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How would you drive down the deficit?

20:17 UK time, Sunday, 25 July 2010

MPs will be breaking up for the summer tomorrow, 27 July, but when they return they will still have to deal with the £156 billion deficit which looms over Britain.

This week, BBC Radio 5 live Drive is looking for your big ideas to drive down the deficit. Today the focus is on home savings, including on health, education and local services.

If you were chancellor what changes would you make? Should people have to pay to visit their GPs, or face a fine if they miss an appointment? Could standards be maintained if class sizes were doubled? Would we manage if our bins were only collected once a month? What ideas do you have?

You can listen to BBC Radio 5 live Drive from 4 pm today.

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    I think the health service is adequately funded. With the money generated by National Insurance and duties and taxes on lifestyle choices exceeding the NHS budget I don't believe there is any need to change the funding for health.

    Education for me is the big expenditure that needs curtailing - I would want to see how much the Education system costs and how much is actually provided by Parents. I would introduce a student loan type arrangement for parents to put their children through school and ensure that the money is recovered.

    If you take on the responsibility of having children then you should be able to fund their education and other basic needs.

    The days of all and sundry deciding to have kids just because you can has to change. More responsibility by adults is the start of it.

    Also if the cost of education has to be repaid then more parents and children would be demanding higher standards from the education providers.

  • Comment number 2.

    Maybe The Westminster Crony Club could get every embassy around the world to purchase lots of lottery tickets! If we were really lucky our 'global' winnings would be enough to clear the deficit! Alternatively, we could encourage all UK citizens currently living abroad to take up piracy with the proceeds being taxed at 100% by the Treasury! That should raise sufficient funds and leave a little for a few duck houses too! ;-)

  • Comment number 3.

    Its the coalition's policy to put public services into the voluntary sector - so why not cease all charity payments offshort and let private charities take over that function? The British people are a generous lot when asked and direct good works would continue.

    It really annoys me to hear of billions lost to corrupt and largely hostile governments whilst cuts to services here affect the very people who pay those taxes.

    Then overhaul Trident, wars, standing army commitment, more cost effective ways of fighting terrorism and crime... so many more things to to change before education and health.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think the first part of the introduction says it all "MPs will be breaking up for the summer on 26 July"

    - Why are they breaking up for their 8 week holiday? They scream and shout that we are in a terrible mess and lots of hard choices must be made! In that case why are they off on holiday for 8 weeks?!11

    Its a load of haytes and pollocks

  • Comment number 5.

    I would get rid of the local Councillors.

    My local council appears to think it is fine to survey residents directly on this issue rather than through their ward council representatives and thus circumnavigate the correct democratic process of Council Representation and abdicate their responsibility in making any decisions on Council service cuts.

    Clearly this process pays lip service to the concept of representative democracy and thus negates the need for elected representatives of any sort. If the Councillors are to serve no useful purpose the only thing to do is sack them, saving around £178,000.00 in my borough, another £55,000.00 if we include the mayor.

    We elect representatives to make these decisions based on information that is often not available to the general public. If they are not prepared to do the job then get rid of them. Asking the general public to make the decision is simply unacceptable and another case of those in authority passing the buck.

  • Comment number 6.

    Invest heavily in means of production and affordable housing within UK borders and plough profit back into reducing the deficit.

    Leave the EU unless it reforms from top down immediately.

  • Comment number 7.

    I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.

  • Comment number 8.

    Means test free bus passes. Scrap ema.

  • Comment number 9.

    Why is this question being asked again?

  • Comment number 10.

    This topic was aired only a few weeks ago with well in excess of 400 comments.
    Little of substance has changed since then other than plans & ideas being floated, nor has there been sufficient time to assess whether or not these ideas will work.So are the BBC running out of ideas for debate or is this repeat topic the BBC's idea to provide yet another opportunity for whinges about "ConDems, Cameron,Clegg etc etc" from the usual sources ?.
    If that's the case, an organisation that should experience cuts immediately springs to mind.

  • Comment number 11.

    Domestic gas distribution in wasteful and just duplicates electric. It also costs billions of pounds a year in install and maintain. We would all be the better off, and safer, just with electic.
    Gas should be used just to make electicity.

  • Comment number 12.

    The deficit is due primarily to thirty years of low taxation.

    We want government to do everything for us but we do not want to pay and will not vote for any party that either does not lower taxes or actually raises them.

    We have borrowed over and over again just so that the government can function. The end result is a massive overspend, we borrowed from the banks so they needed bailing out so more money down the pan.

    One thing is certain we did not get into this mess through employing too many librarians or paying too much pension to road sweepers.




  • Comment number 13.

    Close Sector Skills Councils
    Substantially reduce Benefits
    Merge NI and Income Tax
    Get rid of all Equality Officers
    Abolish Intrastat
    Merge TV licence with tax
    Halve the salaries of all senior bankers

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    Abolish the civil list, if we have to have royalty let them pay for themselves. The queen is estimated to habve personal wealth in excess of £2.1 billion, that should be enough for all of them, then sell the crown jewels and any other trinkets. These could be remade as fakes employing some Birmingham jewelers/goldsmiths.

  • Comment number 16.

    The general public have already done their job by electing Council and Parliamentary representatives to make these decisions. If those elected are incapable of fulfilling their duties then they should stand down and allow us to elect another representative who is more able to fill the job description. Stop trying to negate the British Democratic Process.

  • Comment number 17.

    It doesn't take a genius to work out that when money is tight, or indeed very tight, you don't go giving it away - you keep it for essentials - most of the population know, and act, on this -why doesn't the Government ?

    STOP FOREIGN AID !!!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP FOREIGN AID !!!!!!!!!!!!

    If Mr Cameron is so keen on throwing money at the Afghan desert and other non-essential projects - let him use his own "spare cash" - not our essential services money !

  • Comment number 18.

    9. At 08:26am on 26 Jul 2010, Lynn from Sussex wrote:

    Why is this question being asked again?

    10. At 08:27am on 26 Jul 2010, Erkules wrote:

    This topic was aired only a few weeks ago with well in excess of 400 comments.
    Little of substance has changed since then other than plans & ideas being floated, nor has there been sufficient time to assess whether or not these ideas will work.So are the BBC running out of ideas for debate or is this repeat topic the BBC's idea to provide yet another opportunity for whinges about "ConDems, Cameron,Clegg etc etc" from the usual sources ?. If that's the case, an organisation that should experience cuts immediately springs to mind.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    I think you have answered your own question. What was once a world respected organisation which could be relied upon for impartiality is now known far and wide in many circles as the Biased Broadcasting Corporation.

  • Comment number 19.

    Scrap Trident. Done. Next?

  • Comment number 20.

    Why is this being asked again?
    The answer is the same as before - slash the bureaucracy, quangos & red tape that infest every part of the public sector.
    Huge amounts could be saved and front line services would not even need to be touched.

  • Comment number 21.

    "1. At 07:40am on 26 Jul 2010, sircomespect wrote:

    ......

    Education for me is the big expenditure that needs curtailing - I would want to see how much the Education system costs and how much is actually provided by Parents. I would introduce a student loan type arrangement for parents to put their children through school and ensure that the money is recovered.

    If you take on the responsibility of having children then you should be able to fund their education and other basic needs.

    The days of all and sundry deciding to have kids just because you can has to change. More responsibility by adults is the start of it.

    Also if the cost of education has to be repaid then more parents and children would be demanding higher standards from the education providers."

