Belfast Telegraph

Workers blow whistle on waste in Northern Ireland

Our taxes squandered... the whistle-blowing starts

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.

It’s not about my organisation. It’s about why the Assembly spends £25,000 a year on bottled water when tap water is perfectly safe. If I want bottled water I have to buy it, as do many others. I have an email audit trail on Assembly replies and can forward their Freedom of Information return to confirm expenditure.

Peter, Public Sector

Our department wastes money because it pays for parking spaces for select civil servants across a range of grades in Belfast. These aren't available to all staff and are a divisive perk, saving some staff, who are already on high salaries, a considerable amount of money every year. I take the bus to work, but my bus fares aren't reimbursed.

Civil servant

Why does BBC NI Newsline require two presenters normally? On Wednesday, Noel Thompson managed very well on his own. The BBC National news at Six and Ten use only one presenter. The cost of one salary could be saved without detriment to the quality.

Anon, Private Sector

The biggest waste of money is translating things into Irish or Ulster Scots. It baffles me how there are some people willing to toss money away on this politically driven rubbish. I am utterly disgusted sometimes.

anon, Private Sector

Needless expense on “away days”, ostensibly for business planning, when there are perfectly adequate meeting rooms on their own premises.


Requested change in name over six weeks ago, previous tenant’s name was still on the bill. Rang them, but was told the info was logged on the computer, but the backlog meant nothing was done which means rate can’t be paid. We don’t need cutbacks, just sort the rates debt out and we'll have the extra millions.

Anon, Land & property

Free car parking for senior grades, whilst those earning the least have to pay. We have some managers who travel by public transport so let their friends use “their” parking space.

DSD worker

My local health trust refuses to pay drivers overtime to deliver drugs to hospitals, which would cost under £20 in fuel and wages, yet because of this ban on overtime, the pharmacy department pays a local taxi firm up to £90 to do the same run. This is done so one department can minimise its spending yet forces another dept to greatly increase its spending.

Health service worker

My doctor had to ring the hospital because they had not responded to a request for an appointment. She was told to fax the original letter. Why not cut out all the time and energy wasted and just email the consultant directly?

Public sector worker

Money spent on hospitality is a disgrace in DSD. The public are feeding all these fat senior civil servants who order tea, biscuits and buns in every meeting they have. I process the invoices and there are thousands of pounds spent monthly on this. They have meetings about meetings just to get some hospitality.

DSD worker

I worked in civil service and I was at the bottom of the rung, however, my line manager checked all my work, her manager checked 20% of her work and then another manager checked another fifth of that manager's work. They were so worried about making a mistake that money could be wasted or mistakes made, that essentially I was the only person who actually did the work.

Public sector worker

Join our War on Waste

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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