- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Constable; First Edition, First Printing edition (7 April 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1845298322
- ISBN-13: 978-1845298326
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 200,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Squandered Paperback – 7 Apr 2008
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A gripping and important book, one that is impossible to read without becoming angry. (New Statesman)
David Craig's chilling audit of government spending for the last 10 days - a book much more readable and entertaining than it sounds...a genuinely important book. It is no exaggeration to say that if the right people read it, take it seriously, and take appropriate action, this book could not only save the taxpayer billions, it could save lives....This is a terrifying book, but a brilliant and necessary one. Please read it. (The Daily Telegraph)
Read it I beg you! (Business Money)
How New Labour are wasting over one trillion pounds of our money.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
David Craig's figures speak for themselves. The message is clear. more and more of our money is being taken from us to create a class of inexperienced, incompetent and unaccountable parasites who are not only doing nothing to advance the cause of the people but who have become ulcers, draining life from the economy and constraining the creativity of the British people.Read more ›
It's not really addressed in this book, but if we moved to a new monetary system - one which didn't allow privately owned central banks to create money out of thin air and lend it out at interest - the ability of the government to plunge us all so deeply into debt would be severly curtailed.
The negative reviews of this book basically accuse it of being polemic and biased at that. However, although many of the references cited are indeed to newspaper articles, there's nothing to stop the interested reader checking the facts for themselves. What 'Sqandered' does do is set out in a short, eminently readable format, the dire state our public finances are really in and the colossal waste that continues to undermine them.
He looks at area after area of our national life and shows how taxpayers' money is being misapplied. He shows how the costly regulatory quangos are not doing their jobs. For example, Ofwat issued no enforcement orders or fines on Thames Water, which loses a third of its water through leaks. In 2006, Thames raised its prices by 21% and its CEO got £6.3 million, without a squeak from Ofwat. Ofgem does nothing to curb the big six energy firms, which raised their prices by 15% this year. Foreign energy companies make 30-40% profit on their British operations, but only 5-10% elsewhere. The National Audit Office has praised the £180 billion PFI/PPP programme, the NHS IT fiasco and the soaring Olympics budget. It even praised the Financial Services Authority's performance, just weeks before it oversaw the Northern Rock debacle.
Craig points out that there are far too many quangos, initiatives and advisers. Spending on quangos rose from £79.6 billion in 2003 to £123.8 billion in 2006. The bosses of the 100 largest quangos get £110K each; the head of the Tote gets £350K a year. Labour's health quangos cost £426 million a year. Spending on NHS management consultants has multiplied by ten to £600 million a year, while beds have been cut from 250,000 to 180,000, increasing the rate of infections.Read more ›
For me what really sticks in the throat are the quangocrats - the hundreds of unelected public bodies set up to monitor this or review that. They are paid fortunes and duplicate questionable work sometimes 5 times over.
If the government had the slightest interest in saving money they could save billions here either by cutting pay or doing away with these non-entities altogether. There is little risk of striking and if there was - who would notice? - we're not talking nurses or teachers here.
I don't doubt they tried to make things 'get better' but boy have they messed it up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I did not like it.I gave away the book after reading less than half of it.Published 22 months ago by Harmonious
£1.3 trillion extra spent under the last Labour administration between 1997 and 2007 yet nothing really improved. Read morePublished on 18 April 2015 by Jamie R.
Depressing to read how our money is wasted for the self-aggrandisement of politicians regardless of party. Read morePublished on 2 Mar. 2015 by Alan C
David Craig is on the few authors whose books I buy upon general principle. This was the first book of his that I read and it captured my imagination to the extent that I went away... Read morePublished on 21 May 2014 by Tarka
If only 1% of the incompetencies in this book are true it would be appalling. Our grandchildren are going to ask us why we let it happen and we've got no answers. Read morePublished on 19 Nov. 2012 by ebbw
Very well researched covering many institutions in the UK. However, deeply depressing if you see the sheer waste, corruption and incompetence of the UK civil service and political... Read morePublished on 2 July 2012 by Rustygecko
I first bought this book in an airport going on holiday, once i had got to my destination and started to read this book sat in the sun relaxing i was unable to put it down, it is... Read morePublished on 28 Feb. 2010 by P. Stawrowski
Depressing read on how the government of the UK throw our taxes around like confetti and mess around with our lives in general. Read morePublished on 5 Feb. 2010 by Daveyah