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Should the government ask you for policy ideas?

11:37 UK time, Friday, 10 September 2010

National Insurance cards are to be phased out, junior doctors will receive fewer checks and spare furniture will be sold online under plans to cut the deficit. How would you make savings?

The ideas, expected to save at least £1m a year, were chosen from about 100,000 put forward by members of the public and civil servants.

One union said getting the public to suggest cuts was a gimmick. It is thought more of the public's suggestions could become policy in future.

What do you think of the three suggestions? Did you send a suggestion to the Treasury? What was it? Do you think asking the public for their suggestions is a good idea?

Spending Review: Making it clear

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


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  • Comment number 1.

    Yes, seeing as the cuts will affect us, I believe that they should. Having said that £1 million out of £180 billion caused by NuLabours dreadful financial mishaps is nothing. Barely a drop in the ocean.

  • Comment number 2.

    Why don't they just get on with the job that got them elected and stop wasting peoples time with stupid gimmicks Ive had enough of nu-labour doing that.

  • Comment number 3.

    They could save a lot on CRB checks. A school nurse, for example, has to carry around their CRB check certificate to show at every school they go to and the schools have to validate that the CRB check has been done and is valid (possibly on every visit). Since a valid and clean CRB check is a condition of employment, why can't schools and agencies school nurses deal with simply accept the fact the nurse is an NHS employee as evidence of a clean and current CRB? This would save a lot of duplicate checking taht does nothing to safeguard anyone. I imagine doctors and many other groups would similarly save time and money.

  • Comment number 4.

    The suggestions that they are planning to implement will make a minimal dent on the amount they are trying to cut.

    This is a publicity stunt to enable them to blame the public for the major cuts they are planning.

    And guess what, the tories are privatising/selilng off Royal Mail, who couldn't see this coming when they got back into power. The NHS and education will be next.

  • Comment number 5.

    What's the point? The EU and immigration are not on their agenda.

  • Comment number 6.

    Of course it is a good idea, what sort of discriminatory thinking would stop the State from considering ideas from the public?

  • Comment number 7.

    After the Cold War we had a "Peace Dividend" now it's time for a "Jobsworths Dividend" - the Government should axe all Council non-jobs.

  • Comment number 8.

    There is only one thing worse than the decisions made by this ConDem government, and that is asking the general public for policy ideas.

    All it will do is encourage know-it-all numpties and the lynch mob to come up with stupid suggestions.

  • Comment number 9.

    Some will say New Circus same Clowns just hit town! But honestly 100k suggestions and only 3 taken! Speaks volumes, just what part of the electorate will really fall for this one! There are people losing jobs, homes, families broken thru despair with enevitable social results. The many will pay for the few, this time we are not talking about the 1940's its only a matter of time until a lot more of us will be living the American nightmare, its coming right round the corner!

  • Comment number 10.

    I think the people that came up with these ideas should be given jobs in government. They are doing their job anyway, so they may as well get paid for it.

    The NI card one is a good idea, but I think selling the furniture one is a bit gimmicky and I wouldn't be surprised if they did that already with anything worth selling (I doubt most is worth selling mind).

  • Comment number 11.

    Apart from the fact that they will get thousands of different suggestions, how can asking the public be a bad thing?

    The only people likely to complain are those that say:
    - It proves the ConDems have no ideas
    - It's their job to have ideas, not mine
    - I won't be able to criticise if they do something I suggested
    - I just want to moan, I don't want to actually help
    - Typical Tories etc etc

  • Comment number 12.

    I still have the paper NI card (not the new fangled plastic one mentioned in the article) even though it was sent to me nearly 40 years ago.

    It's still readable and still usable.

    IMHO there's nothing wrong with a letter or a piece of card.

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm sure it'll appear here many, many times, but cut any and all spending on the "war on drugs". That war was lost back in the 70's, it's time to stop funding it. There, saved this nation a fortune.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think it is a great idea. Politicians cannot be expected to see and know everything and is iften the case, a different viewpoint can lead to different and very valuable ideas.

    I would however like to see people rewarded for ideas that are adopted and save money.

  • Comment number 15.

    It would be nice if they asked my opinion about something.

    They don't seem to remember what the promise while hoping to get elected or what they put in their manifestos

  • Comment number 16.

    I know accepting the fact Cameron, Clegg and company have no ideas at all is a harsh reality for Tory and LIb Dem voters to come to terms with. But even worse is the canvassing of one hundred thousand people to come up with a second hand furniture sale....

    My word just how easy is it for the Great British public to be lobotomised or rendered mindless? And the Government thinks this was a success? We are in much worse trouble than I thought.

  • Comment number 17.

    This is a democracy and it is good that the people are asked to be involved. When people distance themselves from the government they are awarding the government the freedom to do as they wish.

    No matter if you like the current gov you must accept that getting us involved is a good idea.

  • Comment number 18.

    If the government need our ideas in order to sort out the deficit then maybe we should not allow them to continue.

    I have to admit that I WAS a lifelong Liberal supporter and for this I appologise I will never make that mistake again.

    We are in serious trouble people the last nationalised entity will soon be sold with the employees pensions robbed by this ugly inhumane group of luvvie millionairs we have in power.There will be widespread national unrest as the people of this country realise that they are being sold down the river at the behest of the wealthy.

    All that will save the current incumbants will be another war which is currently being set up by the media barons and the super rich, because the road to the greatest profits is littered by war.

    My money saving idea is not to have elected officials except for primeminister,deputy pm & chancellor. The other 600+ seats to be made up like a jury selected at random from the populace (subject to stringent checks) with completion of 5yrs service being rewarded with 50% pay for life.

  • Comment number 19.

    "Should the government ask you for policy ideas?"

    yes, but what is the point since there's no evidence that we're being listened to.

  • Comment number 20.

    Considering that everyone, just about, is indoctrinated with ideology and can’t tell the difference between propaganda brainwashing and freethinking, then it has to be a no. Listening to most people they support the ideology, agree that we have to make cuts and basically can’t see the wood for the trees. They will listen to Tory plebs like Osbourne instead of removing their blindfolds and realising that they live in a totally corrupt state, the working class have zero ideas, motivation and are dumb.

  • Comment number 21.

    Yes, did send suggestions to the Treasury on that site.

    One, mainly, and one in particular was that:

    a) House of Commons AND House of Lords publish their:
    energy: heating and electricity bills to tax-payers on-line.

    b) House of Commons AND House of Lords publish their:
    subsidised costs of bars and restaurants by tax-payers on-line.

    c) All local authorities publish their energy costs to Council Tax payers

    d) The expenses/allowances scandal is not over in both Houses, nor in local authorities either. Publish what tax-payers pay for - there is no excuse for not making all these issues public in any tax-payer funded organisation and has nothing to do with so-called 'commercial sensitivity'

    What is clearly missing, STILL, from the Palace of Westminster, is that they have no right to still claim for food at £400 per month, when those who voted for them - actually work for £400 per month?

  • Comment number 22.

    While we are on the subject of NI numbers we could also improve this by reducing it to about 6 characters.

    Each letter gives the possibility of 26 variations...A to Z
    numbers only give 10 variations...0 to 9

    As most of the 9 character NI numbers is made up of digits they could be replaced by letters.

  • Comment number 23.

    If getting rid of NINO card saves money, then do so. I never had one and got by perfectly OK. They cannot be used as ID in many instances (for example opening a bank account).
    Those that argue to keep them are clearly unable to memorise 9 characters and unable to not lose a piece of paper.

  • Comment number 24.

    The government was elected by the people based on a broad-brush election manifesto, so it seems logical that the people should be able to influence policy during the term of a government. With today's technology, it is possible for the people to voice their opinions in internet forums, and the next step could be televised policy debates with the public voting via the red button. After all, we are a democracy, aren't we?

  • Comment number 25.

    Should the government ask you for policy ideas?

    Me personally , probably not, i'm rando, irrational and have short term memory problems.

    I would however make a law that everytime a newspaper is found to have misreported or misrepresented a story, or downright embellished or made it up, then that newspaper would have to print a headline, full front page retraction and apology.

  • Comment number 26.

    Perhaps it's recognition in Westminster that politicians don't have all the solutions? I welcome it.

    As for the dinsoaur union leader who described it as a "gimmick", the sooner he and his type become extinct, the better!

  • Comment number 27.

    Absolutely, we elected them to carry out our wishes.
    Its essential policians check periodically what our wishes are.

  • Comment number 28.

    The idea of taking ideas from the public for making savings is a good idea(phew!) but how much did it cost to come up with savings of £1M?

    National insurance cards are badges of maturity for young people. My own two daughters were extremely proud to get theirs. The card makes you feel welcome, "grown up" and part of society. To get a letter with your number is not the same.
    Instead of getting rid of the cards they should have made expanded it to include biometric data to aid in the fight against benefit fraud and illegal immigrants.

    Not checking young doctors so often is a good idea.

    Selling furniture on-line is also a good idea.

    I would save money by getting rid of all non-English versions of government publications, unless the form is pertinent or required by EU citizens. Printing in Urdhu or whatever is wasteful and if you need to read a government document you should learn English or get someone to translate it for you.

    I would tighten the net on the "Black Economy". This would save and generate billions.

    I would stop giving anyone at 60 a bus/train concessional pass. Only pensioners and disabled should have them.

  • Comment number 29.

    Yes I did. It was a cheaper and easier way to come up with ideas like this and put them into practice than what is done at present. Im not confident in getting a reply because of that, but there we go. If we're scrapping ni number cards then how are people going to be notified of what theirs is? Via my work i encounter more than enough people who lost theirs and have no idea how to replace it

  • Comment number 30.

    All I requre of them is their immediate resignation and the establishment of a government which will do what we want, not what big business demands.

  • Comment number 31.

