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How should tax money be spent?

09:42 UK time, Tuesday, 28 September 2010

A BBC survey in 22 countries says that people believe that governments misspend more than half of the money they receive in taxes. What do you think about the way your tax money is spent?

Many people also want their government to play a more active role in the economy, the survey suggests.

Across the 22 countries, there was clear backing for government measures to reduce the cost of basic foods, with 78% of people, on average, in favour of food subsidies.

Doug Miller, chairman of one of the research agencies that conducted the poll, said that citizens wanted more active government but also more effective government intervention in the economy.

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.
Do you feel your tax money is misspent? If so, how could it be spent better? Should governments intervene more actively in the economy? How can we reconcile scepticism about government effectiveness with the desire for them to do more?

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Of course governments misspend money! The spend it on things I disagree with.

  • Comment number 2.

    Wisely. Spent on growing the economy and paying that huge debt left by brown and labour.

  • Comment number 3.

    As this HYS question is based on global research via World HYS (?) about government mis-spending of taxes - I would suggest that for UK alone:

    1) All taxpayer subsides be removed from House of Commons and House of Lords restaurants and bars - that way taxpayers can see the REAL costs of MP and Lords expenses/allowances claims for themselves and their 'guests' instead of paying twice - expenses/allowances on top of subsides?

    2) Until those who govern us, and deciding right now on cuts causing unemployment and tax rises too, pay full prices at THEIR place of work, that everyone else does - there will be no trust or credibility.

    3) MPs and Lords still claim for Council Tax, Food, Energy bills, etc., just because they are MPs and Lords - is that right?

  • Comment number 4.

    2. At 10:33am on 28 Sep 2010, in_the_uk wrote:

    "Wisely."


    And there was me thinking people would want it spent unwisely...

  • Comment number 5.

    Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it.

  • Comment number 6.

    You have to speculate to accumulate.

    I would like the government to invest in scientific research and high tech industry so that our once great country can be rebuilt into more than just a nation of public servants and customer service advisors.

    We need industry. We cannot compete with the mass manufacturing capacity of China and India, but we could be world leaders in the technology sector. Biotech, nanotech, nuclear fusion, the amazing Skylon (see Jonathon Amos' bog) are what will make Britain Great.

    Continuing to spend taxpayers money on rewarding the failure, both of the banks and the chav underclass, will keep us on our current path to insignificance.

  • Comment number 7.

    Just stop wasting my money on welfare scroungers, I include the royal family in this group. I work hard for my money and refuse a lot of overtime because I pay tax at the higher rate. This means that if I work an overtime shift with a value of £260, £130 goes in tax & national insurance. If other people are more needing of my money they are welcome to it but I hate subsidising greedy couples who refuse to take responsibility for their own children and has previously stated, the royal parasites.

  • Comment number 8.

    Money should be spend on the people of that country. Not waste it on Overseas Aid, foreign wars, the pope coming to Britain, or stupid things like MPs expences. It is about time that the Goverment spends our tax money just like a prudent Housewife who bugets for her weekly shopping. Yes I know that will never happen.

  • Comment number 9.

    4. At 10:44am on 28 Sep 2010, Itsallgreek2me wrote:

    2. At 10:33am on 28 Sep 2010, in_the_uk wrote:

    "Wisely."


    And there was me thinking people would want it spent unwisely...

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

    There are still people thinking we should spend it all and borrow more. Your thinking is right

  • Comment number 10.

    In the UK we could do with some kind of bureau or quango that analises all bids for government contracts to ensure value for money.

    At the moment when a private company gets a government contract quite often they seem to see it as an oppurtunity to rip us all off, seven ways till sunday.

  • Comment number 11.

    No-one in the world will agree with how their Government spends tax money. People only want the money to spent on things that benefit themselves not the country. Perhaps if more people stopped to think about what all in their society needed, the government might follow their lead.

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm happy to help out the disabled, the elderly, the NHS, schools and the police through my taxes.
    I'm not happy to help out ablebodied adults who've never had a job, or pay for incentives to stop people getting fat, or leaflets to tell people it's unhealthy to smoke etc etc

  • Comment number 13.

    Govern-ment is to govern only.
    Invest-ment is to spend/invest our money.
    Problems start when they mix up thier roles..:)

  • Comment number 14.

    It's little wonder that successive governments find the finances of the country in a mess. We have specific taxes such as NHS deductions from wages, road fund licences, television licence fees being hived off to anywhere other than what they were collected for. If Joe public were to do that we would be in court for obtaining money under false pretences or mis-appropriation of funds. We need to make sure that if 10 billion pounds is collected from the population under the guise of NHS contributions, that money goes to the NHS and is properly audited to make sure it's spent properly. Income tax should be used for items that don't have a dedicated collection such as defense. All items that then come out of income tax should be graded by their importance. Defense and security should come top of the list for without it, nothing else really matters.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'd have thought this was pretty obvious for some time. You see the same in talking about cuts. Cuts in general are supported as everyone thinks there is huge waste and areas they don't like to make cuts. Where as specific cuts are not supported because they cut something they like.

    You can see this in the above comment about MP subsidies in HoC restaurants and bars. The money that might be saved sounds huge to an individual, but is piddling in the scheme of things.

    Most of our taxes go on four areas, and cuts have to be made in all of these if the deficit is to be cut from spending cuts

    1) To local councils to pay for most of the services they provide, education, social care etc. Cut this and your council tax will simply have to rise to make up for it. Or cut back on the spending get rid of meals on wheels, school building programs etc.

    2) Defense spending - with all the irrational hype of the tabloids if any attempt is made to cut here. Do we need a nuclear deterrent for other than national pride. Do we need to spend substantially more that our European partners on defense.

    3) The NHS - and no you won't make the cuts needed by cutting spending on cosmetic surgeries or fertility treatment we just don't spend that much. If you want to make real savings here you need to cut those small local hospitals and concentrate on large regional facilities. Get rid of the local G.P and have area services.

    4) Social Security - you can twiddle at the edges and save a bit. But if you want to make real cuts here you need to be radical, but if you do you get the liberal press attacking you

    If you don't want to make these cuts then you need tax rises, and again there is no soft option taxing the millions bankers earn won't do it. It will have to be taxes that hit everyone rises in VAT (well above the 20% planned for the new year) increase in the standard rate (remember this used to be 33% and we got along fine).

    There is no pain free way to cut the deficit, yes the politicians and the bankers are top fault, but so are we by accepting the good years and not putting aside for the bad. Unfortunatly no matter how much we might like it we are the ones that will to pay in some way either with cuts to services or rises in our taxes.

  • Comment number 16.

    Successive governments have managed to muddy the waters in defence of the realm. For example, are nuclear submarines on patrol around the world for months on end and armed with Trident missiles a defence or attack system? It is portrayed as a deterrent system but if a nation attempted to take them on, what then? It would become an attack system must be the answer so stop spending taxpayers money on aggressive weaponry that simply cannot be justified and has built-in redundancy.

  • Comment number 17.