    I completely agree with what you have said here, with the only proviso that any and all taxation income from those children later on in life is used exclusively to provide pensions and healthcare for the parents who funded the education which then allowed those children to be productive members of society - other individuals who chose not to breed and therefore had plenty of spare cash from their own jobs should be made to provide for themselves in later life.

    Or would that not work out so well ?

    If you choose not to procreate then why should you be allowed to benefit from the sacrifices that those who do have made ?

  • Comment number 22.

    I shall leave it up to the rest here to play fantasy finance.

    None of your ideas will EVER be seriously considered, particular the really logical ones like legalising all drugs and halving the salaries of all senior bankers.


    Enjoy giving the BBC free material.

  • Comment number 23.

    JohnH @12
    Quite. The idea of openly raising tax (apart from VAT) seems more or less unmentionable in these debates. Of course hidden 'stealth' taxes have targeted those considered easy targets - public sector pay freeze, fiddling with pensions.
    It is worth pondering that had Income tax stayed at 23p/£ we would have been running a budget surplus by 2015 even with New Labour's spending.
    ONS data suggests that Income tax is the fairest tax whose effect is more or less evenly spread over all income bands.
    True it would take a brave politician to openly propose such a thing, but the coalition isn't afraid of bold initiatives in 'the national interest'. Or are they only self-interested?

  • Comment number 24.

    5. At 08:19am on 26 Jul 2010, Pete wrote:
    I would get rid of the local Councillors.
    =================================================================
    And I would get rid of at least 200 MP's

    Do the maths:

    100 MP's in government
    100 MP's in opposition
    100 MP's on committees
    50 MP's in Speakers and whips departments & minority parties
    50 MP's new boys'n'girls learning the ropes
    50 MP's has beens and passed over (G Brown and the Lib Dem guy who quit)
    --------------
    Total = 450 MP's; the rest (200) are just back-bench fodder, proping up the bars of Westminster (another thing that should be chopped).





  • Comment number 25.

    BBC, if you really expect some ideas, how about educating the public on where exactly all of the money is going?

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/i/budget2010_chart_1.1.jpg

  • Comment number 26.

    Get rid of every person in the public sector whose job title includes the words coordinator or diversity.

    Get rid of government non jobs such as PCSOs

    Stop giving taxpayers money away abroad.

    I could go on but it’s all been said before and as always the views of the majority will be ignored by the minority elite who always think they know best but very seldom do.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    I see legalise drugs, good that is revenue. While we are at it drop the tax on fags and booze, this will discourage smuggling and imports of counterfeit tobacco, alcohol, so more bought in UK equals more revenue, and to all health facists out there, yes the government would prefer early deaths so as to alleviate the payment of pensions.

  • Comment number 29.

    This is so simple - please;

    + Withdraw all troops from Afghanistan.
    + Cancel the Trident replacement.
    + Cancel the Eurofighter and aircraft carrier expenditure.
    + Combine the RAF with the Army - sacking senior RAF officers and selling bases.
    + End child benefit as a right for the Second child.
    + End Tax credits and increase the tax free allowance.
    + End winter fuel allowance for all pensioners - means test it
    + Increase all fines for speeding, parking etc - double the current levels from GBP60 to GBP120. Ensure all other fines and levies such as costs and victim support fees were doubled.
    + Introduce a Wind fall tax on all; Mining, Pharma, Supermarkets, Banks, Utilities, and Mobile phone companies of 25% of annual earnings for 2010.
    + Implement an immediate 5% reduction in all billing to state companies with 5% deducted from all bills presented, delay payment terms to 60 days.
    + Charge insurance companies for all Ambulance, P{olice and Fire service calls to car crashes.
    + freeze all IT expenditure for 1yr.
    + Cancel all government consultancy contracts for 18 months.
    + Cancel all vehicle procurement for 1 year.

    Ifgovernment really wanted to impact the deficit the above would be in the pipeline.

  • Comment number 30.

    Slash Ofsted budget and redefine areas of governance - a huge, unwieldy organisation which has got way above its station.

    Means test child benefit. Why am I paying tax so that people who are better off than me can receive money simply because they have chosen to have kids.

    Provide extra support to get unemployed back into sustainable work. Far more effective than simply cutting benefits.



  • Comment number 31.

    Let's see, collect bin's once a month? What difference will that make? You will still have the same amount of waste over one month and so the vehicles will still have to do the same number of runs as the volume is still there. Makes no odds.

    I want to know what happens to stealth tax such as Landfill Tax, make sence of this:

    £48 per tonne landfill tax

    Over 20,000 tonnes per day go to landfill (quite a bit more I know as a fact but this is an example as food for thought)

    so, £48 x 20,000 = £960,000 per day

    x 260 working days = £2496000000 per year in pure Landfill tax and as I said, there is more than 20,000 tonnes per day going to Landfill. Like they are really going to want to stop it!

  • Comment number 32.

    This is probably not going to be a popular idea but....

    decriminalize cannabis!

    The revinue that the UK government would get from taxing legal cannabis would bring this country out of the deficit in no time.

    It is not popular but it would give an instant result, by allowing coffee shops to legally sell it.

  • Comment number 33.

    The fatal flaw in the governments own budget cuts to address the deficit is in leaving it up to the local councils and public services themselves to decide where the cuts will be made.

    Many of these have already demonstrated that they will take the easiest route available to them - get rid of jobs - and so reduce the quality of the services we get - while simultaneously putting up the prices we pay for those lesser services.

    Yet nearly all of these councils and services haemorrhage cash in ridiculous and frivolous ways, and I suspect they'll continue to do so in the future (lets have a guess how much an average council will spend on hiring outside consultantcy firms to advise them ON these budget cuts?!)

    So to my mind, the answer is that the government should send in their own auditors to look at the books and TELL them where to make cuts rather than just asking them to meet a target while not caring what the consequences of those cuts are. Yes, it might take a while, but at the end of it all, the government will have a far clearer picture on where and how the UK is wasting tax payers money, and what they can do about it with minimal impact for most gain.

    As it is, after they've fired half their staff to meet their budget targets, these local councils will just carry on spending our cash on their favourite pet projects while bleeding us dry in price hikes (for example, my local council have just put up resident car parking permits by 566% this year).

  • Comment number 34.

    Large classes did not impair my education, we regularly had some 30+ pupils in our classes throughout the 50's and 60's. Good teaching is the trick we seem to have lost the knack of.
    As for savings, I would be cutting the Pensions and perks of MP's, end all subsidies in the houses of Commons and Lords.
    Abolish the right for companies to operate within the UK sector and not Pay N.I. contributions because they have an office in Dubai or Sharjah etc.
    End the non-domicile status. Scrap or postpone Trident.
    Stop sinking money into the money pit of the Olympics.
    Get rid of the so called "Community police" if its required we should have proper PC's not a toothless alternative that at most can hand out on the spot fines, should they be able to catch anyone.


  • Comment number 35.

    The most obvious savings are on defence. Trident is a luxury we can not afford. We are never going to use it as firstly we would need the agreement of the USA, and secondly it would probably mean the destruction of the UK if we did. We should also close down our bases in Germany and bring the troops back to the UK, as the reasons for having troops based in Germany is long gone. Finally we should bring our troops back from Afganistan as this is an unwinnable war.

  • Comment number 36.

    Abandon the costly "war on drugs" which is costing billions with no clear benefit.

    Abandon costly wars in the middle-east too. All we've seen is the replacement of one corrupt government with another, and an increase from the threat of terrorism.

