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Book Review: Bumper Book of Goverment Waste

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The Bumper Book of Goverment Waste is a depressing read for all those who loath taxes or wish to see their taxes spent wisely. It is a cornucopia of monetary leakage. While focused on the UK; this laundry list of seepage is stunning.

Authors Matthew Elliot and Lee Rotherham, with the help of erstwhile blogger Peter Cuthbertson, have trawled the records and annals of the UK government to find the waste that exists. The more they dug the more they found. What is most amazing for such a book is that, rather than being a dry accountancy tome, there is quite a bit of situational humour. Rather that just a list of statistics the authors use actual examples to highlight the waste and how daft it truly is in the end.

It will no doubt surprise no one to know that both Conservative and Labour goverments are guilty of this sort of waste. However, since the current Labour government came in 1997 certain types of waste have skyrocketed. Things like Quangos and various other forms of bodies to investigate and (mis)manage things. In one case someone was hired on a salary that far exceeded the amount he was meant to manage. Or the £10 mil spent on teaching students to be “nice”.

The examples of bureaucratic meddling and incompetence flow from the pages of this book like the stench of a rubbish from the local dump. This book, if read, will sure to turn anyone neutral on the the size of the UK government into a fevered small government advocate. They have found £82.4 billion in waste and over-spend; that is roughtly $144 billion. I suspect this is a conservative estimate of the problem.

We can expect this book to be quoted by pundits and opposition politicians for many years to come. Or until the next version of the book emerges from the Taxpayers Alliance.

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