    Considering the cuts will affect all of us, yes we should be asked.
    It's a pity the previous lot didn't ask us where we wanted the money spent before they racked up such an horrific debt.
    National Insurance cards are a minor thing to scrap but I doubt most people know where their's are, so it is a waste to keep providing them.
    If government waste can be cut, it might give the everyday folk of this once great country a bit of confidence.
    As for the unions - maybe they should be scrapped to save hassle!!

  • Comment number 32.

    I've not had my NI Card since it snapped about 10 years ago. Firstly I can remember the number. Secondly as an ID it's utterly useless since it's not a photo ID and has no link to a home address or any other corroborating information.

    If however we replaced it with a Tax based "Credit Card" that was used to manage our taxes we could also get rid of the Tax office & just replace it with the same administrative systems used by Credit card companies to manage our debts etc. An even bigger saving.

    Closing Whitehall and making them re-apply for their jobs on proper performance related pay would be the best move of all.

  • Comment number 33.

    I'm looking forward to owning a cut price three piece red chesterfield suite. Bring it on.

  • Comment number 34.

    Yes, my first one would be get rid of at leat 500 MP's and use the money on somethimg else.

    Australia only need 151. Sio why have we got nearly 700 of these windbags????

  • Comment number 35.

    My brother and his wife both work in the employment dept. The best thing the government could do is to bring in business leaders to go through the management and decision making process in government to cut useless waster management and cut costs.
    Why don't they also make the benefits of government such as holidays, time off, sick etc match those of private business. Perhaps we would get more done and get rid of people who are of no value. Give some accountability to government workers rather than a free ride.

  • Comment number 36.

    My suggestion to the Government is spend, spend, spend on the infrastructure - namely transport (road and rail), education and research, health, policing, even defence. Jobs generated would increase the revenue from taxation, improve the skills of the workforce and the effects would permeate throughout the economy.

    Where could the money come from? Tax the bonuses the big bosses get at 99%, slap a 100% tax on the money politicans make from their memoirs - they are on enormous salaries, put 2p on the petrol duty, sell off the ministerial limousines, tax the profits made by the banks. There you have it!! No need for cuts!!

    PS: Haven't we had problems servicing the national debt since the time of King John so why are they trying to con us with the need to cut??

  • Comment number 37.

    As most MP's are so far removed from ordinary people I welcome the chance to recommend areas where we could cut spending.

    Our so called representatives in Westminster haven't a clue when it comes to ordinary working people.

  • Comment number 38.

    Yes, Yes, And Yes!

  • Comment number 39.

    Anything thats of non use needs to be out.I have many ideas of how to save and prosper but its too much to post here.All men have minds and its not just those in charge who have great ideas.The public has men of great minds out there but they are unheard of and mainly have to expierience deaf ears by those who proclaim themselves as higher knowledge than thee.SO most ideas fall by the wayside and common sense is thrown out.Ignorance is of no shortage by those who have title.Most self serving and unwilling to take the publics input are put aside and scoffed at.This is the mistake of the ages and we as a whole are held back by decisions and ideas of these deaf ears and serve none but themselves or their parties.Mans ignorance attests to all this.No wonder we cannot move forward.

  • Comment number 40.

    Pure spin.

    So, if 10,000 or 50,000, or 1 million people demonstrate AGAINST a policy, will government take ANY notice.


  • Comment number 41.

    Yes, of course. I think it's a great idea.

    I suspect a lot of the suggestions would come from the more conscientious government employees, actually.

    I hope the idea will spread to cover entire departments and projects at national and local government level.

    My own suggestion would be that senior local govt officers work on a 5 year contract, renewed or not according to circumstances. At times like this, they could and should be made redundant without massive payoffs.

  • Comment number 42.

    I am sick and tired of Mr. Cameron and Mr. Clegg with their polished looks and pink scrubbed faces asking the public for guidance. They were elected as a result of their promises (not by me I hasten to add) why don't they get on with the job in question. This is not part of their "everyone is involved policy" it is a get out clause when it hits the fan. "Well it was the peoples idea.

  • Comment number 43.

    A quite simple way of saving A FORTUNE would be by abolishing hearings, debates, reviews and endless enquiries. Mostly these are into matters that just need plain old good fashioned COMMON SENSE. But of course there always has to be somebody to blame to keep the compensation vultures busy!

    People die, buildings collapse, cars crash. SO WHAT! GET ON WITH LIFE!

    We DO NOT need costly reviews, usually chaired by pompous people with little experience of life or the real world, to tell us the blindingly obvious every time something happens.

  • Comment number 44.

    I reckon that if we just took over the heroin poppy fields in Afganistan we could make a few £billion a year = less cuts = at least it would/could pay for our forces being there.

  • Comment number 45.

    Why not? The government is paid from my/your taxes. We should have a say in how our taxes are structured and targeted. The Labour government didn't listen to anyone, and just look at the financial dire straits we now find ourselves in, with some benefit claimants featuring in the top 10% of highest earners in the country!!!
    Profligate Government spending on a bloated, useless and under-achieving public sector has shown that the Labour Government were useless at targetting our money. I/you, and the majority of taxpayers, could have done a far better job.

  • Comment number 46.

    'Should the government ask you for policy ideas'? is the HYS question.

    In fact, the government DID ask for policy ideas! And had a huge response

    Unfortunately, this government 'selectively' took those ideas via it's website - yet, apparently all that information of ideas received from the public is not available to the public.

    No, I don't mean names etc., but simply publicise all that info' received.

    Unless the government; who invited and took that information from the public who were required to identify themselves, publish at least a delination of the public's concerns - then that simply exposes this Coalition for the worst of all liars they are increasingly proving to be?

    My allegation is that this Coalition Government, via that specific website has, in effect, scammed and fooled the public of the UK who contributed in good faith and in an open way?

  • Comment number 47.

    Sounds like a concept that should be tried here in the states. My first idea into the suggestion box would be the complete elimination of Washington D.C. Leave the monuments and the Smithsonian but get rid of the political claptrap along with the related red tape.

  • Comment number 48.

    If they were really serious about this they would look at the current stupidity concerning drug policy. They should legalise, regulate and educate. This would save an absolute fortune currently being spent on losing the 'War on Drugs'. They could then tax said legalised drugs and make money for the exchequer. The savings would be in the billions as would the money recouped in taxes.I guess this is far too contentious though.

    A million quid. The Condem Cabinet could probably have a whip-round amongst themselves and come up with that amount.

  • Comment number 49.

    Surely the admin costs, for running an auction website, would be far larger than the amounts of money raised, by this scheme? Therefore, making it unworkable.
    Not to sure about the NI card thing. Only think that it will be abused, like most things. It will be much easier for fraud and misuse.
    As for the CRB checks, it sounds like they "don't do" this already. So where are the savings going to come from. I don't understand why it should be left to "common sense" from the employers.
    Where do you CRB checks for people working with our children?

  • Comment number 50.

    The first thing the government should do is to stop allowing Labour politicians (i.e. those that got us into this financial mess....) to waste yet more public money on endless 'enquiries/commissions' into what has happened years ago. This latest fiasco re phone-hacking (resolved to their satisfaction several years ago...) is so clearly just an attempt to embarrass the government. When will The Labour Party learn to stop thinking only of themselves, and start showing some consideration for the British Public?

  • Comment number 51.

    Soliciting input from the public? Fair enough, good idea in prinicple. But if the best they can do was come up with £1m savings per annum, then that suggests maybe they weren't taking the exercise entirely seriously.

    That said if they're looking to offload a used office chair that's still in reasonably good condition, I'll think about it. Mine is killing me.

  • Comment number 52.

    Ideas YES decisions NO.

    The sooner this government starts making the tough decisions that this country needs the better. I'm sick or hearing about the government proposing to do something. Please get on with it, PLEASE!

    One of my ideas - Limit those living on benefits and benefits alone to one child, i.e. such people will not receive extra benefits for more than one child. In other words set a cap on the amount of benefit any one person can receive. A tough and controversial idea yes but such measures are the only that way we will eventually break this could work but don't culture we now have.

    The sad news is that if we start introducing such measure now, well it will be 2 or 3 generations before the problem will start to go away.

  • Comment number 53.

    We get spurious road works started before the end of the financial year by councils attempting to justify their road budgets so they can get the same amount next year, presumably to fritter away on pointless repairs again.

    I'd also fine any MP who uses bashing the unemployed as a popularity measure. Eliminate tax fraud, insurance claim fiddling and parking in disabled bays by the ably employed first.

  • Comment number 54.

    Regarding earlier comments about having an NI cards being a useful weapon against illegal immigrants, they've really not done their homework. You can get an NI card just with a foreign passport, the reason being that its sole purpose is a tax identification number nothing else.
    There's also no need to worry about people getting their number wrong. Whilst in theory that's possible it is fairly unlikely, the number contains a check digit in it so if you mix up the digits a computer will know it's wrong. It's also on every p60 you've ever been given.
    Finally in response to coming down harder on criminals being a solution to the deficit? You need to clarify what you mean, because alas longer prison sentences COST money they don't save it.

  • Comment number 55.

    What a waste of time. How much is this stunt costing? I realise they probably need help as they haven't many ideas themselves. Osborne looks as if he is way out of his depth. Does anyone think they will accept any ideas that clash with their ideology. Everyone is pro cuts in spending until affects them and then their opinions change. I would be more impressed if they clamped down on wealthy tax dodgers and did something about the obscene wages paid to a few. Instead they are just trying to whip up hatred of those on benifits, there is one thing certain the tabloid press will help them do this.
    The Tories don't want our opinion its a stunt to make us think we have a say. They will carry on just the same. Just look it's the Royal Mail for sale now, more cherry picking for the private sector and the State left with the unprofitable service.
    Public dicussion! They are well named the Con party

  • Comment number 56.

    5. At 12:20pm on 10 Sep 2010, Reiver wrote:
    What's the point? The EU and immigration are not on their agenda.


    It only took 5 posts for someone to mention either the EU or immigration. its like a record thats stuck.

  • Comment number 57.