    Ohh, and trident is one of the greatest wastes of money ever conceived, the irony being that if it were ever used, we'd have a nuclear winter on our hands from all the debris, so we'd all end up dead even if no-one else shot back. Scrap and replace with smaller, cheaper warheads, to be dropped by conventional bombers / cruise missiles.

  • Comment number 37.

    Bring the public sector in line with the private - cut the shambolic management and waste there and we'd save the billions. At the moment no politician is brave enough to do this and the public sector is rife with conflicts of interest.

  • Comment number 38.

    We could auction the population to international collectors!

  • Comment number 39.

    Easy stop Foreign Aid, and stop giving Benefits to Illegal immigrants.

    It's about time this Country looked after itself, instead of helping out everybody else.

  • Comment number 40.

    clamp down on tax evasion and fraud.

  • Comment number 41.

    * Slash the welfare budget as everyone knows that its mostly people who have no interest in working, rather than those that cannot work.

    * Shut down the talking shops in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. Two Jags English Assemblies that decide how many paper clips to buy.

    * Withdraw to associate member of the EU and end political representation in that waste of money

    * Nationalise Tony Blair, use the assets and sack him

    * Nationlaise the railways, they are a drain sucking in huge amounts of public money and getting worse.

    * Stop re-arranging the furniture and make a single well thought out change, such as the NHS so called reform.

    * End the mad policy on free schools and have a well thought out reform that educates people for the real world, not the fodder factories that the state sector currently is.

    * Reduce the number of MP's by 20%, mainly in the ninner cities.

    * End all benefits for all people unless they are British citizens and make the qualifying period to naturalise significantly longer and more rigirious.

  • Comment number 42.

    Start cutting the media. Sack all BBC reporters who stupidly accept the arguments about the need for cuts. That is an ideological matter and should not be reported as economic facts.

  • Comment number 43.

    19. At 09:11am on 26 Jul 2010, Having_a_word wrote:
    Scrap Trident. Done. Next?
    ========================================================
    Several posts offer this way of cutting the deficit, I must admit it is one that I would do, day one, first cut, no question.

    If you politicians ever read HYS can you please do something such as scrapping Trident or something like it.

    JUST TO SHOW YOU MEAN BUSINESS BY KILLING ONE OF YOUR OWN PET PROJECTS.

    Instead of killing all the (many) schemes brought in by labour, kill something, anything that we cannot afford and was brought in by tatcher/major and/or supported by your parties. We would really get behind you if you did.


  • Comment number 44.

    Where we live we are flooded with immigrants. Having filled the low pay jobs (thereby paying minimal taxes) they are now having children. The NHS provides the baby care FOC and now the children are going to school (£5000 per person per year taxpayer cost not including bi-lingual teaching assistants. But the schools are not big enough so they are having to be extended, new classes built, more costs, not to mention child tax credit etc. It is high time the true cost of immigration to the indiginous UK taxpayer (irrespective of original ethnic origin) was exposed. This must be a prime opportunity to reduce the deficit.

  • Comment number 45.

    38. At 10:20am on 26 Jul 2010, The Ghosts of John Galt wrote:

    We could auction the population to international collectors!


    Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is sort of an advance auction sale of stolen goods.

  • Comment number 46.

    39. At 10:21am on 26 Jul 2010, Schumi wrote:
    Easy stop Foreign Aid, and stop giving Benefits to Illegal immigrants.
    It's about time this Country looked after itself, instead of helping out everybody else.

    A good start, add to this
    Stop MP’s expenses (no need to have more job-for-the boys checking them)
    Tax the Bankers till they squeak.

  • Comment number 47.

    We should stop trying to act as the Great Britain of 1890 when we had an Empire and governed most of the world (badly !). In 2010 we are a poor nation slipping down the world rankings of wealth, resources, influence and relevance and we need to match our spending to our new position.

    We should withdraw all military forces from overseas, reduce our defence spending until our forces are largely ceremonial, abandon our nuclear deterrent, and cancel spending on aircraft carriers, Eurofighters and other weapon systems that we'll never be in a position to use. I suspect that such a reduction in defence spending will result in further knock-on reductions, e.g., closure of SIS, HMGCC and GCHQ.

  • Comment number 48.

    When is a pay freeze not a pay freeze?
    Answer - when it is in the public sector.
    Why? Because in the public sector they have pay scales and even if salary scales do not change you can still go up the scale. Most have 6 or 7 points so only those at the top get a true freeze.
    Meanwhile I can assure you that in the private sector a pay freeze means 'exactly what is says on the tin'.
    So there is an easy way to reduce the deficit. Proper pay freezes.
    But even better would be reform of the immoral public sector gold plated pension schemes.

  • Comment number 49.

    GET RID OF:

    2/3 of MPs and Lords.

    Everything PC.

    Leave the EU.

    Stop foreign aid unless country has suffered natural disater.

    Stop funding Union reps.

    Stop all benefits to preachers of hate and family.

    Stop all funding for gay parade and all other marches and parades.

    So many more.

  • Comment number 50.

    A component of the solution is very simple. NO public sector worker shall earn above 75k a year. End of story.

    No paid business class tickets, no allowances, nothing. The rest of the people in the real world use their own money for these things. Maybe this will get MPs off their high horses and down with us 'common folk.'

    I still have difficulty in believing that mothers essentially get 'paid' to have children. As far as I'm concerned, you get help with your first child... thats it. If you have 3 children and you can't even support one then you shouldn't have children sadly. Not a popular view I'm sure but it's what I believe.

    Stop aid to countries like china which not only are taking our jobs and factories but also have higher growth. Reduce the number of trident subs but don't scrap it completely. LESS polititions, let them get normally paid jobs like the rest of us.

    I find it ironic that the people who earn stupid quantities of money have the gall to say 'they are in it to help people.' If thats the case then get rid of your allowances and cut your wages down to real levels... not that they'd do that.

    There are so many ways to cut the deficit but as long as those in power are ALSO the highly paid individuals, the best and truly fair ways will never ever happen.

    Lovely.

  • Comment number 51.

    Agree with in principle with Post #4 @ 08:16am on 26 July - 'Prymuz'.

    It is very disappointing that all MPs receive such long holidays - AND more importantly, fully paid too? This system is very 17th century and needs to be changed and brought up-to-date? These people aren't children (?) and should be expected to carry on working the same year as the majority of their constituents have to in the 21st century ... it sets a very bad example to the whole population - surely? BTW do their expenses/allowances claims fall during their fully paid holidays?

    Furthermore, what is long overdue is that ConDem Gov/HM Treasury declared, openly, in the public interest, what proportion of OUR 'national deficit' is made up of tax-payer funds that bailed out our banks?

    If anyone out there knows how much of our deficit relates to bank bail-outs - would be delighted to hear from them - unless the Chancellor can? Ooops, forgot he's on holiday for 8 weeks?

  • Comment number 52.

    Some of your questions are silly. Some are very silly. Others are super-silly, hyper-silly, silly raised to the power of 10. A few aspire to the Nobel prize for silliness.
    This one is different.
    It's just plain naughty.

  • Comment number 53.

