From The Daily Mash, 20 March 2012:
TAXPAYERS are to receive a detailed breakdown of how their money was spent that is indvidually tailored to their cretinous world view...
Tax offices across the UK will issue bespoke statements that will fill individuals with both righteous anger and the realisation that they are the cleverest person in the world.
A Treasury spokesman said: “... people will see exactly how much of their money is being spent on ‘wacky-baccy-bongs, general poovery and that lazy Bulgarian scrounger who’s trying to fuck your wife’."
From the BBC, 3 November 2014:
The letters show that 24.5% of government spending goes on welfare payments.
"The chancellor is relying on the fact that many people think spending called welfare all goes to the unemployed," said the TUC's general secretary, Frances O'Grady.
From City AM, 4 November 2014:
Ben Gummer, Conservative MP for Ipswich, says... Tax Statements will help taxpayers challenge their representatives, and candidates from rival parties, with real figures.
“Why am I spending £3,000 on welfare and only £352 on transport subsidies and infrastructure?” – the answer to which may change a vote, or influence an MP. That is good news for politics, and for voters.
A few facts:
1. The statements only refer to income tax and Employee's National Insurance. Seeing as these raise about £210 bn a year and the government spends about £710 billion, the totals are misleading. For an average household, you can probably double their income tax and Ee's NIC to arrive at the total amount of tax they pay/bear.
2. Government spending breaks down approx. as follows:
40% is subsidies to and 'procurement' from nominally private sector businesses,
30% is public sector salaries, and
30% is actual cash pensions and welfare.
3. The money paid to private business is a mix of a) legit and b) pure theft/waste.
a) It would be stupid for the police to manufacture their own cars or for schools to own their own forests and have their own paper mill, for example. The NHS sets a good example by haggling low prices for the medicines it buys (NHS prices are treated as reference prices by many bodies overseas), so that's fine. Conversely, government departments do not haggle for a bulk discount for generic software, not so fine.
b) It also includes straight theft and waste, like subsidies to banks, paying advertising agencies to churn out health propaganda, endless failed government IT projects, Housing Benefit payments to 'private' sector landlords… the list is endless.
4. Out of approx. 6 million public sector workers (the official total excludes things like BBC, universities, many quangoes and agencies, nationalised banks etc), one million work in education and another million in the NHS, hooray for them.
Fewer than a million others also do vital stuff (police, armed forces, prison officers, social workers, immigration control, dustbin men, firemen, a bare minimum in tax and benefits offices etc). Heck knows that the other three million do.
5. Out of the 30% spent on pensions and welfare, two-thirds is state pensions, public sector pensions, other pensioner benefits (Pensions Credit, Council Tax Benefit) and one-third is paid to working age people.
6. Of cash 'welfare' paid to working age people, about half is Child Benefit or Child Tax Credits and half goes to the disabled and unemployed.
So for every £352 spent on 'transport subsidies' (whatever that includes), about £597 goes as cash payments to the unemployed and the disabled (the categories overlap), and the headline figure of £3,000 for 'Welfare' is a complete and utter lie.
Actual 'theft and waste' appears to be about one-third of government spending, let's say half of the 40% paid to 'private sector' businesses and half the 30% paid in public sector salaries. Even if every penny paid to the unemployed and disabled (5% of the total) were also categorised as 'waste', it's still only one-eighth of the total 'waste'.
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
From The Daily Mash, 20 March 2012: