Saturday, 19 June 2010

Help Lines

I have no life, because I have no life I often watch BBC parliament. I was watching as usual when a discussion (not held in the commons proper) on the new expense system and Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) :
If you wish to see it yourself please follow the link:
During this, very chummy and very gentlemanly debate they attack IPSA for being bureaucratic and unhelpful. They accuse IPSA of being uncommunicative and it being impossible to meet with IPSA representative face to face.
Now I have no intention of defending IPSA. I am sure they are probably all of these things but to see a MP complaining about help liens and computer failure it sickens me. Every one, every last citizen whom they represent has to endure far worse customer service, far more remote bureaucratic systems while trying to deal with their local council or with their utility providers.
When MP complains that the expenses computer system is unreliable and difficult, they should remember that the E-government strategy was adopted by them. This strategy forced accesses to government service almost exclusively via computerised system was at the heart of the system those choose for us
When they complain about being unable to secure face to face meeting or incomprehensible help lines they should remember all the help lines there government manage that the very same accusation could be levied against. I challenge any reader to secure a face to face meeting with the tax office or navigate the maze of the tax office phone systems.
This debate was only funny because all it required Anne Robinson in order for it to be a MP watch dog special. They complain about misdirected E-mails and breach of security. I can barely stop from laughing. How many wrong letters or how much incorrect data flows from them every day without a single word.
Real people lose their houses, pay too much tax, lose jobs and much more because of these government systems and we get no special meeting in the house, we get no sympathetic press. The MP encounter one slightly difficult system and they run screaming to the press. They should be ashamed.
I will get a list of every member attending that debate and blog it soon, in the hope that when they fail to deal with your next complaint or when they seek your vote, you put them on hold or send them to the unemployment help line.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Good save

Revealed yesterday where ten billion of either cuts or suspended commitments. Having read through them they seem to fall into two categories. Regeneration spending: I.E Sheffield Retail Quarter and youth reemployment schemes I.E Two year Jobseeker's Guarantee: £515m.
It is odd, however, to note all the discussion in Parliament and on the news focuses on one decisions re redevelopment of North Tees and Hartlepool hospital: £450m.Please note this is a redevelopment of an existing hospital and not, not building a badly needed new hospital. I cannot really see why all the focus is on this when the focus should be one why the government has merely suspended half these plans and not cut them all.
It seems to me that the last government was so busy acting as a proxy bank for half the suspended shames and the current government should not do the same even in better economic times. Let us take the Sheffield retail quarter development as an example and ask ourselves a very simple question. Is it really the governments jobs to build and fund shopping centres, to drive out small business and diversity from the high street?
Now some will argue that this will bring much needed jobs and taxes, excreta. This maybe, however, a privately funded project based on sound business would have done the same without requiring government funds or tying the government into the finical successes of a shopping centre. The same is true for the Sheffield Forgemasters International Limited and the University Enterprise Capital Fund and Leeds Holt Park Well-being Centre. These are projects which the private sector should have funded from the start.
Therefore we seem to have a government that instead of fixing the issue of private sector investment, instead of tackling banks investing our money into risky and isolated shares and investment projects and encouraging them to invest in British business as they should have done. Instead act as a pseudo bank at our cost.
My point here is simple this government need to recognise, not merely freeze, the last government’s errors. Half these projects deserve or should be able to receive private sector funds and if this is not happening the government need to mend the underlying issue and build into the finical system a benefit from banks investing in infrastructure programs and back into the British economy. Not to act like a bank.