    1. Scrap all child benefit
    2. Scrap the winter fuel allowance (give poorest a better pension)
    3. Put VAT on newspapers and non-fiction books.
    4. Increase cigarette tax to £6 per pk of 10
    5. Introduce charge for all drink related admissions to NHS
    6. Introduce £500 anti social bahaviour fine (take from salary or benefit)
    7. Introduce tolls on most roads
    8. Reduce the commons to 200 mps
    9. Reduce the Lords to 80 senators
    10.Introduce a 50% tax on satellite & cable TV.
    11.Introduce a further 100% tax on adult channels
    12.Abolish national insurance
    13.Increase Income tax to 25%
    14.No income tax to be paid by those earning less that £12,000pa
    15.Income tax increased to 55% over £150k
    16.Scrap local council elections every two years, hold them on 4 yearly cycles.
    17.Scrap all Mp's expenses
    18.Scrap all Ministers cars (they can use their own cars).
    19.Merge Army and air force, reduce numbers.
    20.One off windfall tax on all FTSE 100 companies of 10%.
    21.Scrap business rates on business with premises less than 2000 sq mtr
    22.Tax avaition fuel at same rate as other transport fuels.

  • Comment number 54.

    The problem is not so much public spending as banking fraud.

  • Comment number 55.

    First and fore most the country has to stop the tax evasion and loopholes currently available to the rich and wealthy this scrounging has got to stop. Its only just been released that the house of lords is to adopt a clearer system whereby each lord that attends the house is entitled to £3oo per day with no way of checking that he has attended. That is approx £2100 per week and is totally TAX FREE..
    The railways Take a leaf out of the preservation societies books, introduce steam train back into main line travel slowly at first but it will reinvigourate the interest in the railways. Encourage more firms to use the frieght service and get these lorries off the roads. Stop child benefit and winter fuel allowance on all those earning over £75,000. They dont need it.. Stop second home council tax relieve. If you can afford two homes you dont need it. Cornwall is empty of population but every home is bought to the point whereby the water authority is asking for the rest of the country to subsidise their customers.
    If the country is that strapped for cash tell the govt to stop wasting money on NHS reform School reform and concentrate on more important things. increase the bankers levy to a more biting figure than the paltry £2 million imposed and off set by the corporation tax relief. We Are All in this Together make sure the govt acts on its words ..............or eats them.

  • Comment number 56.

    "At 08:35am on 26 Jul 2010, anotherPen wrote:

    Domestic gas distribution in wasteful and just duplicates electric. It also costs billions of pounds a year in install and maintain. We would all be the better off, and safer, just with electic.
    Gas should be used just to make electicity."

    It may have slipped your notice but there are these things called private companies which own, maintain and operate gas and electric distribution.

  • Comment number 57.

    50. At 10:53am on 26 Jul 2010, Chnmmr wrote:
    A component of the solution is very simple. NO public sector worker shall earn above 75k a year. End of story.

    No paid business class tickets, no allowances, nothing. The rest of the people in the real world use their own money for these things. Maybe this will get MPs off their high horses and down with us 'common folk.'

    I still have difficulty in believing that mothers essentially get 'paid' to have children. As far as I'm concerned, you get help with your first child... thats it. If you have 3 children and you can't even support one then you shouldn't have children sadly. Not a popular view I'm sure but it's what I believe.

    Stop aid to countries like china which not only are taking our jobs and factories but also have higher growth. Reduce the number of trident subs but don't scrap it completely. LESS polititions, let them get normally paid jobs like the rest of us.

    I find it ironic that the people who earn stupid quantities of money have the gall to say 'they are in it to help people.' If thats the case then get rid of your allowances and cut your wages down to real levels... not that they'd do that.

    There are so many ways to cut the deficit but as long as those in power are ALSO the highly paid individuals, the best and truly fair ways will never ever happen.


    Good points, I agree. If you cannot afford children out of your own pocket then you should not have them. I have no kids so why should I pay for others?

    This is my choice and I will not have any until I know I can afford them.

  • Comment number 58.

    The Government should look first at itself. Do we really need so many Ministers? Can a few be dispensed with, together with the heirarchies they have spawned. I think of such positions as the Minister for Women, and the so called Minister fo Equality. What do they DO? You only have to look at the table in the Cabinet Office to see how the size of the Cabinet has burgeoned. When that table was built, it was of a size adequate to accommodate the Cabinet. Now there are so many Ministers that they almost have to sit on each other's laps.

  • Comment number 59.

    Recommend post #33 @10:16am on 26 July - 'Jaywat'.

    Well said 'Jaywat' - turf protecting management in all UK 'local authorities' AND within the NHS are certainly focused on 'soft targets' to protect their little empires and pensions? This is my knowledge in addition to post #33.-----------------------------------------------------

  • Comment number 60.

    "At 08:52am on 26 Jul 2010, europhile wrote:

    Abolish the civil list, if we have to have royalty let them pay for themselves. The queen is estimated to habve personal wealth in excess of £2.1 billion, that should be enough for all of them, then sell the crown jewels and any other trinkets. These could be remade as fakes employing some Birmingham jewelers/goldsmiths."

    Well just a couple of problems with this
    1. The civil list is in exchange for the profits from the crown estate, which generate a net PROFIT for the country.
    2. The crown jewels dont belong to the country, they are the personal property of the queen. So that would be theft.

    could you at leats come up with a sensible idea that wouldnt cost us more money?

  • Comment number 61.

    This is very simple - CUT BENEFITS.

    A friend of mine gets only abour £200 less than me a month as she has 2 kids and doesn't work. I work full time.

    My cousin claims incapacity benefit because he has some sort of hip problem but that doesn't stop him washing his 57 plate Honda Civic, shopping or surfing the net - I'm sure theres lots of jobs he could but my Aunt always contradicts me that her son 'can't possibly work'.

    Its far too easy to claim benefits these days and people should be forced back into work - it would restore their dignity and help cut the deficit faster.

    Its a no brainer.

  • Comment number 62.

    Join the Euro, and stop all the perks enjoyed by M.PS, and put an extra import tax 20% vat + 33% all goods made in China.

  • Comment number 63.

    Rewrite the entire personal taxation and benefits system.

    Anyone not in employment irrespective of reason (be it old age pensioners, unable to find work, ill, disabled or with caring responsibilities) to receive an amount equivalent to Minimum Wage, from which they must meet all their expensese just like the rest of us. Streamline the clunky and cumbersome application processes (the only one I've encountered is JSA, which is very poor, I'm sure the others are no better).

    Anyone in employment to be taxed on every penny earned above the Minimum Wage - personally I'd prefer a flat tax of say 40% but I am prepared to look at variation - and no allowances, tax credits, etc. to be paid back.

  • Comment number 64.

    easy! find the highest single cost which is benefit (i.e social protection worth £196bn).

    Cut it! Simple isnt it?

  • Comment number 65.

    Simply cut out the disgraceful squandering of tax revenues by New Labour. We're something like 74th in the world (behind some African states even) in spending tax efficiently. Changing the squander culture needs laws to ban any Government from doing what New Labour did.
    They wasted so much money (for eg) on consultants and lawyers and waffle shops discussing refurbishing the Central line, that-if the cash was spent on the work needed-would not only have refurbished the Central line but would have put new rolling stock on it. As it is,the money has to be found again as it was squandered.
    New Labours squandering on pet projects needs stopping (by statute again to prevent it ever happening again)and all laws must be fully scrutinised-New Labours moronic passing of over 4,300 laws has cost billions in legal confusion and contradiction. (To put into context how moronic Labour laws were, 18 years of authoritarian Tory rule saw just 500 laws passed.)
    We can save billions by severely curtailing what governments can do.

  • Comment number 66.

