Posts Tagged ‘quangoes’

@David_Cameron stop #NHS England Inc. urging us to bother our GP’s

November 19, 2013

I recently received a communication from NHS England Inc., containg a glossy and expensive brochure urging me to take the advice of their recent expensive, TV advertising campaign.
It urged me to visit my doctor if I found “blood in my poo”.
This is the latest in a lifetime of urgings to see my doctor and not ignore the warning signs of dire conditions, which could result in an agonising death. Conditions, which could mean that I may be the carrier of contagion, which would lead to the deaths of many.
Failure to see the doctor has been variously portrayed as stupid, unneighbourly, false heroics, or  any of various other adjectives applied to the common herd by our betters.
Strange lumps and bleeding are obvious concerns but often these warning signs are simply flu-like symptoms and are sometimes dismissed as trivialities by overworked medico’s, who have no valid treatment for flu and other viral diseases.Now a think-tank wants to take the NHS down the privatising route demonstrated by NHS dentistry..
Why only £10 to see your GP?
It’s a compulsory semi-annual £17:50 to have your dentist tell you to brush your teeth.
People tend only to want to visit their NHS Dentist when they are in agony from a sore tooth, which will cost £50 to be pulled out of your mouth, using a shiny versions of pliers.
In addition to this fee to see your dentist, the Think-tank (I envisage a sort of well-heeled and well-fed quango of lesser public school types) has suggested that prescription fees be raised, yet again.
Once more, this is against a background of daily announcements about putting everyone on Statins and various other panacea’s.
It is proposed that the elderly be means tested and the less poverty stricken be charged an annual fee £120 p.a..
Would this be a different quango to that means-testing pension credit, bus passes, liability to Council Tax, eligibility for free boilers, loft insulation, cavity wal insulation, dentistry, glasses, home care, house sequestration, mortgage payments. etc.?
Why not simply turn all these administrator’s into benefit scrounger’s and cap private pensions at subsistence level, except, of course, those that are well-earned at levels approaching that of MP’s and other deserving people.
It would only affect such as lower echelon civil servants, care worker’s, nurses, teacher’s, policemen, firemen, squaddies, etc. and would remove the basis for their complaints about having their pensions cut.

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@the_tpa reduce Council Officer wages by giving them Civil Service rankings.

June 18, 2012

The header says it all.

At present, Council Officers are in control of the Council’s and “advise” Councillor’s of appropriate levels of pay.

They have a situation where ratcheting is rife and, because the only way to achieve relevant experience is by working for this closed community, even those who have been found incompetent (or worse) by one Council, may be deemed the most suitable candidate for a better paid post at another Council.

We even have the situation where Groups of Councils are setting up their own quangoes, hiring other Council trained staff to provide Seminars, teach-ins  and various jollies.

I suspect that these quangoes are publicly funded, through fees that they charge themselves and each other, whilst maintaining Charity status, because any profit goes into paying the salaries of these jobs for the boys.

Bearing in mind that these people are often not only earning more than the P.M. but possibly more than the Cabinet Secretary, it would be appropriate to carry out an exercise whereby salary scales, applicable to Civil Service posts, were applied to these localised Civil Service posts.

I’m sure we would see such salariy levels plummet, especially, if related to local conditions e.g. removal of the London allowance.

The problem of finding suitably experienced candidates could be overcome by allowing Government Civil Servants being able to move, temporarily, or permanently, into Local Government postings.

As Government Civil Servants tend to be high calibre candidates, particularly in comparison with those gaining entrance to Council posts, there would be improved governance at local level.

@Daily_Express why we can’t implement laws as fast as The Greeks.

February 26, 2012

Crossbencher in The Sunday Express comments on how Greece, despite its woe’s has managed to legislate against the use of circus animals but we seem incapable of doing the same.

He forgets that it is easy for the Greeks. They say “no circus animals” andthe the police take the offenders to court.

We would have to first set up a select committee to consider the problem.

Then we’d need to draw up legislation.

Find time for a debate.

Design a Quango to oversee the implementation.

Find suitable premises in the heart of London.

Chose a suitable placeman to pocket the director’s salary, (£300k, at least).

Advertise for and appoint an inspectorate. Design and implement a system of licensing.

Decide on a suitable means of castigating offenders. I.e. calculate a level of fine that would be commercially sustainable.

Finally, we’d have to find out if there were any circuses in the country.

Controlling quangoes

May 27, 2010

printed (Daily Express) version:

So, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority wants a marketing manager (a lucrative non-job for someone, I’m sure) at a salary of £85,000, something that didn’t escape Ann Widdecombe’s attention.
It’s in the nature of quangos (this one to oversee the system of allowances and salaries for MPs) to create more and more non jobs.
When a quango is set up, the chief executive is invariably paid some astronomical sum, with several layers of staff also enjoying handsome remuneration packages.
Perhaps ministers should set a pay cap and put the positions of boss and chief underlings out to tender so that market forces can decide the budget.

original:

Ann Widdecombe commented on the fact that the newly created Quango intended to administer MP’s expenses, has already advertised a lucrative non-job. Unfortunately it is in the nature of Quango’s to see the need for more and more of such non-jobs. Such sincerely expressed rationalisations as those espoused by Sir Humphrey Appleby, in support of the staff of an empty hospital, are difficult to oppose

At present, when a Quango is set up, it appears that the Quango budget starts from a premise that the going rate for the head of a Quango is about £300,000 p.a. This figure then suggests a certain layering of personnel and the necessary budget for them.

