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  1. #1

    How to cut spending by £76 billion: More road tolls but no cuts to benefit

    In a live studio debate last night, a Channel 4 audience voted for plans to cut spending by 76 billion by introducing more road tolls and cuttting public sector pension contributions but voted against public sector pay cuts and sugegstions we could all pay 10 to visit our GP.

    The audience said they would welcome a VAT rise but not an extension to children's clothes and other items that are not currently taxed. They also voted by a slim majority against benefit cuts.

    And the rage against the banking sector was evident as many audience members questioned why the whole country had to share the pain when irresponsible bankers had caused the current chaos.

    They voted to raise 20 billion from taxes on tha banks.

    Did you see the show?

    Have you seen any good ideas on how government spending could be cut that are not getting a hearing at the moment?

    What would you cut? And what would you be willing to pay for?

    Play chop or not here on the Channel 4 website at

  2. #2
    Didn't see the show but 10 to visit the GP sounds like a great idea. Most can afford it, would perhaps reduce 'flippant' visits so raise revenue and cut some waste. Need to protect those who genuinely can't afford it though.

    In Wales we all have free prescriptions!! I imagine less than 10% of the population genuinely need it. I think it was a sweetener to prove the Assembly was good for Wales. They were also going to bring in free hospital parking. Why? Just make it reasonably priced and get some revenue for the hospitals.

  3. #3
    I lived in the Channel Islands for three years and when I visited my GP in St Helier I had to pay 22 before I was given an appointment. The very few people who could not afford it attended the A&E unit at the hospital.

    The result is that there is considerably less demand to see a GP and patients are given more time and attention and the standard of care is significantly better than in the UK. Hypochondriacs and time wasters think twice before parting with 22 and the system works very well.

    I would support immediate charges to see a GP in the UK but I suspect that the majority of people will squeal like stuck pigs and reject the proposal outright without even considering the merits of the case.

  4. #4
    I'd cut the 7.2billion overseas aid budget. Charity begins at home. I'd also cut the Scottish and Welsh assemblies and ensure the whole of the UK (including the currently discriminated against English) have the same benefits (or not). I'd also stop defined benefit/final salary pension schemes for all new starters in the public sector. Cut the number of MPs by half. Eliminate consultant expenses from the public sector. Don't tax the banks that did not need a tax payer bail out...they'll move to Switzeralnd.

  5. #5
    The problem with many of these TV shows is that the audience think on their feet - ie emotionally. For example raod tolls are an inefficient revenue earner as they cost money to administer and all kinds of side effects such as diverting traffic. Far easier to raise fuel duty, which makes the polluter pay and has the green effect of discouraging car use.

    And if by cutting public sector pension contributions requires public employees to pay more themselves, then this is the same thing as reducing their pay!!


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