    No NHS healthcare until you've paid 5 years continuous NI contributions.
    No state pension until you've paid 40 years Income Tax.
    Cut NHS management by 50%.
    £5 charge to see a GP plus a £5 fine for missing an appointment.
    £1000 annual contribution towards your child's education to be paid to the school.
    Stop paying Child Benefit - it's your child, you support it.
    Any benefits for single mothers to be paid for 5 years and for the first child only.
    Cut ALL benefits (except Disability) by 25% and then another 25% next year.
    Cut taxpayers' contributions to Public Service pensions by 50%.
    Stop creating Public Service jobs purely to keep unemployment figures down.
    Make the BBC self-financing and scrap the TV licence.
    Cut the number of MPs by 50%.
    Scrap all Overseas Aid until we're out of debt.
    Scrap all Government departments and agencies devoted to Climate Change.
    Scrap Trident.

    Yes, I realise there would be rioting in the streets if some of these ideas were implemented, but it's about time people took responsibility for themselves and their families, and stopped thinking 'The Government' will do it.

    'The Government' doesn't have any income other the monies paid in taxes by people like me, and I am thoroughly sick of paying extortionate taxes just so the feckless and shiftless can have an easier life.

    Rant over.

  • Comment number 67.

    This topic has been discussed before, and the same hobbyhorses have been ridden off towards the horizon.
    The deficit is not unmanageable, it can be reduced and paid off without the swingeing cuts to the public sector the coalition are proposing. The deficit is providing a useful excuse for the coalition to pursue their agenda of stripping out state service provision in a number of areas.
    Osborne's inclination is to use a 80/20 approach to reducing the deficit, 80% being cuts, 20% being tax increases. He wants to be able to present a tax-cutting budget before the election in 2015.
    We, as an electorate have a simple choice, do you want the follow the US social model or the European model.
    For too long our political classes have followed the line that you can have high levels of social provision coupled with low levels of taxation. NuLabor spent a lot of money repairing the damage to the social fabric of the UK caused by the 'Thatcher Economic Revolution' which resulted in 18 years of private affluence and public squalor. Their mistake was to do so, without including the public in the debate preferring clever accounting techniques which left them open to the charge(by the right) of introducing 'stealth taxes', a pejorative term for taxes on consumption in preference to direct taxation.
    Cameron's 'Big Society' translates to 'you are on your own', the Labour opposition will have to come up with a realistic narrative to counter the coalition's stance of 'what would you cut then?' otherwise we will have 10 years of cuts, if not longer.

  • Comment number 68.

    53. At 11:05am on 26 Jul 2010, PompeyOops wrote:
    1. Scrap all child benefit
    2. Scrap the winter fuel allowance (give poorest a better pension)
    3. Put VAT on newspapers and non-fiction books.
    4. Increase cigarette tax to £6 per pk of 10
    5. Introduce charge for all drink related admissions to NHS
    6. Introduce £500 anti social bahaviour fine (take from salary or benefit)
    7. Introduce tolls on most roads
    8. Reduce the commons to 200 mps
    9. Reduce the Lords to 80 senators
    10.Introduce a 50% tax on satellite & cable TV.
    11.Introduce a further 100% tax on adult channels
    12.Abolish national insurance
    13.Increase Income tax to 25%
    14.No income tax to be paid by those earning less that £12,000pa
    15.Income tax increased to 55% over £150k
    16.Scrap local council elections every two years, hold them on 4 yearly cycles.
    17.Scrap all Mp's expenses
    18.Scrap all Ministers cars (they can use their own cars).
    19.Merge Army and air force, reduce numbers.
    20.One off windfall tax on all FTSE 100 companies of 10%.
    21.Scrap business rates on business with premises less than 2000 sq mtr
    22.Tax avaition fuel at same rate as other transport fuels.
    .......................................................................
    1. Agree
    2. Agree
    3. Agree
    4. Agree
    5. Agree
    6. Agree
    7. Disagree, we pay road tax, would have a negative effect on the transport industry.
    8. Agree
    9. Agree
    10. Agree
    11. Agree
    12. Agree
    13. Disagree, I already pay a lot and claim nothing, I do not feel I should contribute anymore as I already do a great deal (best part of £1000 a month)
    14. Agree but cannot claim any benifit if not contributing to tax
    15. Not sure this is fair to all, a lot of people earn this money through pure hard work and deserve it, why should they have to pay so much just because they have worked so hard and earned it?
    16. Agree
    17. Agree
    18. Agree
    19. Agree
    20. Agree
    21. Agree
    22. Agree

  • Comment number 69.

    #15 If you scrap the Civil List are you prepared to give the Crown Estates back to the Queen? After all the original deal the govt struck many, many moons ago was that govt got the Crown Estates in return for the Civil List. Of course the fact that the Crown Estates produce far more income than the Civil List cost is usually conveniently ignored

    #55 Tax evasion is a criminal offence and should be rigorously stamped out. The loopholes, which is really just tax avoidance, arise because we have an over complicated tax system with all sorts of benefits and rebates that can be claimed. The fact that the system produces opportunities for people to reduce their tax bill rather more than HMRC expects, is not the fault of the tax payer but the people who drafted and passed the legislation. I understand it is now the govt policy to simplify the tax system which should result in fewer loopholes, but even this idea is bedevilled with political dogma and lobbying

    For example: a simple system would not distinguish between income and capital gains but would have a single tax rate which applied to everything above an agreed tax free sum (lets say £10,000). Problem is that people believe a flat rate is unfair and want the rich to pay a higher rate even if that might actually result in less tax being raised.

    Another example: can anyone explain why new house building attracts 0% VAT but repair and refurbishment gets VAT at full rate

  • Comment number 70.

    @no.49: some of your comments are homophobic and not needed in 2010 britain!

  • Comment number 71.

    Wouldn't it be great if your local authority/council stopped wasting millions by constantly re-designing you high street and town centre every 5 years and increasing already punitive charges for parking to shop and work in our own area?

    £Billions are wasted, and lost by workers and business by ludicrous and pointless disruption all across the UK by local authority departments with no accountability or transparent reasons why these so-called 'enhancement schemes' are even required by the people/business who pay for it in increased council tax and business rates?

    In the last 10yrs, do you remember a time when your 'local' authority/council DID NOT invade OR OBSTRUCT your ability to function as a worker, shopper, commuter or a business - or all four and still are allowed carte blanch to spend more on disruption and waste your Council/Business tax?

    Petition Communities Minister, Eric Pickles, and stop this madness!

  • Comment number 72.

    Pay MPs the national minimum wage...and at an hourly rate for time actually worked. Conduct more parliamentary business online, thus abolishing the need for second homes, expenses etc. (buy them each a computer, a webcam and pay their monthly broadband bill at the highest available speed) and insist that MPs actually live in their constituency for at least 90% of the time.
    Tax all income over £100,000 at 98%. Close all employment perk loopholes and tax all such benefits at 60%. Stop companies jetisonning employees whilst there is still any profit being made and make the continued employment of workers take precidence over paying money to shareholders. Stop holding ridiculously expensive enquiries about matters which the average 10 year old could explain.
    Make all benefits means-tested - stop pensions and child allowance payments to the wealthy.
    Deport anyone who reads, quotes, writes for or picks up in the dentists waiting room, a copy of the Daily Mail.
    Stop sending people with the IQ of an artichoke to university and then employing them as educators and financiers.

  • Comment number 73.

    The three examples given here seem to target the average person.

    How about going for those who can afford to pay a little extra? A luxury goods tax should be introduced on cars, clothes, jewellery etc. over a certain price. It may not reduce the deficit by billions but it'll hopefully pay for a bin man or two.

