Saturday, 26 June 2010

Cuts we can all be on board with

A quick post, just to get someting off my chest.

Libdemvoice brings us news that the Treasury wants our suggestions as to spending cuts we'd like to see. Just by way of coincidence, I happen to be visiting my parents right now who bring me news, via their local paper, of just the sort of George Osborne and Danny Alexander may be looking for - an item of spending that it would prove popular to cut.

For it seems that Mr. David Dalton, the Chief Executive of Salford Royal Hospitals Trust (whose flagship, Hope Hospital, my folks live opposite), benefits not only from his extravagant remuneration (reputed to be £220,000 per annum), but from a BMW 5 Series that costs the taxpayer an additional £8,584. Add this to his deputy's salary (£150,000) and his 5-Series - another £6,156 - and a picture begins to build of supposed public servants not only earning astronomical sums, but being plied with additional perks.

Now I know I sound like an indignant tabloid twaddle-merchant, but WHY IN THE NAME OF SANITY DOES A GUY ON NEARLY QUARTER OF A MILLION POUND SALARY NEED A SUBSIDISED CAR?! And if you can somehow find me justification for giving Mr. Dalton a car paid for by the public, why on Earth get him one that costs £715 every single month? Yes there is an argument to say that because private-sector pay has grown monstrously over the last decade or so, public-sector pay (and perks) need to keep up - but would we really struggle to find someone willing to do Mr. Dalton's job on half the salary and with no car on top of that? Seriously, if he isn't spending some of his quarter of a million pounds on a car, what is he spending it on...?! [/tabloid-style impression]

So here's my first suggestion for savings to be made - swiftly passing over the inconvenient detail that Osborne's budget calls for no savings from the Department of Health budget - cut the ridiculous amounts of pay the likes of Mr. Dalton get, and if you don't find the courage to do that, at least cut his Beemer - pretty much everyone could agree on that, no...?

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