Thursday, June 17, 2010

Free Swimming Axed

The Coalition Government has spent today detailing the projects and scheme that are being cut, shelved or adapted to try and plug the enormous debt legacy left by Labour.

I think one thing that may be overlooked amongst all the massive announcements today is this one - click here for the BBC story - to abolish free swimming for over 60s and under 16s, which is a scheme that is in operation in Norwich. According to the research this scheme hasn't been value for money and around 80% of those people who took advantage of the scheme would have paid to gone swimming anyway. I remember welcoming the scheme when Norwich got funding, but this is a very real reminder of the touch choices ahead - thanks to Labour management we just can't afford this anymore. No doubt Labour Councillors and candidate will leap up and down about this, and I agree it is very sad, but I hope they realise the government they wanted to keep in office led directly to this.

Today in class I was talking with pupils about government spending; the question was asked what constituted "essential spending" by the government.

What should we do? If we are having to cut to the bone then we should start with essential spending and work out what extra we can afford - families, businesses and councils do it all the time, called "base budgeting". What do readers believe is "essential spending" in the modern context?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Providing a benefit is not a justification for the government to spend money on it. We can now spend the money scrapped paying off the debt or use the money on something useful.

Also the new look website looks a lot better. I can read it now without getting a headache!