing nothing

    When that happens the office space left could then be leased lout to the Privet Sector at Privet sector rates

  • Business in central Croydon area will shortly be voting to renew the the “Business Improvement District” (BID)project launched 5 years ago. At the time, the business was not amde aware in the clearest way possible that it would cost them 2.5% levy on top of the council tax it pays; to be collected by the Croydon Council.
    The impact of the votes is weighted based on the valuation of the property in the area, and since UK Border Agency being the biggest employer with the biggest office space in the area, has a significant influence in the outcome. I feel the government should not be using it’s power to decide the outcome which could result in additional overheads for already cash strapped business in teh area.
    Therefore, on behalf of the business in Croydon, I urge the government do not allow UKBA do not participate in the upcoming vote. A ‘no’ vote would mean an end to the BID project which has hardly contributed anything to the wellbeing of majority of the business in Croydon central; with government/taxpayer saving an absolute fortune (excess of £100k) in council tax. The BID project has been nothing but an additional tax burden for most of teh business in Croydon central and therefore has to go.

  • I was also looking for how much is paid out to people who no longer contribute to our economy who live and work abroad ie. is family allowance still paid to British citizens who work abroad? Do pensioners who choose to live abroad still claim their UK state pension? Indeed what other benefits are paid out to UK citizens who have chosen to live abroad?

    In the case of state pesions that are paid out to those who live abroad a higher tax band should be introduced.

  • Mike Lambert 31st Dec '11 - 10:02pm

    I have two suggestions as one way of saving money and another way of making money. The first is in relation to the current downturn in financial institutes over the last few years (although I would include railtrack in that) and there has been much talk about not rewarding failure however when these businesses tend to fail the shareholders are usually bought out by taxpayers money, HOWEVER, usually the director’s of said companies are also usually share-holders, therefore it would be impossible to not reward failure in such an instance because their shares would also get bought back. Therefore a suggestion would be to bring in law that any company that shares belonging to company directors or Directors of a company in the three years prior to a companies failure would not be redeemable by any government bailout, similar to the rules currently in place for bankruptcy and the disposing of assets. It would mean that any sale of shares during that time could be reversed and there would be no reward for failure.

    ALSO, at the moment the number of admittances to the UK’s hospitals for alcohol poisoning is going through the roof, increasing the cost burden on Joe Q Public. If said people were automatically fined with a fixed rate penalty of £100 for being drunk and disorderly (which if they have to be hospitalised they almost certainly are) then according to recent figures this could raise almost £10 million per year. A small but mighty figure (Or if you look at it in the long-term £100 million over 10 years. Sounds better that doesn’t it?)

  • Hi
    I know I am a bit late for this – but you never know – someone may still be checking

    I did my self assessmemt tax return on line mid December. I was due a refund and this was received into my bank again in December I also received a letter at the begining of Jan to advise this had been processed. Yesterday I got another envelope from the tax office. Inside was a letter reminding me my self assessmenrt had to be done by the 31/01/2012, another letter in the same envelope advised me of the fines I could incure for non payment and also included was an envelope to send a responce if needed. This letter recieved yesterday (11/01/2012) was dated the 15/12/2011. What a waste of money !! They are so far behind that i would bet that many people (like myself) who receievd the letters had since paid. Also several reminders have already been sent why another one,

    Another one is a person I know works for a travel agents – She deals with the corporate side. Most of her day is spent organising rail travel and hotel bookings for local councils, schools and other public sector workers. She spends most of her day on the train line website and travel lodge/premier inn website making bookings. Why are we paying a company for this. Surley people in the public sector can do these bookings themself. What makes it worse is that usually she is sent a form completed by a member of HR in whatever dept need the booking, she uses the info provided to make the booking and emails them back the details. Would it not be just as easy for that person who sent the request to book it themself.

    Another thing (sorry I am on a bit of a roll now) is School Crossing Gaurds. — Vital I know. However where I live there is def an excess of them, the frustrating thing is that some of them are positioned at pedestrian crossings!! I understand kids needing assistance on busy roads but why pay for someone to stand there and just use the crossing for them. I have seen these people – they do not even use their “Stop Children” stick, they simply press the button and cross with the kids/parents when the green man shows. Are the youth of today really in need of someone to operate a ped crossing for them !!! What a waste

  • Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

    You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

    There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.

    Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

    1) They MUST retire.
    Ten million job openings – unemployment fixed

    2) They MUST buy a new British car.
    Ten million cars ordered – Car Industry fixed

    3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage –
    Housing Crisis fixed

    4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university –
    Crime rate fixed

    5) 50 million people have 1 million pounds extra to spend …..
    And there’s your money back in duty/tax etc

    It can’t get any easier than that!