    Charity ought to begin at home. We currently have pensioners faced with thes tark choice between starving to death or heating their homes - and a Government committed to continuing the treatment. Is my tax money spent wisely? No!

  • Comment number 18.

    7. At 11:00am on 28 Sep 2010, Syni_cal wrote:

    Just stop wasting my money on welfare scroungers, I include the royal family in this group. I work hard for my money and refuse a lot of overtime because I pay tax at the higher rate. This means that if I work an overtime shift with a value of £260, £130 goes in tax & national insurance. If other people are more needing of my money they are welcome to it but I hate subsidising greedy couples who refuse to take responsibility for their own children and has previously stated, the royal parasites.

    = = = = = = =

    The Royal Family CONTRIBUTES £200 MILLION TO the economy - and are a Tourist attraction.

    Maybe if our private sector businessmen did as much we wouldn't be in the mess we are today with the CONDEMS ready to fleece the poor as is usual for Tory politicians.

  • Comment number 19.

    9. At 11:06am on 28 Sep 2010, in_the_uk wrote:

    "There are still people thinking we should spend it all and borrow more. Your thinking is right"

    The wisdom or otherwise is debatable, but it seems economists at the Financial Times disagree with you.

    http://blogs.ft.com/martin-wolf-exchange/2010/09/26/we-can-only-cut-debt-by-borrowing/

  • Comment number 20.

    We entrust governments with the use of our money, via taxation, to give them the wherewithal to pay for the services that the citizen cannot provide for himself.

    If those core services are not provided, the government fails in its stewardship of our money by failing to meet its obligations to us, the citizens who employ it.

    When our money is spent on anything other that the provision of services, it is not being used for the purpose for which they are permitted to use it. Hence allegations of 'squandering' and 'misspending' - all too common a sight, and has been for years.

  • Comment number 21.

    The first responsibility of government is Defence of the people, so the first priority should be the Defence budget - something that appears to have escaped George Osbourne (or perhaps Treasury is still running the Brownite agenda).

    We should cut back on DFiD spending as it is largely unaccountable and we can no longer afford such largesse.

    We should not be paying for subsidised bars in parliament or grace and favour homes for politicians or the staff that support them. Downing St, Chequers, Doneywood, Admiralty House, Dolphin Square - how much do they cost the taxpayer?

    The Foreign Secretary has the run of a 115 room mansion in Kent called Chevening - for two people?? Madness.

    These properties should be returned to the Trusts that own them and the taxpayer could save tens of millions a year. If they need to entertain official guests, perhaps they could ask the Queen if she has a spare banqueting hall, or even hire an up market conference centre.

    As a Father of young children, my top three are:-

    1. Defence.

    2. Health.

    3. Education.

    I do think the NHS needs scrutiny as it does not deliver value for money, despite the considerable efforts of front line staff. It was a mistake to exclude the NHS from the spending review.

  • Comment number 22.

    Having worked for the Government at a local council I can only say what waste you have seen is the tip of a iceberg, if you really knew the extent of waste, corruption and stupid non job schemes where your money is sloshed around like water from a endless high pressure hosepipe your eyes would be the thing watering.
    The supply is endless and so shall be the spending.

  • Comment number 23.

    19. At 11:24am on 28 Sep 2010, Itsallgreek2me wrote:

    9. At 11:06am on 28 Sep 2010, in_the_uk wrote:

    "There are still people thinking we should spend it all and borrow more. Your thinking is right"

    The wisdom or otherwise is debatable, but it seems economists at the Financial Times disagree with you.

    http://blogs.ft.com/martin-wolf-exchange/2010/09/26/we-can-only-cut-debt-by-borrowing/

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

    Thats always the case. There is always someone on the other side and its nto an exact science. If these people had been any use they would have been telling brown not to spend up as he was. If you have a loan, do you repay it or do you borrow another loan to pay that one? That is what labour did. We are now stuck in debt at a time when people dont want to be spending. We did not cover our debts and we borrowed more (in the good times).

    So while some economists say borrow more, others say dont. Since spending got us into this mess, I prefer the idea of saving to fix it

  • Comment number 24.

    Of course governments squander most of the taxpayers money collected. Governments should fund defence and justice and just monitor all the other things they currently fund and let others run the education and health services.

  • Comment number 25.

    When I look at what I receive in exchange for my taxes - council tax, income tax, tv licence vat, fuel duty, vehicle licence etc - throughout the year I, like many others, know only too well that it is very little.

    Far too much is still being diverted into areas other than those for which they were intended originally, and squandered on minority sectors of the economy. Vehicle licence duty is a classic example - little or nothing of it goes to maintain our pot-holed roads; most of it ends up in the pockets of benefit scroungers and to support the growing immigrant population that even from day one was never able to support itself. If it doesn't end up there, heaven knows where it goes, because there is little evidence that my taxes have been spent properly anywhere else.

    Any suggestion that food is costly is false - it has rarely been cheaper. Today's 12-year olds have no idea what proportion of the weekly income food once was, or that they have it so easy now. In the 1960s, it represented almost half the wage packet, and no food was binned or wasted - nobody could afford to do that. Those complaining about the cost of food should check their cupboards and stop shovelling unfinished meals in their bins.

  • Comment number 26.

    We should have the right to say where we want our money spent, just as we have the right to donate to which charities we prefer.

  • Comment number 27.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 28.

    When the Canadian government(much admired by Osborne)asked people what parts of the government's budget should be cut, the response they got was basically 'cut everything I don't use'.
    So one person's waste is anothers vital expenditure.
    The issue in the UK is that pre-election, the Cameron 'Big Society' and smaller state proposals were not spelt out in detail. Now the Coalition is forging ahead, again with no details.
    However, to take the 'Free School' policy, rushed through on the nod, seems to be one of replace the LEA with any ragtag group, who will get the tax-payers money, be accountable only to the Secretary of State, who has already said he is comfortable with the idea that education providers can make a profit from their activities.
    So, in the future it may be that the headline is 'Tax rates are lower' but the fact that people are now paying (higher)fees for services which were centrally funded will be unreported.
    The long term effects in Canada were, a lower level of government spending and an increase in social deprivation, homelessness and long-term unemployment.
    No doubt, to paraphrase a previous Tory Minister, the Coalition take the view, 'it's a price worth paying'.

  • Comment number 29.

    We pay our taxes to provide for the things we need. You're right, but it does not work that way. A example, I know an arthritic agrophobic invalid who needed a stairlift, cost £3000. Social services decided to build a ramp at the entrance to her house cost £3500 which was no use whatsoever and was never used because she was house bound. A complete failure to assess her medical needs.

  • Comment number 30.

    Of course tax is mis-spent.
    Do we really need to spend Billions of pounds on a nuclear deterrent anymore?

    Spending billions on devices we will never use is insane!

  • Comment number 31.

    I think this question is probably the root of the problem - even before the gov HAS tax money it has something to spend it on.
    Perhaps people would be a lttle less unhappy at losing 20-50% of everything they work for if governments thought a bit more about where it come from.