    Tourists have it pretty cheap over here. Charge them for entry to museums and galleries and keep it free for UK citizens.

  • Comment number 74.

    Here's a few thoughts, which in the unlikely event that I'm going to wake up tomorrow as Prime Minister, I'd implement in a heartbeat. The central ethos here is that the UK cannot afford to finance an ever increasing proportion of its population on benefits from the taxes paid by an ever reducing proportion of workers.

    Do not provide free education, health, housing, unemployment or other benefits to immigrants for 5 to 10 years after they enter the country.

    Three monthly medical assessments for those people not working for reasons of sickness. Discontinue allowing public sector employees the apparent easy route of retiring because of ill-health. View all sick leave as potentially temporary.

    Make unemployment benefit conditional upon working on community projects

    Place a tax on firms that subcontract British jobs overseas, to make a significant contribution to the benefit costs that their self-centred decisons create.

    If an immigrant is found guilty of a criminal offence during their first X years in the UK, then they should be deported forthwith rather than incurring costs either now or in the future on custodial sentences.

    We should stop trying to educate such a high proportion of our youngsters to tertiary level. We should set a sustainable proportion of the population which relates to the real demand in the form of graduate level jobs and choose the most talented 15% or whatever. Those not making the cut could have the option of paying the full economic cost as they go.

    Means test prisons. Charge those that can afford to pay for their accommodation and security. It is ludicrous that seriously affluent people are maintained by the state.

    Use import tariffs to create a greater incentive to manufacture things in the UK and rebalance an economy in which we get by through feeding each other and doing each other's hair ( paraphrasing Ms. Merkel here I think.) I understand that we might not be able to implement this within the EU.

    Majorly reduce the contributions to the EU by opting out and not accepting the authority of certain aspects of its operations that duplicate our own. For example, but not limited to the courts of Europe and Human Rights. We have the means to deal with these issues here This might be difficult if we were to act alone, but I don't think that would happen. Turn the EU into a series of opt-in activities rather than imposing everything on all member states.

    Take a huge slug out of the paperwork and administration requirement in all walks of life by allowing ourselves to admit that there's such a thing as an accident. That not all bad events require investigation and someone to blame. Stop spending a fortune in diversionary costs by trying vainly to prevent all bad things happening. Stop wasting vast amounts of money trying to document and stop acting to prevent extremely unlikely scenarios.

    Make it much easier to replace people doing a bad job, and in particular stop paying people compensation for doing a job badly in case they sue. Find a way of using the money saved to reward people doing a great job.

  • Comment number 75.

    63. At 11:22am on 26 Jul 2010, Megan wrote:
    Rewrite the entire personal taxation and benefits system.

    Anyone not in employment irrespective of reason (be it old age pensioners, unable to find work, ill, disabled or with caring responsibilities) to receive an amount equivalent to Minimum Wage, from which they must meet all their expensese just like the rest of us. Streamline the clunky and cumbersome application processes (the only one I've encountered is JSA, which is very poor, I'm sure the others are no better).

    Anyone in employment to be taxed on every penny earned above the Minimum Wage - personally I'd prefer a flat tax of say 40% but I am prepared to look at variation - and no allowances, tax credits, etc. to be paid back.
    ........................................................................

    Why are there so many comments trying to screw those who earn more? How is that fair? A lot of people who earn a lot more than minimum wage have done it through hard work and worked their way up. I have so why should I have to pay even more for it? I already do and claim nothing back!

    The problem with doing that is that there is no motivation then to work harder and earn more because you know you are going to have more took off you and you think 'what's the point'.

    Why should I pay more tax? My job has more stress and more responsibility so surley I should see more benefit from it?

    Agree, stop people from claiming when they earn x amount because they don't need to but don't take more off them. It is quite often hard earned money, if they are willing to put in the effort they should be rewarded?!

  • Comment number 76.

    what i would do-

    -Cut foreign aid by 100%- we cant give money we dont have.
    -Adopt an american style benefit system- you get 3 months of benefits, then if you havent got a job, no more money.
    -Make benefits more demanding- real disabilities and medical checks.
    -No cuts to the MoD- defence has already been cut viciously and to cut it any further is a betrayal of our troops and an aid to the enemy.
    -Use the 50p tax rate for 1 year, then drop it. to have it permanently like comrade miliband wants would scare all wealthy people overseas.
    -stop wasting money on wind and solar power, and build the only real alternative to fossil fuels-nuclear. then we can stop the government scaremongering about the stupidly exaggerated threat of climate change.
    -Roll back the state, and go further than thatcher- privatise everything except defence, education, health, police.

  • Comment number 77.

    66. At 11:35am on 26 Jul 2010, Mrs Vee wrote:
    No NHS healthcare until you've paid 5 years continuous NI contributions.
    No state pension until you've paid 40 years Income Tax.
    Cut NHS management by 50%.
    £5 charge to see a GP plus a £5 fine for missing an appointment.
    £1000 annual contribution towards your child's education to be paid to the school.
    Stop paying Child Benefit - it's your child, you support it.
    Any benefits for single mothers to be paid for 5 years and for the first child only.
    Cut ALL benefits (except Disability) by 25% and then another 25% next year.
    Cut taxpayers' contributions to Public Service pensions by 50%.
    Stop creating Public Service jobs purely to keep unemployment figures down.
    Make the BBC self-financing and scrap the TV licence.
    Cut the number of MPs by 50%.
    Scrap all Overseas Aid until we're out of debt.
    Scrap all Government departments and agencies devoted to Climate Change.
    Scrap Trident.

    Yes, I realise there would be rioting in the streets if some of these ideas were implemented, but it's about time people took responsibility for themselves and their families, and stopped thinking 'The Government' will do it.

    'The Government' doesn't have any income other the monies paid in taxes by people like me, and I am thoroughly sick of paying extortionate taxes just so the feckless and shiftless can have an easier life.

    Rant over.
    .........................................................................

    Could not have siad it better! 100% correct! I like your thoughts! >;)

  • Comment number 78.

    The important thing is not only to think cuts; focus on Change, clear-out and create growth. The government and councils must have lots of items or property that are stored and not used; clear-out and sell them. Big savings can only be made with changes; simplify processes like tax rules etc, eliminate paper work, make processes electronic. Look at new ways of generating income like; selling recycled items like plastic, compost, electronic items - none recyclable items like plastic bags, confidential paperwork can be burnt to generate heat and power and so on. Some long term savings can only be made by investing which is what we should be done in recessions, while it is cheap and jobs are needed

  • Comment number 79.

    I understand that it costs approximately £33k per year to keep a prisoner? (staggering legal costs, accomodation, food, prison maintenance, payroll, release and rehousing, luxurious prison furnishing and leisure, the enormous amount of paperwork associated with every item etc...). Essentially, for every prisoner we could employ one more school teacher or police officer, improving the lives of countless people.

    Let us cram four into a cell. Let's remove their plasma TVs, playstations etc... Give them basic food and water. Make them repay society by performing our less desirable jobs. Let's redesign human rights into two tiers so that those who choose to remove themselves from society can be dealt with in a different manner. Reduce costs and improve our way of life by reducing crime and reoffending. That needn't cost money.

    I also believe that a heroin addict costs £17k per year. (substitute drugs, medical consultation, distribution costs, lots of paperwork of course, legal costs etc...). There's 26,000 registered addicts in Glasgow alone. Suppose I pay an average of £5k tax per year, each addict wipes out three hard working tax payers. That's 75,000 people in Glasgow alone (10% of the population).