  • Can you please force Local councils to sell land to private concerns like housing associations and private landlords to built new eco up to date housing instead of spending on repaires to old council houses. Councils say they have no money to spend but if land is sold the new houses can be built with the money coming in with sell ing the land. This will creat meany jobs in the building tread as well

  • To save public money we need to keep people in work and off benefits. The high street stores are closing by the day because they can’t compete with internet shopping. My idea is that councils reduce the amount of rates they request from shop owners to help them stay in business. By doing that, more shops stay open which has a knock on effect and more people visit towns etc. Also prices might drop in the shops.

  • Matthew Scott 16th May '12 - 8:36am

    I see an overall set of problems based around conflicting ideals and feelings.
    People do not want to spend due to an uncertain future. People see pensions as a waste of time.
    This makes people uneasy and uncertain as to what to spend and when to spend.
    Spending is required to drive growth in our economy.
    A future time bomb is ticking as the current over 30s generation has virtually no pension position and a new set of spending standards that will see them in poverty once retired.
    To drive spending and assist in the future pension problem perhaps there can be some platform that can allow people to opt into a credit card system that allows people to overpay for goods by up to 10% on everything they purchase with the debit card. The government would agree to exempt the 10% saved from income tax so that any money accumulated is pre tax. This money is only made available at retirement age. This way the more you spend the more goes towards your pension, you are encouraged to spend safe in the knowledge that you are contributing towards your pension. The money accumulated in this saving fund has cast iron guarantees from government on the growth as well as making it available for government loans schemes such as helping first time buyers etc which also fuels the economy. This is as far as I have got with this, but it is just an idea.

  • Richard Spurr 28th Jun '12 - 2:47pm

    Stop any new PPP projects being approved by the Treasury that are crippling local government finances by committing them to long term payments for projects that should have been properly budgeted for within each financial year. People have been praising the Building Schools for the Future without comprehending how much it is really costing.

  • Patricia Luke 26th Sep '12 - 12:29pm

    I wonder if you have considered rent control as a method to help with the housing problems.
    Firstly if you bring into force a cap on how much landlords can charge if will make being a landlord less desirable and so less properties would be removed from the housing market. The people who are living in rented properties cannot afford to save for a deposit, so it would also increase the numbers of first time buyers who could save for a deposit. One other problem you have with the housing market is the fact that people who graduated 4 years + ago would normally be earning enough to start to save for a deposit, but because they are having to pay back student loans and shortly tuition fees as well will do not have enough left after paying such high rents – this will lead to an increasing shortage of first time buyers. the only way forward is rent control.

  • Emily Stevens 1st Feb '13 - 7:14pm

    Personally i think the government are spending money on all the wrong things, for example; they cut back on pensions and also on disability allowance. A lot of the elderly cannot work due to being ill or frail, people on disibility allowance are usually the ones that can’t work because of how ill they are and yet the government are happy to pay out for drug addicts to get their fix or are happy enough to let the money that they give to people be spent on alcohol and cigarettes. This should be controlled in some way, maybe by some form of background check before they are allowed to buy alcohol or cigarettes, a lot of people are struggling because the government don’t use their brains, ridiculous!

  • Saving suggestions for the MOD./ Parliament
    1. Stop paying the flying pay allowance to pilots in non flying jobs.
    2. stop paying submariner allowance to shore based submariners,
    3. Stop making military staff redundant and reemploying then as FTRS on higher rates than equivalent civilians (They still keep their tax free redundancy payment.)
    4. Stop paying X factor to medically downgraded staff who can’t deploy.
    5. issue a credit card to MPs for expenses and publish the monthly bill online. Place a cap on expenses and introduce performance related pay alligned to that of their average constituent.

  • I believe that instead of giving gastric bypasses for free, loans should be offered , similar to a student loan, once you’re income goes over £10,000 you start paying it back, even if it’s only £5 a week. At the moment to get a bypass you have to prove you can lose weight independently (which if they could, they probably wouldn’t need it), which is costing millions in benefits and health care costs. I am morbidly obese and I think this is the best way forward, I just want to be able to work full time and then pay back what I have borrowed for the operation.

  • Lesley Dawson 6th Aug '13 - 2:16pm

    Disabled parking bays are very important but just because you are a blue badge holder shouldn’t mean you get free parking. Lots of badge holders work therefore should pay for parking just like anyone else. People on benefits don’t park for free so why should badge holders. This would give councils more money to spend where it is needed.

  • A relative of mine emigrated to Australia at age 21 – she has lived and worked in Australia all her life and is now 70.
    She was told a number of years ago that she is eligible to claim her UK old age pension – she looked into this and it was correct and she does claim it despite my relative being extremely wealthy and having not paid anything into the UK economy for 50 years.
    It seems very wrong to me – How much money is paid out like this ?

  • To protect the abuse of Benefit money, instead of being given a Benefit allowance is cash, a more controlled way of paying for the necessities should be used. Maybe a national card could be given, this card should be identity linked and credited with the given benefit amount. The card can be used discretely at the till or online, like a debit card at necessary stores and to pay rent and other bills so no money is wasted. This way there is no possibility of Benefit allowance being sold on and has to be used as intended.

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