A Persian Cafe, Edward Lord Weeks

Thursday, 12 March 2015

All government departments are useless, but some are more useless than others

From a description of the Taxpayers' Alliance's proposed budget:
the Plan makes for sobering reading. An implementation of the first, less stringent, programme would, among other things, see the abolition of no less than three government departments (the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; for Culture, Media and Sport; and of Energy and Climate Change), an end to national pay bargaining in the public sector, and a sizeable cut to Scotland’s grant from the UK government.
Compare those departments: the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is basically a highly inefficient  way of subsidising big business, The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is an undeniable waste of taxpayers' money. The Department for Energy and Climate Change is despised by conservatives and libertarians, and is loved by lefties. Global Warming is a politically polarising issue in the UK, with everyone from the centre-right to the far left viewing it as a massive threat demanding government action and everyone right of there denouncing it as a myth.

The average left-winger will struggle to find much to say against cutting the first two departments there. If you were constructing a bipartisan deal to slash government, then they would be prime candidates for destruction. The inclusion of the DECC, however, firmly stamps this proposed budget as "right-wing". Quite apart from the issue of whether Climate Change is something that the government needs to respond to, trying to get rid of the DECC is a middle finger raised at the political left which will obstruct this contribution to debate from being taken seriously.

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