    We all know it is a publicity stunt. The Government will introduce the policies it wants to, and if someone suggests the same policy the person who suggests it can go round thinking it was introduced because of them, when in fact it wasn't.

  • Comment number 58.

    Am so angry at being 'fooled' by this Government website scam inviting genuine concerns contributing to so-called policy and costs reductions?

    My contributions were focussed on reducing energy bills in all areas of government - and publishing those costs to the tax-payers?

    Is that an issue, NO!!!

  • Comment number 59.

    The scale of government debts and the amount that it is spending compared with its income mean drastic action is required. If the weakest in society are to be protected as much as possible from reductions in spending then virtually all the burden will fall upon employment costs in the public sector. The numbers employed will have to reduce and the employment costs of those remaining be cut by salary reduction and pension cost. It would be interesting to see what proportion of their budgets is spent on pension provision for public sector organisations compared with private industry. I suspect a huge difference.

  • Comment number 60.

    No, asking the public for ideas is not a good idea. The government is there to govern on behalf of the public. Not everyone is going to agree with every idea, and a large portion of the public are potato heads anyway, the ideas would be rubbish. Let the government do the job its supposed to do.

  • Comment number 61.

    What is wrong with all of these people? When I got my national insurance number it was written on a brown paper card at the youth employment office just before I started work and I have remembered it ever since! No doubt these same people must carry a plastic card around with them for their credit card pin number, telephone number and car registration.

  • Comment number 62.

    I think asking the end user is a great idea and not a gimmick. The civil servants and politicans may come up with schemes etc, but in most cases wont be using said schemes, so how can they know whether its effective or not. The people running schemes and the end users are best place to see if something is working or not, and therefore best placed to give advise on amending

  • Comment number 63.

    Nothing new in lobbying MPs. The well connected will have more power of influence, so in reality the public will not have a say.

  • Comment number 64.

    I believe that this not-too-clever government think that they have come up with another clever idea. They basically are asking for idea from which they will cherry pick their own personal favourites and then say it was OUR suggestion - they will simply ignore anything which doesn't meet their personal agenda. They will wrap this up as 'consultation'!! Phoee, Bunkum and down right deceit! (as My Grandad would have said 'A right dirty Tory trick).

  • Comment number 65.

    Don't they have any ideas of their own?

  • Comment number 66.

    34. At 12:48pm on 10 Sep 2010, Sepenenre wrote:
    "Yes, my first one would be get rid of at leat 500 MP's and use the money on somethimg else.

    Australia only need 151. Sio why have we got nearly 700 of these windbags????"


    It might not be a bad idea to cut back on the number of MPs...but you should be aware that Australia has a population of approximately 22m compared to over 60m in the UK, so almost 3 times the population of Australia. That's why we need more MPs.

  • Comment number 67.

    I was given the "all clear" by a consultant surgeon last week after a hip replacement. 2 days later, I received an outsourced Medical Questionnaire asking if I could lift/walk/stand so I replied to all questions that I was now fit, raring to go and was on a Pathways to Work programme to find employment. I said that I did not need a medical since I felt fine, I could carry out all the mobility tasks to the highest level on the scale, and with a consultant surgeon's professional assessment only 48 hours ago, a further medical examination to see that I could stand/sit/walk and lift was a waste of public money. This morning (the day George Osborne announced the "Welfare crackdown") I received a letter stating that I must attend a Medical Review. When I queried this with the DWP, I was told that I had to attend or else my support to return to work would be discontinued and my ESA Benefits (on which I shall have to live until I find work) would be cancelled.

    If this is the way that the new Government plans to reduce unnecessary public expenditure, then Mr Osborne is going to make little headway, I fear. It reads like a script from Yes Minister - "Stop looking for work - you need a Medical to confirm that you don't need a Medical and are fit to look for work".

    I would like to be interviewed for a post to review these wonderfully efficient systems that lead the drive to squeeze maximum benefit from each "Public Pound".

  • Comment number 68.

    How much did it cost to sift through 100,000 ideas to come up with these three pips?
    1. National Insurance cards are sturdier; a letter ages easily. Since employers/employees need this number upon hiring, I can see enquiries to the National Insurance hotline heating up (with potential errors also getting hot).
    2. Junior doctors will receive fewer checks. This one will last until one (1) junior doctor makes a "criminal" mistake on "one" patient. For your sake, I hope it's not a loved one of yours.
    3. Space furniture will be sold online. I can see the profit of this one being eaten up by shipping costs, returns, complaints. But anyway, looks like job-creation to me.
    If this is the best of Treasury input, I say scrape the project because the suggestions are probably taking more time to read than they are worth.
    Speaking of worth: I doubt that the savings will amount to £1m/year because the Coalition Government hasn't seemed to factor: income - expenses = net profit.

  • Comment number 69.

    It's about time that they did.

    Looking at the majority of those voted into parliament I don't think it was because of their brilliant and creative ideas.

    If they didn't ask for innovative ideas from the general public where the best creativity really lies they would have to rely on the mandarins in Whitehall.

    Now which would we all prefer?

  • Comment number 70.