  • Comment number 32.

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

  • Comment number 33.

    Yyyyyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    I am sure there is something else we can discuss. I am so bored of seeing the same old people whinging about immigrants, benefit scroungers, etc.

  • Comment number 34.

    Taxation should be obliged to provide a warning, just as investments/pensions have warnings.

    WARNING: The value of your tax payment may be wasted and attrociously abused as well as being a useful tool to pay much of it to a few people via government expenditure contracts.

  • Comment number 35.

    "The Royal Family CONTRIBUTES £200 MILLION TO the economy - and are a Tourist attraction."
    I don't know where the £200 million figure comes from but I do know it costs the tax-payer £180 million a year to maintain the Royal family and their residences. This cost is buried in the budgets of other government departments. When the royals had their own 'Royal Yacht' is was carried on the RN's budget as a hospital ship, despite using the wrong fuel etc to be of any use except as an expensive toy.
    It's costing us £1.4 million a year for Wills to shack up with his girl friend offbase while he's playing at being a helicopter pilot. One of the minor royals(a distant cousin) got married earlier this year, his wife changed her religion so he could keep his £50k a year from the Civil List, most people aren't aware just how long that list is.
    However, even if we became a republic and sold most of the former royal residences to Premier Inns, it wouldn't make much of a dent in the public finances.

  • Comment number 36.

    What, only half of the money misspent? If only.

    Local government, Westminster, the NHS, police, armed forces, benefits, etc, are all unreformed moneypits.

    This is not a criticism of the employees, it is a view of overcentralised and inflexible self perpetuating institutions.

    We should ban the weasel words: 'consultation', 'initiative', 'partnership', 'wellbeing', etc, and hold officials accountable for doing their job properly.

  • Comment number 37.

    RichardGrey wrote:
    The Royal Family CONTRIBUTES £200 MILLION TO the economy - and are a Tourist attraction.


    If the Royal Family were to return the lands and property that they have stolen from the people of this country then they wouldn't be able to provide that £200 million a year as it is all the proceeds of crime.

    I'd also like to know where you get a ticket to see the Royal Family, I’ve looked everywhere but strangely I can’t find tickets to see the Queen or any of the other parasites and hangers-on of the Royal court.
    They are not the tourist attraction; the land, property and military demonstrations are the tourist attraction and when the Royal Family are finally relieved of their stolen property and titles the tourists will still flock to see all of the Palaces, the changing of the guard and everything else that they come to see now.
    America and France seem to have no problem attracting tourists and I've never heard anyone say how they'd love to visit the Palace of Versailles but the lack of a reigning Monarch made them decide to visit somewhere else instead…

  • Comment number 38.

    considering all the forced - income tax and NI, Road Tax, Council Tax, VAT, alcohol and tobacco tax, fuel tax, parking tax, crossing bridges and tunnels tax, bbc tax, water tax, etc etc etc the list is endless. They are a greedy bunch with no morals. I deeply resent MY taxes being spent on bomb building and invasions of sovereign nations. for a defense force, britain has done an awful lot of attacking in the past 500 years - justify that how you will - but have the honesty to call it an offense force at least. even so, my taxes are not a free meal ticket for that bunch of no gooders. as far as the BBC is concerned a single entertainment channel will suffice and the cost should be reduced - i resent funding what is effectively a propaganda machine as shown by your inherent bias in news reporting where you tow the national line regardless of the truth. if you were to represent the truth, the whole truth and nothig but the truth i would wholeheartedly pay double. btw, we do not need 10 radio stations and 5 tv channels and all the rest forced upon us and then made to pay a stealth tax on that. while the likes of idiots like woss and wogen (oops) do not deverve even one tenth of what you pay them, with our taxes. stop this regime of over taxing and take a leaf from other nations where your income tax pays for all those services and the other taxes dont even exist - yet they manage quite well. cut all those back door taxes. britain will be a better place.

  • Comment number 39.

    Can people agree on a number of things that should be tax funded and the principles behind that? Can we agree on a sensible management approach to those things? Achieving that would make a great deal of sense and save huge amounts of money. It would also allow politics to debate the detail rather than endlessly debating the fundamentals of our society thus preventing us from actually getting on with things.

    It is clear that were people aware of what is actually spent on what then they would not be happy with a significant portion of that expenditure. It is also clear that most of us are aware of the mis management of our funds even where we agree with the service being delivered from tax.

    It is also obvious that government is barely democratic on this issue. There is for example a war in Afghanistan that has no democratic support yet is being funded to the tune of billions. There is aid money flooding from us into countries that represent our competition. There is an internal market in the NHS employing thousands when the problem was simply one of the performance and quality of existing management. The list goes on.

  • Comment number 40.

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

  • Comment number 41.

    21. At 11:36am on 28 Sep 2010, HomeCountyCynic wrote:
    The first responsibility of government is Defence of the people, so the first priority should be the Defence budget - something that appears to have escaped George Osbourne (or perhaps Treasury is still running the Brownite agenda).

    We should cut back on DFiD spending as it is largely unaccountable and we can no longer afford such largesse.

    We should not be paying for subsidised bars in parliament or grace and favour homes for politicians or the staff that support them. Downing St, Chequers, Doneywood, Admiralty House, Dolphin Square - how much do they cost the taxpayer?

    The Foreign Secretary has the run of a 115 room mansion in Kent called Chevening - for two people?? Madness.

    These properties should be returned to the Trusts that own them and the taxpayer could save tens of millions a year. If they need to entertain official guests, perhaps they could ask the Queen if she has a spare banqueting hall, or even hire an up market conference centre.

    As a Father of young children, my top three are:-

    1. Defence.

    2. Health.

    3. Education.

    I do think the NHS needs scrutiny as it does not deliver value for money, despite the considerable efforts of front line staff. It was a mistake to exclude the NHS from the spending review.


    ====================================================

    My sentiments also, but I would reverse the position of Health and Education, because education is in itself a vitally important part of health and without adequate education then health services are themselves endangered.

    Ultimately, the FIRST and FOREMOST responsibility of any government, is to protect the security of a nation, which Cameron has already cynically and attrociously pretentiously and deceitfully stated.

    With increasing world problems, greater demand for decreasing resources, to cut our ALREADY depleated and TINY military strength and abilitys, is basically a suicidal invitation to any extreme government.

    If we do not have the military capacity to defend and maintain the resources etc which we so take for granted and need to maintain our very existance, then that in itself presents and CREATES a factual ENDEMIC THREAT reality circumstance/outcome.

    Basically, allowing/creating such conditions/circumstance, especially in preference for maintaining a bloated NHS purely for political votes, is factually NEGLIGENCE of duty of the HIGHEST EXTREME.

    "LEST WE FORGET". We were able to say such words, ONLY because of military strength and ability. The lower that strength and ability the more liekely such circumstance can repeat itself, even if muppet politicians CANT see over the horizon, just as PRE-WWII.

