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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading
Mike Denham is a highly experienced economist, having worked in both the public (the Treasury) and private sectors. For many years he had the leading economic blog in the UK, also entitled "Burning our Money". He has been 'on leave' from the blog to write this similarly entitled book. The gestation period has been long, but it's been worth the wait. Let's face it, to...
Published 22 months ago by JRAD

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good points spoilt by rants against everyone vaguely left of Genghis Khan
His fundamental analysis is probably correct, but no politician is EVER going to implement the required solutions. And the public are like turkeys who will never vote for Christmas. We're going to hell in a handcart and there's not a lot we can do about it, apart from moving to one of the 'better-run' economies.

It would have been a better read if he'd stuck to...
Published 16 months ago by David Clark


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading, 3 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Burning Our Money (Paperback)
Mike Denham is a highly experienced economist, having worked in both the public (the Treasury) and private sectors. For many years he had the leading economic blog in the UK, also entitled "Burning our Money". He has been 'on leave' from the blog to write this similarly entitled book. The gestation period has been long, but it's been worth the wait. Let's face it, to the uninitiated, economics is an impenetrable, often dull, discipline, practiced by people who were either born impenetrable and dull, or rapidly became so as they submerged themselves in Laffer curves and fiscal drag. Whatever that jargon may mean. Mike Denham achieves the near impossible of making the subject both understandable and even, at times, funny. This book is an easy read, but do not be deceived by the Denham light-touch. The underlying message is horrifying. We delegate control of the nation's income and expenditure to a group of politicians who, between elections, are answerable to no one. If expenditure rises - and it always does - then either taxes must rise or borrowing (aka taxing your children and their children) must rise. Usually both rise. As we are spending all this money, we have the right to ask some questions of those who are spending it on our behalf. Why is our beloved NHS failing? Why can the French and Germans treat cancer better than we do? GCSE and A level results seem to go from strength to strength so why are our children not as well educated as Chinese children? Why are the governments of the US, Japan, Australia and Switzerland twenty-percent more efficient than ours? Do we care? Most of us do not understand the significance of these figures. Throughout Burning our Money, Mike Denham translates these arcane economic facts into everyday language that we can all understand. What does a loss of twenty percent government efficiency mean? It means £140 billion a year down the plughole. That's £5000 for every family in the UK. If we could match the efficiency of those four countries, we could abolish - yes, abolish - income tax for anyone earning less than £50,000. Even I can understand the idea of not paying income tax.

Despite all their promises the current government has increased borrowing, and the Labour Party shadow chancellor has recently committed his party to even further increases. Burning our Money will open your eyes to what is going on and what is going to happen if we don't take control of the runaway expenditure train. Look at Greece. Look at Italy. Do you want Eddie Izzard as our next chancellor of the exchequer?

Burning our Money is essential reading for anyone who pays tax.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dry but eye opening read, 29 Jun 2013
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A. Owen "anthonymowen" (Orpington, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Burning Our Money (Paperback)
If your blood boils easily don't read this! It sets out a damning indictment of how politicians and bureaucrats waste so much of our money. It can't be claimed that it is an easy read, like a well written novel, but it will make you think very carefully about how the country is run. You won't be very happy with your thoughts and will wonder how everyone continues to put up with such incompetence!

If you like your reading to be thought provoking rather than for relaxation this book can be strongly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars revealing to say the very least, 12 Nov 2013
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When I got part way through the book I thought that much of what the author claimed surely must be exaggerated! After I googled him and found that he has the level of experience and expertise to fully back up his claims I read it in a new light. The book is well written and makes some very substantial claims about how our politicians, of all hues, consistently get things wrong at a massive cost for everyone. My view is that every tax payer in the land should read it, and that our political leaders should be made to respond to the shocking details of waste and incompetence. To a degree Mike Denham sets out an agenda for change which is very persuasive, but, given the way politics works in this country, there is very little chance of anything actually happening except the usual spin and broken promises. However, if every taxpayer was to read this book, and understand the shambles we are in, perhaps there would be a chance!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must read" before the next General Election, 5 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Burning Our Money (Paperback)
What horrors Mike Denham has lined up for you, the reader.
I swallowed the book and could find nothing but parallels to the current Danish situation (from a layman's point of view and background).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read this before deciding how to vote., 30 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Burning Our Money (Paperback)
excellent book. Well researched. Compelling analysis.

Britain has well funded public services - but receives poor value for money.

Health and education systems underperform neighbours who spend the same or less than the UK.

Shockingly, so called 'Public sector' staff cost 40% more than people doing directly comparable private sector jobs. And that's not counting far higher amounts of sick leave and over manning.

Welfare is a black hole.

The burden of State Sector expenditure is unsustainable and threatens the UK's future.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good points spoilt by rants against everyone vaguely left of Genghis Khan, 16 Aug 2013
His fundamental analysis is probably correct, but no politician is EVER going to implement the required solutions. And the public are like turkeys who will never vote for Christmas. We're going to hell in a handcart and there's not a lot we can do about it, apart from moving to one of the 'better-run' economies.

It would have been a better read if he'd stuck to the excellent analysis of where we are and how we get out of the mess. There are too many selective rants about the unions and The Dear Leader Gordon Brown without similar rants about how banking deregulation (started under The Great Leader Margaret Thatcher and further promoted by George Osborne in opposition) has left the taxpayer with further incalculable liabilities. Selective Amnesia?

I would recommend this to anyone who knows that we cannot go on as we are, but who is happy to accept that change will never happen. Riots in the street a la Athens by 2030? Don't bet against it, though you will be retiring at 70 by then... that's one change they will sneak in under cover of a war or other crisis.
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5.0 out of 5 stars tax being wasted, 13 July 2014
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great book
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4.0 out of 5 stars burning MY money, 24 May 2014
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Gripping and utterly frustrating how government upon government wastes taxpayers money. Worst of all, when they run out they simply squeeze more out of us by other taxes. Food for revolt.
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5.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD AND INFORMATIVE, 19 Sep 2013
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VERY GOOD AND INFORMATIVE BOOK ABOUT WHERE OUR MONEY GOES AND WHAT A COMPLETE WASTE OF TAXPAYERS' MONEY.
IF IT COSTS SO MUCH TO COLLECT AND PROCESS AND WASTE WE WOULD ALL BE BETTER OFF PAYING FOR OWN SERVICES INSTEAD OF LETTING THE STATE PROVIDE. AND DO WE NEED SO MANY MPS AND CIVIL SERVANTS - NO.
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5.0 out of 5 stars George's Pence, 24 Mar 2013
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Required reading for all concerned about our parlous financial situation and government's failure to take appropriate steps to ameliorate it. Would that the content were to be likely to make any impression upon our parlously financially inept polititians. Douglas Carswell's recent offering 'The End of Politics' complements it well.
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Burning Our Money
Burning Our Money by Mike Denham (Paperback - 17 Jan 2013)
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