Saturday, 26 November 2022

Government costs - Are they too low? Humph...think again.

Does anyone, perhaps all across the world, ever think what it costs to have a government? Take the government in the UK. There are 650 MPs in the UK Parliament. Each receives a stipend (salary) of £84,144 per annum. That’s a cost to the taxpayer of £54,693,600. Yes £50+ million pounds. But that’s not all, they also receive payments for certain items like stationery, subsidised drinks amongst others. Other costs like the Standard Office Budget is some £27,470 per MP (some get more because of their extra workload, like ministers etc or are living and based in London). That is a whopping £17,855,500. And yet again that’s not all. There is the upkeep of the Westminster Palace which has cost so far billions. 

To cut a long drawn out calculation and trawling the Internet I can just go with the Institute of Government which stated that during 2018/19 the cost of running both Houses of Parliament in 2018/19 was £560.4 million which was nearly 8% higher than the previous year. If that would continue in the same way the costs today would be £700+ million per annum. This figure is not just taken out of context, check this for yourselves. Three quarters of a billion pounds to come up with beautiful laws like Stopping Immigration or at least properly controlling it amongst others. These figures are just for providing government, it is not the total cost of governing the nation. 

We also have three other governments, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. And let’s not forget the local governments. The budget of my local one - Rhondda - is approaching £600 million annually. Increasing every year as most councils like RCTCBC (RhonddaCynonTaf County Borough Council) cannot ever balance their budgets. A sizeable chunk of money is received for the Central Government therefore lowering their total cost to the locals. It is getting hairy is it not? But according to the website of RCTCBC £120million+ has to come from taxpayers (yes that’s me!). If you would equate that with the number of actual taxpayers in the borough, and not those who do no work for whatever reason, you’ll begin to understand why the so-called Council Tax for quite mediocre houses stands at £1,500+ per annum! Readers in other countries might think, 'Hey that’s OK' but don’t forget PAYE (Pay as You Earn) which takes 20% of your salary plus 12% National Insurance. So, actually and taking into consideration other costs 40% of your salary disappears into the hands of government(s), possibly even more than 40%. This is why I am so critical of those who govern us. MPs, ministers, basically all those who serve in HM’s Government, and that includes the Civil Service. I begin to shiver looking at these figures that I know are not complete because I do not know the cost of the Civil Service. But we need to put all those charges against the record of attainment. Now you begin to see that the value we, as taxpayers are getting for our pound, is pretty low. Let me finish this by closing my computer and start thinking why am I still alive? According to all those amounts I cannot afford anything, least of all to stand up!

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