    26. At 12:38pm on 10 Sep 2010, chris berridge wrote:

    Perhaps it's recognition in Westminster that politicians don't have all the solutions? I welcome it.
    No sorry, it's a gimmick. You don't have to be a dinosaur to spot that, just have a modicum of intelligence and not be fooled by smiling faces.

  • Comment number 71.

    Any government who does this is either short of ideas or will pick those which suit their political dogma and blame the electorate when they go wrong.

  • Comment number 72.

    28. At 12:39pm on 10 Sep 2010, Graham wrote:
    The idea of taking ideas from the public for making savings is a good idea(phew!) but how much did it cost to come up with savings of £1M?

    National insurance cards are badges of maturity for young people. My own two daughters were extremely proud to get theirs. The card makes you feel welcome, "grown up" and part of society.

    sounds like your daughters should get a life and you should have got them a provisional driving license instead. Certainly why should anyone be proud to get something that everyone else gets without any qualification apart from reaching 16?

  • Comment number 73.

    26. At 12:38pm on 10 Sep 2010, chris berridge wrote:
    Perhaps it's recognition in Westminster that politicians don't have all the solutions? I welcome it.

    As for the dinsoaur union leader who described it as a "gimmick", the sooner he and his type become extinct, the better!
    A 100,000 people respond and 3 ideas?

    A gimmick is a gimmick is a gimmick.

  • Comment number 74.

    Should the government ask you for policy ideas?


    Its actually so very ridiculous.

    Just one idea, moral justified idea.

    For those who still insist that Labour caused the worst of this, YOU ARE WRONG, FACTUALLY.
    The banks actually caused banking collapse & more than doubling of UK debt (dont forget the £800billion UNOFFICIAL debt, used for banks, which government keep seperate from rest of OFFICIAL debt of £925 billion and of which the £925 billion is much due to ADDED costs from lost tax receipts and unemployment expense, as well as yet MORE part funding for banks)as a DIRECT result of banks negligence and greed.

    PLUS there is the SMALL matter of the UK economy losing around £1+ TRILLION via various things such as lower housing/property values, lower share prices, lower pensions funds returns, lost savings interest rates, cuts to people wages, impending other cuts to benefits and services plus many many more areas of financial loss, all of which have a compounding domino effect on losses of future years.

    Now lets see, the banks caused this, whats their punishment, or what compensation are they being made to pay.

    Well, UK banks paid out over £60billion in bonuses the last financial year, Labour made them pay a 50% tax on bonuses over £25,000, which actually ended in April of this year, but wait, what else happened-

    3rd September 2010. Bankers sabotaged a tax on massive bonuses by using their financial expertise to keep hold of their wealth, Alistair Darling has admitted.

    Last year, 26 London-based banks and financial institutions had to comply with a new FSA pay code, and had to pay a one-off 50 per cent bonus tax which netted the Treasury £2billion.

    This year, the Torys have set a levy of £2billion on the banks, but wait, whats the TRUTH, whats the REALITY.

    The truth and reality is that the banks receive around £1billion back, in various tax breaks, hence their levy, their naughty compensation for causing this financial/economic and SOCIAL disaster is just £1billion a year, which incidently is not enough to even pay 25% of the DUE interest on the TOTAL losses and costs inflicted upon UK.

    Hence, FACT IS, even if the banks paid this rate for 10 thousand million billion zillion years, they still will NOT have paid a SINGLE penny off the amount of damage they have caused the UK economy/businesses/people, etc etc.

    Hence, I have an idea, I would hold a secret parliamentry session late at night and FREEZE ALL assets of the banks/financial institutions concerned, and then put a levy upon those banks/institutions of just a paltry 25% of the bonuses paid out based upon year end bonuses of 2009/2010. The banks can freely operate their assets, BUT ownership of them remains with UK TAXPAYERS for at least a 30 year period, hence, to STIP the CONIVING greedsters from escaping from UK without paying a bean in recompense.

    Such a levy would NOT effect their profits, but would PUT MORAL DUTY upon these institutions and actually make them pay for damage, INSTEAD of INFLICTING and ENFORCING it on the people of the UK, who have commited NO crime and who have NOT been NEGLIGENT, and WHO, justly, morally, ethically, should NOT be forced to pay and endure the financial costs of the banking system.

    At the moment, there is so much guile and trash on how we need to make banks stronger so they can benefit society. Its COMPLETE nonsensical and biased and discriminatory political hogwash. They are presently doing the BARE minimum for UK economy. Yet out of the carnage they have inflicted upon UK & world they are making £BILLIONS via yet even MORE HEAVY GAMBLING.

    If Camerons ConDem clowns want an idea. How about JUSTICE, an idea, a concept, which they so far pretentiously, deviously and attrociously IGNORE!

  • Comment number 75.

    Actually, we have been conned? Look at France? The antipophy (sorry about spelling) by the French on the English and vis versa may change quite soon?

    My support now is with demonstrations by the French people on government dictacts on retirement age and pension reforms etc., etc., etc?