    Don't give these people support. Despite the sad stories, every human being knows that once you take something as addictive as herion, you'll almost certainly never recover. Why is my hard earned money being spent on people who have self-inflicted problems? If we had a proper and detering prison/legal system, then this would be less of an issue and save us all a lot of money, which could be spent on more important issues.

    My annoyance is that those who are undeserving, people who have broken the law and basically shunned society seemed to be the ones who are looked after the most. There are definately more efficient ways to run these offending elements. Why haven't I heard or read a single measure to reduce spending on these unworthies? Why are the rest of us who contribute to the UK being focused on yet again?

    So enough of reducing spending on education, health care, policing etc... how about we reduce spending where it's least deserved for a change?

  • Comment number 80.

    I would drive it up not down. The austerity drive is both unnecessary and damaging. It is really remarkable that the government has been able to persuade so many members of the public otherwise. It defies common sense to believe that austerity is a good idea when so many businesses are desperate for orders.

    If austerity continues in the UK and throughout the EU, many years of depression are not just a possibility, they are likely. The only bright spot is that the US administration is behaving more intelligently. But it is doubtful whether the US economy, powerful as it is, will be able to drag the dead weight of a depressed EU economy behind it.

    The UK is not like Greece because it has a central bank which can print money, and can provide the credit required by the government to get us out of the recession. Provisions stupidly inserted into the Maastrich treaty restrict the European Central Bank's ability to do so.

    The interest rates charged on new UK government debt can be controlled by the BoE. When QE is in operation these rates are effectively zero. Any attempt on the part of speculators to force rates up would fail.

  • Comment number 81.

    72. At 11:49am on 26 Jul 2010, Bibi wrote:
    Pay MPs the national minimum wage...and at an hourly rate for time actually worked. Conduct more parliamentary business online, thus abolishing the need for second homes, expenses etc. (buy them each a computer, a webcam and pay their monthly broadband bill at the highest available speed) and insist that MPs actually live in their constituency for at least 90% of the time.
    Tax all income over £100,000 at 98%. Close all employment perk loopholes and tax all such benefits at 60%. Stop companies jetisonning employees whilst there is still any profit being made and make the continued employment of workers take precidence over paying money to shareholders. Stop holding ridiculously expensive enquiries about matters which the average 10 year old could explain.
    Make all benefits means-tested - stop pensions and child allowance payments to the wealthy.
    Deport anyone who reads, quotes, writes for or picks up in the dentists waiting room, a copy of the Daily Mail.
    Stop sending people with the IQ of an artichoke to university and then employing them as educators and financiers.
    .........................................................................

    Are you for real? 98% tax on over £100,000???? How do you justify that? Is that really fair on the people who have worked hard for it? If you were in the fortunate position and were earning over £100,000, would you still think it were fair they were taking 98% of that off you?

    I think your opinion may change then! That would be day light robbery and far from fair!

  • Comment number 82.

    Put VAT on private school fees - as this is a business NOT a charity (unless charity is to aid the rich). There are c.550,000 private school users (pupils) who benefit from this 'value added' service. Say fees are on average £15,000 per year the annual VAT take on this at 20% will be £1.65bn. Taxing these institutions as businesses (not charities) will also provide added revenues.
    No replacment for Trident and no imperial wars on the back of the US global hegemony.
    ...job done

  • Comment number 83.

    70. At 11:45am on 26 Jul 2010, meanstreak wrote:
    @no.49: some of your comments are homophobic and not needed in 2010 britain!

    ---------------------
    It’s homophobic to have an opinion?
    Another symptom of what wrong with this Country

  • Comment number 84.

    74. At 11:57am on 26 Jul 2010, David Windsor wrote:
    "Place a tax on firms that subcontract British jobs overseas, to make a significant contribution to the benefit costs that their self-centred decisons create"

    How would this work? Would it only be on companies 100% British, by this I mean that all shareholders are British & the it has no other business outside the UK.

    What happens when all the other countries start down the same path?

  • Comment number 85.

    Run all government budgets to a ZERO base.

    Spend it ONLY if worthwhileness is proven.

    That gets rids of civil service & council pensions.

    Job Done.

  • Comment number 86.

    1. Compare everything to the private sector in terms of money in to product out. Example - education, how much does a parent pay in fees to a school and how does said school spend said cash. You will probably find the differences in terms of money in between the 2 school systems are relatively minor (note, I am not referring to the 'top end' of private schools but the more middle class mainstream private schools). This includes things such as matching the manager:floor worker ratio or its equivalent.

    2. Cap all public sector annual salaries to the same rate as MPs. Basically MPs are unwilling to raise their annual salaray due to voter backlash. I think a simillar system is employed in America.

    3. Means test 'automatic' benifits e.g Child Benifit

    4. Legalise Cannibis - controls sales, reduces the more 'dangerous' varieties, provides a good source of tax income.

    5. Open up ALL public accounts to allow public scrutiny. If a private company is contracted for a particular job then all costs must be made transparent. E.g. £x - wages, £y - material costs etc. Any costs that cannot be justified to an independant panel (such as a town hall style meeting with a couple of independant local professionals chairing the meeting) is not paid or payment is reduced accordingly.

    6. Scrap professional advisors in sectors such as education. Instead teachers are summoned to spend 6months (or another suitable timescale, eg. 1 teaching term) on a regional advisory body in a similar manner to jury duty. Paid in full plus regulated expenses. Out of this specify the number of head teachers/guidance teachers/heads of department/regular teachers etc. They will know exactly what resources they do/don't need. This can be carried out in other sectors as well, nursing, policing etc.

    7. Simplify the tax system to the point where if you earn £xxxx in a year you pay £yyy per year. No additional taxes e.g. N.I. It all goes into the same pot at the end of the day (despite what politicians claim).

    8. Increase fines/court costs for offences such as assault/anti-social behaviour and reduce the number of warnings allowable before fines are imposed. No excuse for people on benifits etc.

    9. Scrap all TV advert campaigns and instead simply use Facebook adverts. Much cheaper and can be targeted at the correct groups, e.g. knife crime at people under 25. As an example, the Government could set up a page called 'Not getting stabbed to death'. That way when people 'like' the government can post news stories related to the page, such as the death of a young person due to knife crime. Much more direct, and much more effective.

    Probably not the greatest ideas but the best I could come up with whilst eating my lunch.

  • Comment number 87.

    @75. At 11:59am on 26 Jul 2010, matty3105 wrote:

    Matty3105, yes I know people have worked hard to get where they are. I have. I am also willing to put back more. Maybe it is just me but I have always believed that if I can save 10% and give away 10% of my earnings then I am happy in life (that is after tax).

    By the way in relation to your comment earlier about road tax, it is not it is a tax on your car. Roads are funded from general taxation.

  • Comment number 88.

    Simples just get rid of all the MP`s , Expenses , House of Lords foggies , Security Guards on Blair etc we would cut the deficit easily and bring the troops home now not in years

  • Comment number 89.

    At 11:19am on 26 Jul 2010, Dave wrote:
    "At 08:52am on 26 Jul 2010, europhile wrote:
    Abolish the civil list, if we have to have royalty let them pay for themselves. The queen is estimated to habve personal wealth in excess of £2.1 billion, that should be enough for all of them, then sell the crown jewels and any other trinkets. These could be remade as fakes employing some Birmingham jewelers/goldsmiths."
    Well just a couple of problems with this
    1. The civil list is in exchange for the profits from the crown estate, which generate a net PROFIT for the country.
    2. The crown jewels dont belong to the country, they are the personal property of the queen. So that would be theft.
    could you at least come up with a sensible idea that wouldnt cost us more money?

