Wednesday 4 April 2012

Burning Your Money

One of the favourite ploys of public health tax spongers is to accuse industries of failing to self-regulate since it conflicts with what they'd really like to be doing. Because, of course, the health industry are a model of probity.

No they're not!

On Monday, I highlighted how Smokefree South West, in effect a government agency, is using taxpayer funds to lobby the government for plain packaging. This back-scratching public sector exercise with your money is bad enough, but it appears they were spending it willy-nilly despite contributing PCTs being massively in debt.
NHS Wiltshire will finish its days with a debt of almost £9 million, which will be written off by the Strategic Health Authority.


Health Minister Simon Burns said in the House of Commons on March 27, the day before the PCT board meeting, that PCTs must clear historic debts before they are abolished.

The Wiltshire Times asked the SHA why NHS Wiltshire’s debt was being written off and had it sought ministerial approval to take that action.

A SHA spokesman responded: "The SHA continues to work with all PCTs and aspirant CCGs to develop medium-term financial plans that ensure financial control and balance is maintained, to prevent a PCT ending 2012/13 in a deficit position and therefore ensuring that all CCGs start 2013/14 with a clean slate.

"The PCT had an agreed repayment schedule, but, as the organisation ceases to exist on March 31, 2013, the shortfall will be absorbed by SHA reserves, without affecting any other organisation."
Just a thought, but perhaps the repayment schedule might have benefited by not paying out over £220k to Smokefree South West last year, £40k of which has been used for lobbying purposes.
Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 15:36:55
Subject: RE: FOI:

Dear Mr Puddlecote

The total funding that NHS Wiltshire forwarded to Smokefree South West in 2010/11 was £224,356.

NHS Wiltshire’s contribution towards the Plain Packs Protect Campaign is included within the financial settlement for 2011/12 and included within the overall business plan for Smokefree South West. There is no individual funding line for any of the SFSW campaigns at individual PCT level. However, Wiltshire’s population represents approximately 8.74% of that of the South West. The Plain Packs Protect campaign is costing SFSW £468,462.06. Pro-rata, That means NHS Wiltshire’s share is approximately £40,975.67.

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact NHS Wiltshire at .

Kind regards,

FoI Manager
Wiltshire Primary Care Trust
Obscene as that is, it's a third of the story since the funding arrangement is over three years. The amount which could, and should, have been shaved off of NHS Wiltshire's £9m debt is at least £672,000+ if they'd stopped paying for South West smokers to be nagged.

The water-calming response is to say that this debt will just be 'absorbed by SHA reserves', but that's over £672k which has been wasted on unnecessary luxuries and can't now be spent on things we expect our taxes to pay for like, you know, patients in hospitals. How much of that £9m is similarly thrown down the drain on other fripperies, we can only imagine.

Remember that next time you hear some medical authority bleating about government cuts affecting front line services.

H/T Moonraking jewel thief


lleweton said...

Great piece of research Dick. I don't know how you find the time or the energy. Is ANYBODY listening in the Westminster/MSM village? I totally exclude our mascot from this stricture.

nisakiman said...

Blimey, it must be nice to run a business that accrues nine million of debts, only to have those debts written off so you can start the new year with a "clean sheet". I could have done with a facility like that when I had businesses.

ScottWichall said...

What really grips my shit is that these cunts have the alacrity to refer to pissing taxpayers money up a wall as a Business Plan.
They wouldn't understand either business or a fucking plan if they were smacked round the loaders with it. Utter bunch of cunt wafts.
Excuse my French, but these wankers really rile me up.

ScottWichall said...

Oh and I had forgotten how rubbish disqus is on a mobile device

Tom said...

Instead of giving these wasteful quangoes fistfuls of money for them to waste, government would do better to only do a pound for pound matching scheme - for every one pound the quango raises in independent public donation, the government also gives them one pound. This would even be more democratic as the quangoes could prove by virtue of monies collected through public drives whether or not there is any support for them. And in most cases, it would probably be there is not enough support, by donation to justify their staying on a government budget at all. Give them each three years maximum to prove themselves by collecting funds from the public first, and if they can't do that, then to the chopping block they should go. Otherwise the whole thing's just smoke and mirrors and the public seeing and believing their legitimacy based on their say-so and propaganda is nothing but an illusion, but an expensive one that will bankrupt the entire nation if it's not stopped soon.

moonrakin said...

And... true to form, NHS Wiltshire starts handing out wedges of money to folk to join the organisation months before it's disbanded -  really a case of you couldn't make it up....

More here 

Adsum said...

Tameside and Glossop, a Relatively small Health Authority in the
North West are currently plastering the buses and prime site advertising
locations with "Quit for Baby's sake " advertisements
The same authority has been foung guilty of filthy hospital wards and
unwashed elderly patients.Their excuse ,lack of funds
Maybe the ones responsible for expenditure have a cosy relationship with
advertising agencies and fellow travellers.

In case anyone missed an earlier posting about anti smoking hysteria
An E.Bay buyer e mailed a complaint about a 2nd hand mobile bought
on the auction site
" On opening the package ,the phone reeked of tobacco smoke"

Better still, an advertisement on the notice board in Stockport Tesco

Next stage for smokers
Transportation to the East

Holding the line but lonely    

Lyn said...

But, Tom, what further lies and scaremongering would they come up with the coerce funds out of dimwitted, easily conned, people who are already convinced that a puff of yours or my cigarette smoke could cause them to drop dead with a heart attack?

I do agree with what you say, but it is a scarey prospect how much more inventive these loonies will become to maintain their gravy train of funding from government, as this also gives them, it seems, a very privileged inside track to said government too!