Unlike AmbushPredator, who has a most brilliant, acerbic wit, I am unable to dissect these two reports to the extent they should be, however would make just one or two points.
First, why on earth is taxpayer's money (as presumably that is the source) being spent teaching women how to walk in high heeled shoes and on instructing 16 year-old girls on motherhood? On the former, the younger range will no doubt learn in time and the older range are probably well versed in the art. On the latter, would not the money be better spent on actually teaching academic knowledge to schoolchildren? Are parents no longer able to deal with 'family' matters such as deportment and the 'birds and bees'?
Let us now turn to the question of 'resettlement grants' made to MPs who decided not to stand for re-election and those who were defeated at the last general election. As the report from the Taxpayers Alliance shows, these 'resettlement grants' have cost the taxpayer £10.4million, or an average of £47,706 per MP. The amounts involved are grotesque, when compared to the private sector, yet are not surprising when acknowledging the source of the arrangement. It is also worth noting that the providers of the funds for these payments (the taxpayer) were not asked if they agreed, yet logic would demand that those providing funds should be able to set the level of payments.
Earlier this week it was learnt that heads of quangos are, in certain instances, earning sums circa £130,000 per annum for two and three day weeks, sometimes with no practical qualifications in the field they 'manage'. Couple this with the knowledge that some heads of Housing Associations (supposedly non-profit making and with the status of 'charities') earn annual salaries of between £150,000 and £350,000. Contrast these figures with those of 2002/2003 and it will be seen that in the space of 8 years Mr. Belcher, Head of Anchor Trust, has seen his salary increase from £202,000 to in excess of £350,000 - not bad for a non-profit making, charity-status organisation.
With the country's finances in the parlous state they are, one has to ask can we afford to fund schemes such as those outlined above; can we afford to be so lavish with resettlement grants for one small, select, sector of society and also afford such generous salaries to heads of organisations that basically are supposed to be providing a public service?
Compare these 'occupations' with those working in social services, especially those dealing with the welfare of children. This was exemplified by the documentary on Channel 4 last night and which can be viewed here. As will be seen an untrained, new worker was asked to write a report which should have only been undertaken by a more experienced and fully qualified social worker. You will also see one woman in tears caused by the stress of her job and who earns £18,000 per annum - contrast that with the payments made to 'retiring' MPs and heads of housing associations. It is extremely doubtful that social workers receive 'grants' to allow them to 're-adjust' to losing their jobs! It is also glaringly obvious that there needs to be a serious re-adjustment of resources and salaries so that both are provided to those that need them.
There is much comment amongst the media about how the present
government regional admin centre of Brussels needs to take an axe to public sector jobs. It would seem that a chainsaw would be a more useful implement in order to cut out the waste more quickly.
Just another thought for a rainy Monday...............