    FACTS
    1. The income from the Crown Estate finances government expenditure and the civil list was agreed with Geoarge III to remove this burden from the monarch. So unless the Saxe-Coburg-Gothe family want to have the responsibility of financing the government personally your point is invalid.

    2. Are they ?? - the Monarchy and all its trappings - is a role segregated from the individual (ie Mrs Saxe-Coburg-Gothe). Apart from Balmoral and sandrinham - which are her personal property - most other state assets are not (ie Duchies of Lancaster/Cornwall are to finance the monarch and heir, not the individuals Liz and Charles. If the ruling house changed the assets would go to the new house, not stay with saxe-Coburg-gothe's)

    So getting rid of the monarchy and its costs would be a £100mn + per annum saving.....lets go for it and move from feudalism to 21st century democracy at the same time

  • Comment number 90.

    The first thing to do and this is serious: move parliament to central England (Northamptonshire – Birmingham area) in a purpose built parliament chamber and on site accommodation:

    1. This makes this makes travel easier and cheaper from all MP’s being in a central location.
    2. We do not have to pay high London prices for everything but including buildings, MP’s accommodation, travel, expenses.
    3. Turn the old houses of parliament into a tourist attraction with an entrance fee.

  • Comment number 91.

    60. At 11:19am on 26 Jul 2010, Dave wrote:

    "At 08:52am on 26 Jul 2010, europhile wrote:

    Abolish the civil list, if we have to have royalty let them pay for themselves. The queen is estimated to habve personal wealth in excess of £2.1 billion, that should be enough for all of them, then sell the crown jewels and any other trinkets. These could be remade as fakes employing some Birmingham jewelers/goldsmiths."

    Well just a couple of problems with this
    1. The civil list is in exchange for the profits from the crown estate, which generate a net PROFIT for the country.
    2. The crown jewels dont belong to the country, they are the personal property of the queen. So that would be theft.

    could you at leats come up with a sensible idea that wouldnt cost us more money?

    -----

    Definitely that posters should check their facts - the Crown Estates handed over £200m+ to the Treasury last year in return for a fraction of that as a "Civil List".

    But, I have to disagree slightly about the Crown Jewels. These are actually part of the Royal Collection - this is a collection of objects etc held in trust by the Queen for her successors and the nation. Who actually *owns* them is debatable, but the Queen can not sell them herself.

    Also, the Queen's personal wealth is nowhere near £2.1bn as most of this wealth is part of the Royal Collection. The Queen's private income is derived from the Duchy of Lancaster and the entire estate was only worth £323m in 2009, so the income can't be that much.

    Further, and I've said this so many times... What do people expect a replacement to cost? Presidents are not cheap, especially if you take elections into account, but posters all seem to ignore this bit!

  • Comment number 92.

    @76. At 12:03pm on 26 Jul 2010, anon wrote
    "No cuts to the MoD- defence has already been cut viciously and to cut it any further is a betrayal of our troops and an aid to the enemy"

    Privatise it, that is what the USA are doing with their army.

  • Comment number 93.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 94.

    76. At 12:03pm on 26 Jul 2010, anon wrote:

    what i would do-

    -Cut foreign aid by 100%- we cant give money we dont have.

    === We do have responsibilities that should be kept but I agree that the entire foreign aid budget should be reviewed

    -Adopt an american style benefit system- you get 3 months of benefits, then if you havent got a job, no more money.

    === I would rather suggest that benefits are based on how much the person has paid in National Insurance. Someone who's paid in for 50 years, say, should get more than someone who's just left school/uni

    -Make benefits more demanding- real disabilities and medical checks.

    === As above, but I would simplify the system to keep costs down

    -No cuts to the MoD- defence has already been cut viciously and to cut it any further is a betrayal of our troops and an aid to the enemy.

    === Defence spending should be targeted better, perhaps

    -Use the 50p tax rate for 1 year, then drop it. to have it permanently like comrade miliband wants would scare all wealthy people overseas.

    === The wealthy are all moving overseas anyway, aren't they? We should do something to encourage them to return (same applies to businesses as well)

    -stop wasting money on wind and solar power, and build the only real alternative to fossil fuels-nuclear. then we can stop the government scaremongering about the stupidly exaggerated threat of climate change.

    === I'd disagree about climate change (I just don't think pumping out loads of rubbish into the environment can, at best, not cause any problems for the climate). Wind- and solar-power have always seemed to be an awful lot of work for little return. Time will tell, I guess

    -Roll back the state, and go further than thatcher- privatise everything except defence, education, health, police.

    === There's also infrastructure that needs to be on a national basis (eg, roads) and things such as benefits, but in principle I would agree that the state's take of our income should only be for things that we, individually, can not provide

  • Comment number 95.

    87. At 12:23pm on 26 Jul 2010, PompeyOops wrote:
    @75. At 11:59am on 26 Jul 2010, matty3105 wrote:

    Matty3105, yes I know people have worked hard to get where they are. I have. I am also willing to put back more. Maybe it is just me but I have always believed that if I can save 10% and give away 10% of my earnings then I am happy in life (that is after tax).

    By the way in relation to your comment earlier about road tax, it is not it is a tax on your car. Roads are funded from general taxation
    ........................................................................

    I agree with you, I am happy to put something back don't get me wrong, but when you pay the best part of 12k a year in tax already and claim nothing at all, I think that is a fair contribution.

    Especially when I go down my local with my hard earned money to have a social drink and there are young single mums down there with one or more kids getting drunk on benifit money and advertising the fact we are paying for their good time! None of them work, it is a life style that is getting worse and more common.

    The money is not even going to the kids half the time! They have a more social life than you and me and millions others that we are paying for.

    I see it day in and day out and that is why I am not willing to put anymore in. It's just not fair.

    In principle I do agree with you though.

    As for the tax, fair comment, but still don't think toll's would help the transport economy.

  • Comment number 96.

    Cut the BBC wages,star pay by 50% ;
    or failing that cut TV licence by 50%

  • Comment number 97.

    @92

    "@76. At 12:03pm on 26 Jul 2010, anon wrote
    "No cuts to the MoD- defence has already been cut viciously and to cut it any further is a betrayal of our troops and an aid to the enemy"

    Privatise it, that is what the USA are doing with their army."

    i would say that but i dont feel comfortable with the privatisation of nuclear arms. i might be a Thatcherite but i'm dont go that far.

  • Comment number 98.

    How would you drive down the deficit ?

    I wouldn't, I'd change to a resource based economy that does not rely on debt, slavery and the exploitation of people to generate profits for a minority of the population.

    The monetarist system is fundamentally flawed, we live on a finite planet and therefore the principle of continuous growth is a myth.

  • Comment number 99.

    The majority of the "balancing of the books" has to be done by increasing taxation, otherwise the poor so and so's that have lost their jobs in this recession will be hit twice.

  • Comment number 100.

    People are very eager to cut benefits, there are some benefits which would be INCREDIBLY damaging to society if they are cut. JSA and Housing benefit. If those were gone there would be a LOT of homeless people and many of them are not unemployed by choice. Once people get it out of their heads that unemployement isn't always a'choice' rather forced upon you, then the idea of completely cutting benefits won't be so attractive.

 

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