A new one was opened up on Tuesday by Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South West. Mr Betts asked a Parliamentary question to find out how much interest Forgemasters would have paid on the £80 million loan (had it been given).
It has been reported by several newspapers this week that Broomfield hospital in Essex is looking for a 'Turnaround Director' - a cost-cutter if you like, someone who will be paid up to £1,000 a day, nearly double the salary of the prime minister and nearly seventeen times the pay of a newly qualified nurse.
Last year the UK spent some £91 billion on health, a department that has seen dramatic rises from the £35 billion spent on it in 1997. It is perhaps the most profligate department in the whole of Whitehall with many stories of waste and extravagance. Yet in a time when there are near 25% cuts across the board, Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Service Trust (no doubt in the spirit of value for money) thought that bringing in a hugely expensive consultant would fix everything...
Today an alliance of library interest groups including Libraries for Life for Londoners (LLL), The Library Campaign and the Campaign for the Book have released a national Charter for Change that outlines how councils could improve the library service currently offered and save over £200 million.
The alliance point out that two thirds of the British population read in their spare time yet only one third of the population visit libraries. To fix this disparity the alliance are calling for libraries to operate independently from central bureaucracy so that local libraries can be tailored to local needs.
As you will know, the OBR is forecasting that private sector jobs will grow by 2m by 2015-16, more than compensating for their projected 700,000 fewer public sector jobs. Well, actually, you may not know that because a lot of the reports have been chronically apples and pears garbled. So just to be clear, here are the actual OBR numbers clipped direct from their report:
As we can see, the OBR expects total jobs to grow from 28.89m this year (end-year) to 30.23m in 2015-16 - an overall increase of 1.34m. Since General Government jobs are forecast to fall by 710,000, that implies a growth in private sector jobs of 2.05m.