So while we are coming up to the time of giving, it will soon be time to think about how to pay for it all. Saving money seems the only option.
But imagine you’re Prime Minister Cameron, house full of lackeys and no real idea on what to save. So DC, he’s my list.
Things to loose in 2011.
Trident – And it’s replacement
Trident has been an economic disaster since it’s inception in the late 1970’s. Of course, what else are we going to be sending our nuclear subs around the world with. Well, how about some other non-nuclear missiles. Because I think the likelihood that we are going to start vaporising some poor little country is pretty, well zero actually.
How much will replacing cost? The likely estimate is going to be just short of a BILLION dollars £1 BILLION!!
Eurovision Song Contents
Not the biggest spend in the world, I realise. But how much better could the estimated £1 million BBC budget for just showing this crap be better spent? It costs the host nation an estimated £20-25 million to put the show on.
My real question is why we are entering into a competition where, for political and historical reasons, we have absolutely zero chance of winning.
And why the hell is Israel in the EURO-vision anyway!?
Drop the Tornado not the Harrier
After spending £500 million or more with BAE in 2003 Cameron has decided to kill the Harrier… and fast, agile, short (no) runway aircraft with a huge load carrying capability for the Panavia Tornado. An aircraft that requires a huge runway, has limited load carrying facilities and will require and upgrade to the avionics.
Worse, keeping the Tornado limits our launch ability to the land based options only, as Tornados cannot be launched from an aircraft carrier. Which means when our “new” carriers arrive, we have no planes to put on them. Like that makes any sense.
Incidentally, from a fighting point of view, the requirement for long range bombers is getting smaller everyday. With more and more sophisticated missile / self guiding munitions the need for a block to fly the bomb to target in a plane valued at £30 million is pretty zero. Better to fire a super accurate £1 million missile instead. Hell, fire two if you must!
Kill financial support for CO2 specific Climate Research
There used to be a point when science was based upon research, proofs and study. But now it’s possible to knock up a model to prove a point and when the “weather” turns against you, blame the weather!
Of course, I’m being provocative here. But there is research being carried out in the UK that won support because it’s backed by an ideal, that man is causing catastrophic global warming.
The reality is that the Government should NOT have a dog in this race. All research should either be equally supported or not at all.
Incidentally, if anybody wants to suggest I’m in the pay of “big oil”. Can I remind them who paid for the establishment of the Climate Research Unit at the University of Easy Anglia. It was British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell.
No more tax breaks for Members of Parliament
One of dirty little secrets of being an Member of Parliament isn’t the “expenses” but how tax isn’t subject those expenses. The Telegraph opened a little view into this world of “tax avoidance” but people tended to focus on the sums and simply stupid items that were claimed for.
But realise that “second home” allowance usually exceeds £135,000 and are NOT subject to tax. So that’s effectively FREE money to them. Everybody else would have had to pay 40% tax on it.
In effect the Houses of Parliament operates like a company, with it’s “employees” offsetting tax against “expenses”. But the sort of things that an MP can claim for would make the HMRC blanch. If they actually bothered checking. They seem to operate on two sets of rules. Us… and them.
That average amount of tax “avoided” by Members of Parliament is £54,000 per year. There are 650 members of Parliament. That’s £35,100,000.