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Squandered Paperback – 7 Apr 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)
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Product description

Review

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)

Book Description

How New Labour are wasting over one trillion pounds of our money.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
David Craig assembles data that, when assessed across the total New Labour period, points not just to outrageous incompetence, but to structural problems in how the country is run that suggest that the UK government simply cannot deliver its leadership role. The book is an indictment of New Labour but it also shows how the Tories and the civil service contributed to what is now an economy in free fall.

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.
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Format: Paperback
There's a quote from a review printed on the book itself along the lines of "It's impossible to read this without becoming angry" and that pretty much sums it up. Most of us are all too aware of how governments of all stripes waste vast sums of our hard earned money, but to have such a catalogue of incompetence set out before you in such stark terms really will make you want to devise a way - any way - of keeping more of your money out of the hands of a self-enriching political 'elite'.

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.
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Format: Paperback
David Craig, a management consultant, wrote the excellent Plundering the public sector, which showed how the Labour government paid consultants billions to loot and wreck our public services. In his new book, he shows how the government has wasted more than a trillion pounds. But this is no pro-Conservative account: he also condemns the Conservatives' closure of the coal industry, their privatisation of railways and utilities, their three recessions and their three million unemployed.

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.
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Format: Paperback
If you read a decent UK newspaper you'll be familiar with a lot of this book although to read about so much waste in one sitting is still pretty appauling.

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.
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