  • Comment number 42.

    one more thing, scrap the royal family and claw back all the taxes they have received and sell off their assets - must be a rainbows end at their door step. why the hell should we slave away for them to sponge off us as they do ?

  • Comment number 43.

    It should be spent on finding ways to get rid of people who get it yet add no value to the quality of life or for the benefit of the hard working people of this country. for example, profligate politicians and their cronies.

    Why is it that austerity measures only applies to the innocent victims and not to those who sat on benches in Westminster and watched it unfold then had the temerity to tell us that WE have to tighten OUR belts. I haven't seen the plan that says for every public sector employee who pays the ultimate price for Westminster or parliament incompetence, a number of elected members will suffer the same fate.

    In the same way that it is an absolute disgrace that not 1 single priest has been convicted for child abuse, not 1 single politician has been sacked as a result of the economic mess we are in, and they should for wasting hard-to-come-by money.

    Instead of ministers giving the bank hand outs and then watch millions being paid out on bonuses, why didn't they provide the banks with OUR money on the condition that if they wish to pay themselves bonuses, then the Country too gets a thumping great bonus.

    we are now and have been for as long as I care to remember been governed by complete amateurs.

  • Comment number 44.

    18. At 11:23am on 28 Sep 2010, RichardGrey wrote:

    7. At 11:00am on 28 Sep 2010, Syni_cal wrote:

    Just stop wasting my money on welfare scroungers, I include the royal family in this group. I work hard for my money and refuse a lot of overtime because I pay tax at the higher rate. This means that if I work an overtime shift with a value of £260, £130 goes in tax & national insurance. If other people are more needing of my money they are welcome to it but I hate subsidising greedy couples who refuse to take responsibility for their own children and has previously stated, the royal parasites.

    = = = = = = =

    The Royal Family CONTRIBUTES £200 MILLION TO the economy - and are a Tourist attraction.

    ####################################

    ...and all for 69p per year. Sounds like value for money to me.

  • Comment number 45.

    wisely, effectively and openly.

  • Comment number 46.

    Difficult subject - I assume that most people who pay individual tax (ie income, VAT etc) want to know that thet money is being returned to better their lives, on roads, on public transport ie direct return. However firstly is this sufficient to fund all these. There is of course a question over the indirect tax ie where people cannot see the benefit or see wastefulness of their hard earned money on proping up the banks who failed as a result of individuals who are not directly accountable and seem to have got away with seemingly criminal activities. Other indirect things things like x million in overseas aid which in the long run could provide leverage with governments for 2x million in trade benefits or winning british industry commercial contracts in said countries, when there are people in the UK who need aid (although how needy are domestics compared to overseas) and vast sums on things like trident upon which vast sums are spent as deterents which boiled down to basics is alot of money spent on something designed not to be used.

    Then theres corporation tax and how that is spent. Not directly provided by individuals but indirectly through the support of individuals purchasing goods or services.

    In a nutshell I suppose people want to see direct benefits on tax being re-invested on shore.

  • Comment number 47.

    It is not just how tax is spent but how it is collected which concerns me.

    My local tax is very clearly itemised and I can see how much in pound I am paying for say policing etc.

    Why can’t that be done at a national level instead of all the hidden stealth taxes? They talk about being open and honest but they are anything but.

    As for spending tax yes they do seem to spend more on controlling the collecting and spending of tax than they actually spend on projects and there needs to be more cost effective way of spending public money without the bureaucratic overheads we pay for now.

  • Comment number 48.

    In the Republic of Ireland they pay zero council tax, and that place is no different from the UK to live in.

    That's how much money is wasted, it is truly mind boggling.

  • Comment number 49.

    "3. At 10:39am on 28 Sep 2010, corum-populo-2010 wrote:
    3) MPs and Lords still claim for Council Tax, Food, Energy bills, etc., just because they are MPs and Lords - is that right?"

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

    Yes it is. They are allowed to claim for a second residence they have been required to get for work purposes. If your employer sent you to another part of the country, you would also be able to claim such expenses.

  • Comment number 50.

    Government is there to run the country for the benefit of the people and to keep costs to a minimum as it is our money they are spending, I do not want money spending on social engineering, forcing people to be against their natural inclination that is why we still have censorship on what the public can say etc. and laws that in effect segregate young and old as if they are not segregated enough already. Governments should also not allow vast amount of immigration to disrupt the existing society.
    So government has a roll but should be very careful not to go against general public opinion as happened in the last government
    .

  • Comment number 51.

    Of course governments spend our money because they havent any of their own.It always amazes me that the voters elect a government who are only going to spend according to the political dogma they follow. Tories will feed the private sector and the Labour party follows a spend everything on the public sector.Thats the problem we have as a nation,we havent grown out of this party political see saw.If those who were elected had to consult the people on all important issues the matter of spending our money without consultation would never arise.Party political dogma should be consigned to history and dedicated professionals elected to work on our behalf.What a revelation that would be.Will it happen? No,it would mean the old way of politics would vanish forever and we can't have that can we?

  • Comment number 52.

    30. At 12:03pm on 28 Sep 2010, richard bown wrote:

    Of course tax is mis-spent.
    Do we really need to spend Billions of pounds on a nuclear deterrent anymore?

    Spending billions on devices we will never use is insane!

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

    You only realise you need them when you dont have them.

  • Comment number 53.

    Firstly, as for the poll, it seems yet another pointless waste of time. What does 'misspent' mean? How were these 22 countries chosen? How were the samples in these countries chosen, and who were they? How aware were they of exactly how their tax revenues were spent? It has all the sight and appearance of providing people with an opportunity to rant about everything from defence to potholes in the road.
    Secondly, if you don't like the way the government spends YOUR money, here's a thought - don't vote for them again! And, next time, take a bit more time to find out exactly how they are proposing to spend whatever tax they take out of your pocket before you put a cross in their box. And if you don't, you can't really complain, can you!

  • Comment number 54.

    "10. At 11:06am on 28 Sep 2010, Nok wrote:
    In the UK we could do with some kind of bureau or quango that analises all bids for government contracts to ensure value for money.

    At the moment when a private company gets a government contract quite often they seem to see it as an oppurtunity to rip us all off, seven ways till sunday."
    ===================================================================

    I work in the public sector. I've recently been involved in two large procurement exercises. They must have cost a fortune, given the amount of time and effort numerous staff had to contribute. They also took a very long time (1 year+). Now, it very much looks like no purchases will be made (budget cuts, reorganisations, etc.), even though there's a strong need for at least one of them. A huge waste of taxpayers' money.

    The notion that competitive tendering reduces costs is a complete myth. If anything, it greatly increases costs, for both the buyer and the sellers.

    When I ran my own specialist software company some years ago, I completely ignored all invitations to tender. They were a complete waste of my time (and hence my money). The product 'did what it said on the tin', for a fixed purchase price ... if you liked it you bought it; end of story.

  • Comment number 55.

    "26. At 11:48am on 28 Sep 2010, Graphis wrote:
    We should have the right to say where we want our money spent, just as we have the right to donate to which charities we prefer."