Perhaps when setting up such Quango’s, Ministers should decide on a capped value and put it out for tender, much as school Ofsted teams are tendered for.

With the tendering process, the Minister need only be careful to state exactly what is required of the Quango and then allow market forces to decide the budget.

Such tenders would have to be approved by The Treasury and any Minister who mismanaged the tendering process, allowing a bidder to return begging for more, like many PFI’s appear to be doing, would have to, in turn, beg the Treasury to augment their own budget, which would become liable for any unexpected excesses.

OFCOM worried?

April 2, 2010

After years of ignoring the concerns of the public, OFCOM has pronounced on two areas of concern.

It has called for the charges made by SKY for football matches (that used to be available as part of the BBC licence fee) to be reduced by a meagre 10%. How long that reduction would last is questionable.

They’ve also called for some reduction in over the top mobile phone charges.

Why this sudden rush to side with the public?

There has been no statement yet about their missed opportunities to rationalise the use of 0870 numbers, despite two alleged public consultations.

Is it too cynical to suggest that they might be concerned about David Cameron’s pledge to ditch those Quangoes, which have minimal need to exist?

We may hear a few other Quangos advertising their usefulness, in the near future.

tax versus benefits

March 25, 2010

It’s election time and the headless chickens are running around the country clucking for all their might.

We, as a country, are seriously in debt. Politicians of all parties will have to raise the money by increased taxes and we, the milch cows, know it.

It is galling to hear them attacking each other’s plans for raising these taxes, as if their own plans would be less hurtful.

The presiding party is talking of making job cuts, even after 13 years of so-called “trimming the fat”.

The heir-presumptive party is talking of savaging benefit payments.

All are keeping quiet about the obscene sums being handed over to the French (aka The EEC). None are considering rationalising the tax system and none are talking rationally on which public paid workers are essential, rather than adornments for political schemes. The threatened attacks on benefits make no mention of what will be done with the people, who are receiving benefits. e.g. will we be letting them starve to death, because there are no real  jobs for them.

I suggest that Government stop cutting back on essential workers and boost their numbers!  My reasoning is that the essential workers are the lowest paid workers; the ones, against whom most cost-cutting exercises have always been aimed. There would be more wages paid out but also less benefits. I reckon that when all the pennies have been properly accounted for, the drain on the public purse will not be much different and the benefits to our general quality of life will be increased. Savings could be made by reducing the number of overseers and record-keepers that have been needed to maintain the previous efficiency(?) savings.

Get out of the EEC. Forget about losing our markets, we don’t make anything, anymore.

Scrap all these niggling little stealth taxes, which mainly affect the lower paid and which probably cost as much to administer, as they raise in revenue. Most serve simply to make lives miserable.

Increase Income Tax and Corporation Taxes. These are simpler to administer and, because they apply the principle of  “from each according to his means, to each, according to his needs”, they are socially fairer. O.K there will be tax evaders but some of the staff freed from collecting other forms of revenue could be set to deal with attempted evasions through tribunal based judgments of each new scheme of evasion.

Examine Quangoes and pay levels of Council Officers. If a Quango is redundant, superfluous, supernumerary remove it. If the Quango chiefs are really worth £300,000 p.a. (that seems to be the typical rate), the private sector will snap them up. Council Officers seem to have been using “ratcheting” to boost their pay levels. Do a proper evaluation of the effort and effective intellectual input that their jobs require. This should not be based on the size of their budgets, departmental size or usual artificially enhanced marker, which encourage these people to empire build. Base it on the number of staff that they engage with on a daily basis, the number of hours required, the inconvenience aspects etc.  (bearing in mind that nurses, who are quite low paid, would probably outscore these people).

Stop taxing items simply because they are socially frowned on. If you want to get rid of  cigarette smoking, then make it illegal; don’t treat the taxation as if it were a fitting retribution for an act, which is a lot less damaging to Society than the unofficial Heroin trade that’s creating so much misery amongst those who have a habit and those who are robbed, or murdered, to feed that habit.

Why is a pint of bitter so highly taxed? The man having a pint of beer after a hard day’s labour, under the Sun, is punished to curb the excesses of  youth’s with their first benefit cheques. Like the Youth cares!

If I ruled the World, it’d be a happier place. I assure you.

1/12/9 quangoes

December 1, 2009
I doubt if David Cameron will actually get rid of any Quangoes.
Consider why Quangoes exist.
Previous to Quangoes, all functions were carried out by Civil Servants, directly responsible to a Government Minister, who was answerable to the House of Commons for any malfeasance, incompetence etc.
Consider the latest flurry of complaints against hospital trusts. In one such case, the Minister questioned was able to disown responsibility by stating that he had sent the Trust a “strong” letter, reminding them of their legal duties.
Consider how Politicians have been able to distance themselves from the debate on bank charges, protected by the intercession of the FSA.
Nobody “important” gets a big enough share of blame to warrant action. Nobody gets sacked. Nobody goes to prison.
Incompetence in office can go unchecked.
A lesson that has not been lost on Social Services, with their multi-disciplinary panels, acting as a sort of Worker’s Quango.
 
Quangoes are too important to politicians and their friends. David Cameron can’t get rid of them and, still, expect to keep the support of his hangers-on.