Belfast Telegraph

From taxis to IT, the waste for taxpayers must stop

The Belfast Telegraph has declared War on Waste and is inviting its readers to expose abuse of taxpayers’ money in Northern Ireland. Here’s what some of our readers have said so far

The biggest waste that I can see is the thousands upon thousands of written correspondences which could be replaced by email/online transactions, for those who want to change. This won't suit everyone but I, for one, would rather have everything done online.


Greedy Consultant GPs that earn in excess of £300k a year from their private patients and disgracefully use Health Trust administrative staff, IT equipment and stationery to fund the admin of their private business.


Members of the Territorial Army were sent to Cyprus to patrol the Greek Cypriot-Turkish border for six months. They were already in full-time employment, so the government had to cover their wage as a member of the TA and pay for their replacement in their place of employment, which normally would be a contractor at inflated rates.


Why do GPs, consultants and other public sector employees get six weeks holidays every year, along with 10-12 public holidays? The private sector norm is around four weeks of annual leave with 8-9 holidays. The additional cost of this excess leave is a complete waste... think of the additional productivity that could be gained by normalising the public sector holidays with those in the private sector.


Paying for taxis from Downpatrick to North Down for redeployed staff on a daily basis; this is disgraceful when there are staff that are capable in the unit who can do the job. The health service has a cheek to talk about cutbacks, they need to start with managers who do nothing all day other than walk about looking like they are important.


I supply products to government departments. I recently spoke to one procurement manager who didn't want to meet me to save money as (in his words) “I have a budget for this year, so have no interest in saving money.” Sums it up.


It baffles me to see the NICS paying travel for employees who they have moved to a different office. I have a friend who lives in Portstewart and was working in Coleraine County Hall, they transferred him to Belfast and paid travel for three years. And they have workers going in the other direction — why not put common sense to use and put workers in their local offices?


IT people in the civil service spend £600 each on chairs. Also, they have three or four computer screens when they only need one, max two. This was to use end-of-year spend.


I know of people with disabilities who work full-time. They claim and receive DLA cars, yet receive taxi payments through Access to Work. There are two brothers who claim from different addresses doors apart, work in the same building, share a taxi, yet claim a taxi each. This costs over £600 a month.


I’m co-ordinated by a co-ordinator, who is managed by a manager, who is senior managed by a senior manager, who is directed by a director — basically I do the work and everyone else takes the credit for it. Other wasteful practices include: rubbish non-inclusive away-days dominated by senior staff; ridiculous and expensive office equipment, items and furniture that are not used because they are not needed but money had to be spent — including TVs, plants and laptops.


With public funding coming under massive pressure, the call is going out to people to flag up inefficient practices where they work and live.

That applies to public sector employees and the many hundreds of thousands who use public services on a daily basis.

Instances of waste in the private sector are also very much welcomed.

Reporting cases could not be easier — just complete the form below to make your point.

War in Waste is not a criticism of Government employees: ensuring proper use of public money benefits them too.

Private sector businesses have much to lose from the cutbacks as well, including those boosted by the spending power of public employees, and those who provide goods and services to Government bodies.

This is why “War on Waste” is so important, as many hard-pressed organisations are going to have to make every penny count.

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