    -----------

    That would most people's instinct, but that's never going to be the case where there are any public services. Everyone would agree that there should be provision for public health, education, law & order, defence etc. It would not work at all if people opted out of paying for these on the basis that they didn't have children, or had private health insurance, for example (even if that meant they paid more elsewhere).

    Taking that into account, I do think that a limited option would be nice, say 5% of income tax could be specified to go to a particular area. That would have the effect of the public directly voting for areas of expenditure. The problem would be if there were huge swings annually.

  • Comment number 56.

    Taxes should be spent on providing a sound infrastructure to support those who pay them, their dependents and a few unfortunate people who, through ill health, are unable to support themselves. Things like schools, roads and hospitals would make a refreshing change.

    Not on supporting overseas countries - including the EU black hole, or on immigrants, people who don't want to work, or indeed anyone who doesn't pay tax for any reason other than their income is below the tax threshold (like those with vast sums in Swiss bank accounts). Nor on Trident, duck houses, bloated top brass in the armed forces, final salary pensions, the Olympics, useless quangos, unnecessary bureaucracy, appeasing mionorities, Have Your Say... the list goes on and on.

  • Comment number 57.

    YES, YES and YES. It beggars belief when Nick Clegg tells the Lib Dem party conference the lies we are all supposed to believe about the economy and how cuts have to be made and then the next day says that the UK will give £550 million in aid to foreign countries because they're poor. Which part of the British economy is so flush with money he can do that, I'd like to know. It's akin to saying we can't afford to have dinner tonight, love, but I'll put £50 on the 3:30pm at Aintree. If the government can afford to shell out £550million in aid to other countries, how about being able to afford decent schools for our children and ensuring people on social housing aren't kicked out just because the tories want to make a load of money on their properties. We are also poor, especially at this time when we need all the help we can get. Clegg should also remember the old adage, "Charity begins at Home". Nuff said.

  • Comment number 58.

    "26. At 11:48am on 28 Sep 2010, Graphis wrote:
    We should have the right to say where we want our money spent, just as we have the right to donate to which charities we prefer."
    =====================================================================

    We do, every time there's a general election!!!

    The idea that we should have a vote on every individual area of public expenditure, and/or on every area of public policy (amounts to much the same) is ludicrous. We'd spend all our lives in the polling station, literally.

  • Comment number 59.

    The last government employed too many public workers and paid many of them far too much.

    Labour thought that employing people was an end in itself. Like in many other areas the last government lost sight of where the money was coming from. If Labour were still in charge they would carry on spending and carry on finding stealth taxes to pay for it.

  • Comment number 60.

    Yes Governments misspend money. They buy up the capitalist system. They experiment on infants implanting radios in them and abuse them their whole lifetime. The government control the news and have bought into the News Media. The Government fund criminals to commit heinous crimes. The money the government gets buys judges, other bureaucratic and political systems. The Government promote their propaganda furnishing children books they are indoctrinated to that makes them selfless slaves giving all power over them. The majority of the tax dollar goes to the military and their police agencies who today have become the New SS acting on sealed orders where only a cover story is used to commit any crime it wishes.

  • Comment number 61.

    "22. At 11:36am on 28 Sep 2010, yorkshire News wrote:
    Having worked for the Government at a local council I can only say what waste you have seen is the tip of a iceberg, if you really knew the extent of waste, corruption and stupid non job schemes where your money is sloshed around like water from a endless high pressure hosepipe your eyes would be the thing watering.
    The supply is endless and so shall be the spending."
    ====================================================================

    I work for a central government controlled body (a huge one!). You're absolutely correct. In this case, much of the 'waste' is caused by politicians, and their ridiculous diktats.

  • Comment number 62.

    If I ran my personal finances as irresponsibly as government they'd throw me in jail. Politicians hold themselves to a lower standard, not higher than the common man.

  • Comment number 63.

    The need of Government is primarily to Serve the interest of the People it is ruling and NOT to serve its interest on the basis of diversified personal interest. Then Taxation with Representation will be utilised for Nation building.

  • Comment number 64.

    Cameron was saying before the election that a few less MP's would not come amiss. What's he doing about it....Correct. Nothing.

    Of course Politicians mis-spend our tax money. When they have done so they can just bleed us for more....as they always have done.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely, does it not?

  • Comment number 65.

    One method of insuring that government spends taxpayer funds wisely is mandating that a politician's ability to get re-elected is tied into whether that politician utilized sound fiscal policies during the course of their administration. I'm sure many politicians would never manage their personal finances like they do that of the taxpayers.

  • Comment number 66.

    The Government should spend as little as possible, cuts costs and lower taxes. Where at all possible, let people choose what they want to spend money on! Ideally people should be able to allocate where their tax payments should go (i.e. if you have to pay £20,000 of tax, you should be allowed to allocate, for example, 50% to NHS, 20% to Education, 20% to Defence and 10% to Benefits). The departments would then just have to operate within the funding constraints they are given.

  • Comment number 67.

    1st off there is no need for income tax. It costs more to administer than it's worth.

    Goods tax, road license, community charge, VAT, Alcohol, fuel and tobacco tax would pay for what is needed, also business rates, pollution tax. Originally introduced to fund one specific subject but now just melts into the black hole of administration.

    If people have more money in their pocket they would spend more, which is taxed. At present around 60% of the goods you buy are tax and the reason we cannot compete anymore in manufacturing.

    The government do not know what the expenditure is, nor do they know the income - it's all an assumption. They also do not care about the cost of services they buy as long as it gets done, what happened to the 3 quote system then beat them down in price.

    The MP's from all parties were lining their pockets, renovating their own homes buying trivial duck houses at 50 times the real price while the country entered a recession that they say took them by surprise, I bet it did, they probably saw it on the TV while out shopping for more furniture. What needs to be controlled is the MP's themselves, make them account for every penny, then justify that cost.

  • Comment number 68.

    miss spent taxes is equal to the devision between the public sector and the private sector,the private sector bursting with unreasonable demands on the public sector to be rationed with less of a share of the funds made available to poor people.
    The British Government is following India,the more people are made welcome the less chance of gaining a share of the home market.
    If the British climate was as hot as India,people would be raking paddy fields to plant rice.

  • Comment number 69.

    Helping pensioners who do not have much in the way of savings; helping members of the armed forces if they have difficulties once leaving the services; necessary medical treatments (as opposed to "pretty" cosmetic treatments, IVF.

    The last government tried to encourage the elderly to stay in their hown homes. It sounds ideal. In practice, for someone living on their own with dementia it does not work - it requires 24 hour care. So more EMI care homes.

    Recommend 21. At 11:36am on 28 Sep 2010, HomeCountyCynic wrote:

  • Comment number 70.