    Extreme politics thrives on isolation and run by News International/Murdoch et al and failed American ideology now at the heart of government - 10 Downing Street today.

    This government is causing job loss across the country - yet has no open debate on what to do with all those new unemployed they are creating? Yep, that's progress - NOT!!

  • Comment number 76.

    There's a highly-paid civil servant, somewhere in Whitehall, whose sole function is to think up novel ways of keeping lots of other civil servants occupied.
    If the nation needs to economise, why not set up a well-staffed sub-department, with lots of secretarial assistance and expensive IT equipment, and invite suggestions from the public on how to economise?
    What a monumental waste of time and money!

  • Comment number 77.

    It has been in the news recently that everyone on DLA (Disability Living Allowance ) will have to face tough new medical tests in an effort to reduce the deficit. I realise that something must be done to save money, but my worry is that many claimants of DLA will be ex servicemen & woman that have been injured in the service of their Country , both physically and mentally (PTSD) I myself have had to undergo one of these so called medicals due to my service in the 1991 gulf War, which left me in a very depressed state of mind. Ex service personal are very proud men & woman and do not need the added humiliation of feeling like they are a burden on their Country with degrading medicals. Lets be honest some people on benefits are trying it on and could work, I suggest the Government weed these people out first. I would suggest that wounded ex servicemen & woman are the most honourable group of individuals who actually need help and assistance with their lives. These men & woman have paid a high price in the service of their Country,The aim of this group is to make Government aware that the British public wont tolerate our boys being mistreated. If you join this group you agree with me and many others that we must.......

  • Comment number 78.

    36. At 12:50pm on 10 Sep 2010, The_Ides_of_March wrote

    Brilliant lateral thinking but it doesn't fit in with Tory thinking, far too radical. It wouldn't be supported by party donors and owners of the tabloid press as it would do too much to help the averge and lower paid and stop their gravy train. We have a serious problem with the wealth gap but those in power won't do anything about it

  • Comment number 79.

    34. At 12:48pm on 10 Sep 2010, Sepenenre wrote:
    Yes, my first one would be get rid of at leat 500 MP's and use the money on somethimg else.

    Australia only need 151. Sio why have we got nearly 700 of these windbags????

    With all respect Australia is a minor country compared to the UK and has a much smaller population

  • Comment number 80.

    Typical union comment I mean why on earth would you ask "the public" what they think!

  • Comment number 81.

    It's really just an age old concept used by those in power for centuries,

    Throw the serfs a few crumbs, that'll keep them happy.

    Put the word new in front of anything and people will fall for anything, NuLabour, New Politics, New Blue / White Daz, we fall for it every time.

    And now they are getting you to start sending in ideas of the best way to cut your own services, while they continue and improve their millionaire lifestyle.

    Got to admit it's quite a clever wheeze from the Posh boys! Got the suckers doing their dirty work for them and the bonus is they actually think they are smart for doing it and will vote for us again.

    Blue / white spin, sure enuff baby.

  • Comment number 82.

    Why are we paying this "Government" their salary..Some people are not fooled by the gimmicks that are becoming a daily event..and why are they then referring to "Think Tanks" for which they pay them for their services...they want our ideas then in the economic climate then pay these people. I am getting fed up with the daily spouting from some smarmy MP telling us how tough things are..we know we are not all fools some of us can think for ourselves. Get on with doing the job you were elected and are being paid to do...if you can't do the job then get out.

  • Comment number 83.

    Indonesia's president said it threatened world peace. Yet we are always being told that Islam is a religion of peace. If Islam is so peaceful, why are Islam's own leaders worried about the potential threat of violence from Muslims?

  • Comment number 84.

    They've already plagiarised ideas to sound like the caring sharing peoples tory party (false advertising)

  • Comment number 85.

    It's true that this government were left with the mess caused by the worst administration in the history of the British Isles since Edward II. But their response has been pathetic. It is also true that nothing can ever be as bad as Labour, but what a lot of waffle we have got. Britain is finished and you know what, I can't get out of the country much as I would like to.

  • Comment number 86.

    BAN RELIGION ! How many protests, wars & volence are generated because of religion.

  • Comment number 87.

    Yes they should listen to the public what a silly question,
    secondly they should not be claiming any expenses at all, why well the rest of us have to live on our salaries so should they, they work for us not the other way round and these fools in west minster would like to think they are the elite the man at the top, actually the tax payer is your employer your boss.

    Tax credits should be abbolished it is not the responsibility of the tax payer to subsidise industry so that they can get away with paying really low wages. Increase minimum wage to a point where tax credits are not needed simples!!

  • Comment number 88.

    Apart from the fact that they will get thousands of different suggestions, how can asking the public be a bad thing?

    The only people likely to complain are those that say:
    - It proves the ConDems have no ideas
    - It's their job to have ideas, not mine
    - I won't be able to criticise if they do something I suggested
    - I just want to moan, I don't want to actually help
    - Typical Tories etc etc

    OK so you have already decided that any one who disagrees with this policy is anti government.

