May 2021
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For Britain’s bureaucrats it’s spend, spend, spend – on themselves

(A slightly safer topic today compared to yesterday) If you have a moment, please look at the chart below. This shows what happened during a previous period of austerity – the ten years after the First World War. At the same time as the number of ships fell by 68% and the number of sailors by 32%, the number of bureaucrats in the Admiralty shot up by 78%. This led Cecil Northcote Parkinson to conclude that bureaucracies increase by 5%-7% a year “regardless of the work (if any) to be done”.

We may laugh at this now. But precisely the same thing is happening in our bureaucracies under the Government’s supposed “austerity”. At the same time as the number of low-paid, frontline workers is being cut, our bureaucracies keep on growing. At £197m a year, the Treasury costs us £27m more than just before the financial crash. In 2007, the Cabinet Office cost us about £323m a year, now it’s an incredible £494m. The FSA – up from £260m in 2007 to £526m now and staff numbers up from 2,665 to 3,953 (even after it was told it was being abolished, staff numbers went up from 3,431 to 3,953). Ofgem up from £38.8m to £78.7m. Ofwat up from £11.5m to £17.4m. I could go on, but you probably get the picture by now. 

When told to cut costs, bureaucrats believe they are indispensible and so always slash lower-paid frontline staff while increasing their bureaucratic empires. The tragedy is that, after the cuts are made, our public services will be decimated, but the armies of pointless, overspending, highly-paid, highly-pensioned bureaucrats will still be siphoning off our money in ever greater quantities. What a disaster for Britain!

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