    “With that rather cynical view, it is perhaps a little surprising that there is substantial support for governments to be more active in the economy.”
    This doesn’t surprise me at all. With all that speculation, with all those derivatives that almost brought down the global economy, where was the Government oversite? Where was the protection for the little slogger just trying to earn a living? Where was the protection for sovereign debt, which should have sacrosanct as far speculation was concerned.
    I’m a little surprised that the United States is not weeping & wailing for more financial regulation.
    As far as food subsidies, of course you will get support for food subsidies everywhere that people are not clear about where the next food will be coming from. The surprise here is the sad inclusion of ½ of the United States of America, which spends far too much money on war.
    How do we reconcile the scepticism about government effectiveness with the desire for them to do more?
    This is simple: people want the Government to DO DIFFERENT THINGS, things that will help the people. It means keeping the governmental expenses down – hotel, travel, meals, gym memberships for MPs – while carefully carrying out projects that will keep the people fed, housed, educated, and healthy.
    Just over half of respondents supported action to cut government borrowing. I agree with this in the long-term, once the deficits are down, but in the short-term, borrowing is an ugly necessity. I say ugly because the cost of borrowing ultimately comes out of the taxpayers’ pockets. I want a government that is “spend as you go”, as little debt as posible.
    In the survey, the preferred method of lowering borrowing was to cut services; I say this is not fair because services, especially social services are for the people and the people didn’t cause the deficit. Financial institutions (too big to fail) caused the deficits; so, I highly support a tax on all foreign exchange transactions (This could raise billions.) with the revenue placed, not in a fund to bail-out speculating financial institutions, but in a fund to support jeoparized programs for the people.
    The pattern across countries generally reflects the fact that economic growth is now strong in "developing" economies, and lacklustre in the rich nations. Might this be because developing countries were not highly involved in the speculation and were too poor to be good targets. If you were going to speculate, especially on soverign debt, would you pick a poor country or a rich country?
    What do I think of this poll?
    I think (as my submission) shows that the results are highly subject to interpretation.
    Do you think your tax money is misspent?
    Sometimes, but living in Canada, I have to say - not very much. We Canadians have a fox in the chicken house whose name is James M. Flaherty, Canada's Minister of Finance.
    Should governments play a more active role in the economy?
    Yes, in governing for the people - all the people, not just rich people who can (for the most part) take care of thems but the least of us. How our Governments take care of the least of us marks the morality and greatness of a nation.

  • Comment number 71.

    The UK and the United States wasted tax money in the Middle East. NATO Forces there sate their appetites for murder and sexual assaults on innocent Arab villagers. Obama must end the flow of funds to the United States Army. Their get-rich-quick scam failed. This insipid West Point strategy is obvious and transparent.

  • Comment number 72.

    'How should tax money be spent?'

    1. Ensuring that large, wealthy stock market-listed companies do not avoid paying billions in corporation tax by 'offshoring' profits.
    2. Ensuring that ultra-wealthy individuals do not avoid paying billions in income tax in their country of residence/domicile using blatant tax avoidance/evasion scams.
    3. Introducing iris scans, or similar, to ensure that individuals cannot make fraudulent/multiple welfare benefits claims.

  • Comment number 73.

    Money should be spent by the taxpayers, not the Government. Indirect taxation is the fairest way to levy tax. There should be a "basic" rate of tax at a relatively low level which everyone pays and then there should be VAT. The people work for the money, they should spend it.

  • Comment number 74.

    The USA has largely duped and tricked other governments into following their same policies of radical separation between for profit and self sustaining ventures versus government bureaucracies and expenditures as the benchmark of genuine capitalism and the correct and only paradigm for "free enterprise" economics. This is worse than foolish, but comes for the continued belief in total polarization of the capitalist versus communist dialectic which the USA has failed to overcome. The answer is that governments can and ought to own and run self sustaining and for profit enterprises where that saves money, or makes money, to support the government's own necessary functions in provision of infrastructure. Privatization, American style, is a Cold War retrogressive belief that must be overcome if the western world and its fundamental principles are to survive, and progress towards a viable economics for the sake of progress as to betterment of the human condition and for the preservation of human freedoms. Without that change, disaster will follow disaster, as the financial stressors and mismanagement derived from that failed American belief and policy continue to erode common sense and rational scientific economic practice.

  • Comment number 75.

    26. At 11:48am on 28 Sep 2010, Graphis wrote:
    We should have the right to say where we want our money spent, just as we have the right to donate to which charities we prefer.

    ####################################################

    We do have the right, its called the right to vote.

    Whenever we have an election we decide which political party should have control of the money we give in taxes.

    Governments, both national and local are elected to do things, or to be more precise to get things done. Most things are general for the benefit for all. To do these things they need money, hence we pay tax.

    As I see it tax is your membership fee for being in this country. To those who object to paying ANY tax I say go and find another country and see if you can get away with paying less tax there (for the same benefits).

    I do not object to paying tax, as far as I am concerned it is allways a done deal. My memory of the tatcher years of tax cuts was that everytime I was given £1 in tax cuts I had to pay £1 to local government and £1 more on my mortgage. I just take 1/3 off my pay and accept it.

    To those like the TEA (Taxed Enough Allready)party in the US I say they are disingenuous. They say 'I want to only pay tax on something for me, if it is for someone else then I do not want to pay'. They then complain whenever something comes along they do not expect and demand that the Government should pay for it because they paid a bit of tax a while ago.

    All governments want to be popular. The much vaunted 'feel-good factor' is what gets them re-elected. But it doesn't matter what a government (of left or right) spends tax on, there will allways be someone accusing it of waste, whilst the people it benefits do not thank them for it as they assume it is theirs by right.

    I do not care that a few (and it is a few) people are prepared to live on what they get from the state, or to abuse the system, be it drug users or MP's dubious expenses.

    The reason we are in this amount of government debt is because for 30 years we have voted in governments who have promised that they will reduce the amount of tax we pay whilst maintaining our level of services.

    If we had had even a small raising of tax levels over this period we wouldn't be in such dire straits. One thing is certain we didn't run up this debt because we have too many libraries or give out too many meals on wheels.

    So let government spend the money how they will, if you do not agree then vote for someone else.


  • Comment number 76.

    Steve Cooper wrote:
    "You can see this in the above comment about MP subsidies in HoC restaurants and bars. The money that might be saved sounds huge to an individual, but is piddling in the scheme of things. "

    Steve, i agree with you but I think this is a principle issue.. Why should we all subsidise them when we are cutting back ? Also I believe the houses of commons has the last bar in the country where smoking is still permitted ! This just goes to reinforce the fact that our elected Govt. once elected feel they are above, and no longer have to answer to, the electorate...

  • Comment number 77.

    I think the problem is something that was touched on in Question Time last week... A Private Company has to work for it's income and subsequent profit and plan and control it's spending or it will go bust and fold up... The Govt. doesn't have to work for it's income, it is guarenteed it and if it doesn't have enough it can just take some more.. Also it has almost limitless borrowing potential so doesn't have to plan it's spending particularily carefully... The Govt. should be run more like a Private company and then things may improve.. So much wasted Money and seemingly NO accountability ? It is frustrating but I'm afraid I have no solution and i doubt it is a problem the Govt. really want solved !

  • Comment number 78.