    Well I have to hold my hands up that while I did vote Lib Dem I did not expect to see the cosy quasi Tory public school multi millionaires club that has emerged as our new government.

    I will know better next time

    However,could I also suggest that there are a large group of voters out here from all parties and none who will regard this as simply spin.

    There is absolutely 0% chance of the government taking on board any idea that it didn't intend to pursue anyway.
    The agenda has been set by them that ideas that cut expenditure only are good, ideas that improve the efficiency of a service but may cost initially are deemed impracticable. Money can only be found for new investment when it entails for example moving control of NHS funding from those who are actually by all international studies reasonably efficient at spending it to GP's who apart from having no knowledge of major financing or critical care are by all international and national comparisons grossly overpaid.

    How far do you think the suggestion of reducing GP's average remuneration for the current £130,000 pa + to the average of equally well qualified UK hospital registrars (£75,000pa) or their German or Dutch counterparts ( around £50,000 pa) would get?
    This measure alone would save 300 TIMES the amount identified by this silly gimmick exercise in pretend public involvement.

  • Comment number 89.

    What´s the point of electing someone into Parliament as a representative if you´re then supposed to do half the work?

  • Comment number 90.

    Politicians can be, but are rarely, experts in the field that they are appointed minister.

    It is deemed that, from the day of appointment, they somehow "magically acquire" the necessary knowledge to do the job.

    It would seem logical that they obtain views from others who might actually be better qualified.

  • Comment number 91.

    34. At 12:48pm on 10 Sep 2010, Sepenenre wrote:
    Yes, my first one would be get rid of at leat 500 MP's and use the money on somethimg else.

    Australia only need 151. Sio why have we got nearly 700 of these windbags????

    700 windbags each claiming £150'000 per year in expenses.

    so yes cut the number of mps to 200 and then make them have a consituency office in the local council building which we already own they do not need a seperate independant building, Also doing this would mean that if politician x lost his or her seat to a new comer we wouldnt have to fork out thousands for new office equipment .

  • Comment number 92.

    Politicians being politicians ; asking is easy but the chances of any policy desired by the taxpayer being adopted is extremely remote. The only policies politicians are interested in are the ones that fill their pockets and keep them in office. If the majority of taxpayers were listened to, all criminals would be doing hard labour, murderers would be hanged, we would have pulled out of the EEC, benefits would only be paid to the deserving, uncontrolled immigration would have been stopped ,the number of civil servants would have been halved and politicians' numbers and their salaries would have suffered a similar fate.

  • Comment number 93.

    The real problem with the economy is that not all jobs create wealth. Some jobs create no wealth. Such jobs include property investing (just buying and selling), casino banking, car park extortionists, clampers, drug dealing, pick pocketing, TRIDENT. Many of these businesses are parasitic and just syphon off money from other people or make useless products and are a waste of human endeavor. It's a "If you stand on the red dot accidentally you have to pay a fine" sort of thing. The money can be syphoned off down a chain but it will always end up coming from a wealth creator (as all energy comes from green plants). It causes a trickle UP effect. Don't believe me? Hmmm well .... Have you ever seen a new Farrari trickle DOWN to a miner?

    The way to improve the economy is to stop making things that are useless and stop paying people for doing useless work. There are alway real jobs to be done instead. For example: Many investment bankers could do more by sweeping station platforms for example and helping elderly people do their shopping.

  • Comment number 94.

    Why do they ask us how to save money? why not ask for suggestions to increase revenue collection? Asking civil servants to use less biros or switch out lights is obvious and so is much of collecting more revenue why not ask the bankers for our (tax payers) money back, look at non domicile tax status when income is generated in the Uk, looking at rates on secod and third homes if we get a good value from our private train companies for all the money the tax payer pumps in a national Maximum wage and on and on and on

  • Comment number 95.

    I suggested that the Legal Aid budget be funded directly by a hypothecated tax on legal firms as they are the only financial beneficiaries of the scheme. I wonder why they didn't take that one up?

  • Comment number 96.

    If they want us to run the government then they should step down.

    £1million is no saving whatsoever considering how much was given to the banks as bail out money. Surely an MP pay cut would help immeasurably.

    Schemes like this are only there to prevent reactions to cuts and taxes.

  • Comment number 97.

    I'm so excited about the furniture sale. I wonder if I can find a nice duck house for my pond.

  • Comment number 98.

    I put my comments on their website and there were over 6000 other ideas. It seems odd that these are the three they have chosen. Selling old furniture is hardly a revolutionary idea, most of us already do that.

  • Comment number 99.

    I was talking to a friend who was made redundant from the DoE some years ago. When they closed down the place where he worked (in Herts), everything was junked - dozens of teak lab benches, brand new filing cabinets (still wrapped in plastic)etc etc. When he asked why they didn't sell it he was told "too much paper work".

  • Comment number 100.

    Do you think asking the public for their suggestions is a good idea?

    Oh dear, the tories have run out of ideas already, its only been 3 months. Clearly eton is not as good as the toffs think it is.

    An election needs to be called so we can vote this shower of a party out of office and install a proper government.


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