Ways to look for large savings in national expenditure

From: Barrie Frost, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey.

AFTER the celebrations of welcoming the New Year, regrettably, these will soon be tempered by the reality of just what 2012 will bring for very many people.

Most of us realise that the very grave economic situation of many countries, including Britain, can only result in severe hardships, if the situation can ever be brought under control.

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How this may be achieved is the subject of many debates and anyone who could promote policies which would be certain to solve this serious situation will have the gratitude of everyone.

It is always easier to criticise than to try to introduce solutions, but too often we seem to concentrate on relatively small cuts, ignoring those which would make a huge impact, and common sense, seems as usual, to be in very short supply.

There are many questions or differences that concern me and implementing some could produce enormous savings without the considerable pain we are experiencing today and wouldn’t the bonus of once more using common sense be a very welcome fillip and make everyone feel better. Are they so unreasonable they will never be considered?

Has the huge amounts of money we are spending on wind farms been properly evaluated? Are all the experts who question their usefulness wrong? Has wind farm policy been inappropriately influenced by the fact wind turbines are made by a European-based company?

Couldn’t the century of coal reserves Britain has be better used with clean coal technology employed? Has the option for more non-polluting nuclear power stations been addressed?

British troops have been based in Germany since the end of the Second World War – why and who pays?

What has our involvement in Afghanistan achieved and will any success be negated within a very short time of our withdrawal?

Similarly has the war in Iraq been worthwhile? Has the deaths of between 100,000-200,000 people been, in any way, seem justified?

Britain contributes about £40m to the EU budget every day – what benefits does this produce?

We are always told that we depend on Europe as it takes 40 per cent of our exports, but, the huge trade deficit Britain has with Europe is never highlighted. We import far more from them than we export to them. If a balanced picture is to be made why is this not mentioned?

Why does Britain slavishly follow all EU directives which other member countries, to their benefit, ignore? The latest involves keeping battery hens, which has been ignored by many, but not Britain, making Britain’s egg producers uncompetitive, yet our MPs do nothing.

Why doesn’t Britain receive foreign aid from both India and China as their economies are far healthier than ours?

Why, when many people are being made redundant, do we still employ at least double the number of MPs required? Why do councils spend huge sums of money painting cycle lanes on our roads when they are continually obstructed by parked vehicles? What does this achieve?

Why is anyone surprised that our prisons are overflowing when they are made unduly comfortable? Why have, usually the less well off, to subsidise, through their fuel bills, the installation of solar panels by those who can afford to install them? Why do highly educated people find it so difficult to use common sense?

Puzzled?

From: RC Dales, Church View, Brompton, Northallerton.

BIGWIGS in the Government and the NHS are thrashing about, looking for a solution to the problem of caring for the elderly and the disabled, which has been revealed as a mess. It is the old story “they can’t see wood for trees”.

Stand aside and use wisdom, and the first principle emerges – you cannot divorce “care” from “health.” Instead of different councils making different arrangements for care, and charging anything from nowt to £20 an hour; instead of as many as five different offices dealing with the care of one “oldie” transfer the care and support service to the National Health Service and require the councils to contribute to the NHS annually what they are at present spending on care, subject to any inflation rises, thus funding the extra work within the NHS.

The situation, with a growing army of “oldies,” calls for one control, one discipline, uniform standards of recruitment and training of carers and care home staff and fairness (putting a stop to oldies having to pay for the service if they have prudently accumulated a nest egg of more than £23,250).

The long term strategy would be to bring together under one roof, district by district, the GPs, the district nurses and carers, working closely together, as ailing oldies require them all.