    Tax and Death! The two things that always win out and in both cases one has no say in what happens once one has 'paid the price'!

  • Comment number 79.

    Most people have absolutely no comprehension as to the true cost of keeping them alive; from hospitals to military, to roads and local authorities, from schools to the welfare services, from spying to waste disposal. We need these, they all cost, but if you gave most people a choice, they would at some stage forego their contribution towards them ... or even think they have a choice in interupting the money they spend.

    Some things require you to contribuate all the time. There is no choice - we MUST always pay for them.

    However, there are things that do not have to happen, and that are only a consequence of poor or unusual behaviour. These things include additional welfare costs to cover smokers of the overweight, additional healthcare costs to cover abortions and IVF, additional costs to cover a poor banking model that allows people to bet our future in order for them to earn large bonuses.

    To answer the question - yes money is wasted; but the issue is more about how we are forced to endure this poor financial management.

    If people wish to take actions that cost others money, then they should also be expected to contribute more into the pot in order to cover their costs.

    I would hate to think that my taxed money is ever spent on making good the mistakes of others!!

  • Comment number 80.

    Most govt's plan to spend the tax payers money in a way that gives them the maximum image building milage.However few Govts have the regulatory mechanism to audit and report whether the money intended for a particular scheme has given the desired benefit to the target citizens of the country.More than 50 pc of the funds get siphoned by the middlemen including politicians before it reaches the would be beneficiary citizens.This is the reality.

  • Comment number 81.

    In a minimalist sort of way. Spend as little of it as you need in order to run the country and keep taxes as low as possible.

    Never create a public service job that isn't absolutely necessary since they are always a net cost to the taxpayer - you give them 100% of their salary from public funds and then you tax them so public funds get back about 31-35% of the salary you started with. So, always a net loss of 65-69% of whatever salary you pay them.

  • Comment number 82.

    Far too high a percentage of taxpayers' money is squandered by the political classes, especially the cost of our membership of the EU - soon to become the United States of Europe. UK taxpayers contribute a large chunk of the cash the EU needs to run its increasingly chaotic, corrupt and costly operations. Politicians and apparatchiks just love playing fast and loose with other peoples' money; it is so easy when it is not their own!

  • Comment number 83.

    Our politicians have ducked the issue for years, they imply that European levels of public provision can be provided on US levels of taxation.
    They have made up the shortfall in tax revenue by borrowing(even that famous cutter, Margaret Thatcher ended up with a higher tax take of GNP than her Labour predecessors).
    The problem for the right, who know that to really reduce government spending to levels where they could cut personal taxation, to the sort of levels they would prefer,would involve severe cuts to the NHS, welfare spending, pensions ,education. Government provision would have to be replaced by individuals and families funding health, education, pension provision etc themselves.
    To win an election on that platform would be impossible.
    The centre-left's problem is that they have allowed phrases like the 'tax burden' to be used unchallenged and in fact have accepted the concept themselves. Brown's 'stealth taxes' were in fact consumption taxes but NuLabor did not challenge the term. They were frightened of the right wing press and lost the argument by default.
    Tax is the subscription you pay for a civilised society is not an argument you will here many politicians make.
    It really is in the middle and upper classes interest that those lower down the class scale have decent housing, good schools, access to leisure facilities, decent wages. The more unequal societies are the more violent and fractured they are.

  • Comment number 84.

    who where the 22 countries asked? why where they asked? who paid for the research? what knowledge was gained from the exercise?

  • Comment number 85.

    What do I think about the way our taxes are spent? Well, here’s a few for starters:

    Defence: In my lifetime it started with TSR2 and will shortly continue with a fleet of in-flight refuelling tankers that are already years overdue, un-armoured, billions over loosely-worded budgets and unfit for purpose before the first rivets are stamped together. Add in the thousands of rifles that were useless in sandy conditions, the widow-maker use of soft-skinned Land Rovers where armoured cars feared to tread and it all adds up to a fiasco of amateurish planning, failures in design expertise and negligent financial control over personal dreams of glory. Why can’t the MOD sign contracts against full quotations instead of settling for elastic estimates? Why are experienced and knowledgeable end users excluded from product planning, specification and design committees? Why are so many tangential “consultants” employed with personal agendas to fulfil?

    Local Government: We live in a time of falling birth rates and increasing numbers of the elderly. Why are Council Taxes increasing so crazily when all today’s average household gets for their punitive payments is the dustbins and recycling bags collected once a fortnight? Libraries, day centres, home help, nurseries, crèche facilities, kindergartens and even lollypop ladies are facing cuts or closures. School maintenance has been discarded for several years already - along with road mending, pavement repairs and road signage cleaning. Yet there’s still enough money to pay top County and Town Hall managers between £100,000 and £500,000 a year including expenses and benefits. Many Police Forces now have a ratio of three to four civilian staff to each working Copper – and they still can’t cope with their own system’s paperwork! When is a government going to send in time and motion inspectors to weed out the underproductive and cap the excessive pay structures of so many senior local civil servants?

    Education: Successive governments have sold off public industries and increasingly taxed those private manufacturers still struggling to pay union demands on salaries and benefits. As foretold many years ago, the UK is now a barren place for enterprise and employment since so many companies then moved their production abroad. Messrs Blair and his acolytes immediately opened the floodgates for plumbers, plasterers and other building workers from the EU, closed technical colleges and cut off vocational training for our youngsters leaving school with few academic achievements. To put the gilt on the gingerbread, he then opened University places for thousands of students willing to mortgage their future wealth for a paper Degree that led directly to the dole queue! Mention that degree in McDonalds when being interviewed as a short order cook and they are immediately overqualified and unemployable. This exercise in futility was yet another example of that Labour government’s waste of not only taxpayer’s money, but the callous and cynical theft of private income to come. This was not just a blip or unforeseen glitch in government thinking - it was a deliberate ploy to gain a respite from excessive unemployment figures in the last few years of their term in power. The full cabinet, including both Prime Ministers and Chancellors should have been arrested and put in the dock on the day that the coalition took over.

    The NHS: Thanks to the previous government, many of our GP’s can become millionaires in less than five years of working to their, now five days a week, revised contracts. Hospitals also seem to become bereft of Consultants, Senior Doctors, Radiographers, Anaestheticians, essential theatre nurses and other technicians from 4.00pm on Fridays to Monday mornings. Overnight and at weekends, Wards are often in the charge of poorly trained and under-informed agency nurses, and A&E Departments are understaffed with patients waiting several hours to be seen by the sole junior doctor on duty. When will we see a Matron with serious powers to get things done again? When will we see qualified nurses attending to full bedpans and bottles, spills, vomit and dirty bedding without calling for auxiliary staff to do the job? When will the support of human life and wellbeing become a 24/7 duty for Doctors and other professionals in the Medical industry again? When will we see full time junior staff paid a reasonable wage and the excessive fees of agencies no longer necessary? When will we see them doing everything they were trained and are paid for? When will government stop the over-ordering of drugs at NHS prices which are then, as the sell-by date approaches, sold on at a profit to third world countries by unscrupulous Hospital Trusts?

  • Comment number 86.

    The last government employed too many public workers and paid many of them far too much.

    ive just been to the jobcentre, i was shown which department to report to as i entered the building by at least 10 staff hovering around the reception area/desk...they out numbered the punters inside looking at the job monitors.....

  • Comment number 87.

    A BBC survey in 22 countries says that people believe that governments misspend more than half of the money they receive in taxes.
    Ah, but thats the clever Countrys.
    As for our lot, it has to be more like 80%!

  • Comment number 88.

    i recently did some vouluntary work recycling office computors and equipment for a large recycling plant, it would make your blood boil if you saw all the good stuff being thrown out for the sake of new stuff...there was nothing wrong with most of it and the bloke running the recycling centre tends to hold back the nice shiney office printers from the shredder and most of them get put in the back of mysterious white vans that keep turning up

  • Comment number 89.

    Also to follow up on my last comment 40.
    sorry about the mass mistakes, did not double check it.

    The government would also start to give out solar home grants.

    They would give anyone that builds a new house free solar panels & a electric hot water system.
    They would buy 2 billion $ worth of solar panels in one go, saving mass money on big bulk / some money.

    That would save people up to $1,200 every 3 months. when that money would be put on paying off there houses instead. / mass.

    In Australia we have to pay GST. so on a electricity bill of $750, we will pay a $90 tax / GST. the government will just add a new tax to the cancels rates of houses of $360 a year, / so they don't lose taxes, but the public we save a mass amount to start a new boom / houses being built.
    so if you get a $600 power bill & a $150 gas bill every 3 months. that would be $3,000 a year saving at least.
    so take off almost $250 a months of your morgage / house loan / mass.

    That is massive and will let so many more people on a low income buy a house. plus mass people that get more then that would be cheering.

    This is the way you do shi&&&&&&&&

    That's just one more thing within 1 hour. i could role the world / not but yea.

    if you take away the power bill & gas bill, that money will help pay off houses mortgages big time / get it. They will get that extra money to pay off there loan easy.






    they would all so start a owners house









  • Comment number 90.

    All governments have constantly misspent (and miss-managed), that's partly why we are in a mess and the economy is so out of balance (between rich and poor and towns and rural areas).

    Two examples...

    Motor taxes collect many times more than is spent on related items, while air travel is taxed (a luxury) is taxed far less.

    As a percentage of income, overall taxation on the poorer paid is near 60%, while for the better of it can be as low as a little over 20% (subject to how income is accrued).

  • Comment number 91.

    I'd like to see my taxes spent on infrastructure projects in the UK, solely employing UK (long term) residents.

    Build Council houses - again employing UK residents (and before all you pro Europe viewers complain) how do you think we can out of this MASSIVE hole New Labour left behind?

    All Government & Council spending to be focused on UK sourcing - theres absolutely no point in getting work outsourced, and off shored, because it only hurts the UK.

    Cuts must be made to the benefits sector.

    All benefits to be made on a reducing scale - so the longer you are out of work the more attractive it becomes to get any job.

  • Comment number 92.

    Fiscal responsibility should be every citizen's right, unfortunately today's politician lie, cheat, scam, fail to live to their promises and treat tax as an endless stream of money. Taking it from Paul to pay Peter has become the new mantra for political survival, as the tax base is getting eroded by job losses, this phenomenon is shining brighter than before. I would like to help the poor help themselves with limits on time, free money should be strictly accounted for by measureable changes in behavior and lifestyles. Giving free money to the poor to get future votes is the worst form of democracy, it will destroy all the institutions built to keep checks and balances in society. Vested interests and lobbyists have destroyed the tax base for their greedy self enrichment, today's political structure is unable to stop this well entrenched phenomenon. Only responsible voters should be allowed to vote, those who contribute nothing to society should forego their rights to vote. The rights in democracy needs to be re-evaluated for better governance and fiscal policies.

  • Comment number 93.

    It should be spent on nothing that is not absolutely 100% essential. What it is spent on should be open to tender and and scrutiny. There are far too many back room deals done, especially on IT systems frtom companies that have a terrible track record of abject failure on such systems. Plus defence and NHS supply contracts which are far too cosy, sometimes bordering on corrupt and very often well beyond that border. I don't want it spent on artificial job creation, Britain in Bloom, jobs for the boys, inflated public service salaries, quangos, scroungers, camera networks, spying systems and foreign aid that lines the pockets of corrupt foreign officials while leaving their people starving. I reckon about 25% is actually spent on things I would sign the cheque for.

  • Comment number 94.

    It must be spent on projects necessary for the success of the nation. In this country way too much is spent on scroungers, criminals, and people
    /companies able to exploit the system.

    It's easy to blame this all on Labour, after all, they increased the problem during the 13 year reign rather than address it, however the Tories started the mess in the 80's and now they have the chance to put it right.

  • Comment number 95.

    Wise government would involve spending the least possible amount of TAXPAYERS' money on everything. Value for money and an audit trail for every pound contributed in tax should be a given. Foreign aid, for example, eats up millions and yet we barely know what, if any, value we are getting for our endless largesse. The EU, ditto, billions of pounds and they haven't had audited, signed off accounts for over a decade. How and why we stand for it, I truly don't know. Local government eats up more of our cash, half of it to pay pensions, not to provide services. This is still a huge economy, yet look around you at potholed roads, lack of housing, distressed inner cities, sink estates, millions of people trapped (in the true sense of being imprisoned) by welfare and lack of aspiration, falling educational standards, the general shabbiness of the fabric of our country and ask yourself what on earth is all our money being spent on. Then look at the figures for the welfare budget and all becomes clear. So, I agree with the findings of this report. I am totally disatisfied with the way MY hard earned money is being spent. Question is, when will there be a sufficient level of mass anger amongst taxpayers to effect change?

  • Comment number 96.

    We must stop wasting money on people who do not contribute to our society. No one, unless they are disabled, should be given any benefits until the have paid tax and NI stamps for at least five years. The government should only pay "dole" to people who are contributing by working in some way. Any immigrant coming here should not be able to claim any benefits for at least five years and they should also have to pay a bond for healthcare insurance during that time. This country just cannot afford the people who think this country is a free ride.

  • Comment number 97.

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

  • Comment number 98.

    85. At 2:30pm on 28 Sep 2010, fastbowler wrote:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You are my hero.......

    Nothing would please me more than to see every minister from the previous administration, tried for treason for what they did to this country.

    And yet, why, oh why do Labour supporters so blindly defend the indefensible? When will those who voted that last government of charlatans and snake oil sellers finally wake up to the damage their votes did and the fact that I now have to pay for it?

  • Comment number 99.

    THE MORE OPINIONS YOU SPOUT HERE
    THE MORE THE WAGES OF BBC DIRECTORS INCREASE

  • Comment number 100.

    Taxes often go to causes which do not benefit the taxpayers eg. benefits for asylum seekers, social security benefits for the chronic unemployed, etc.

 

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