The royal family, as befits their position, were at the top of my list. Not only has the Treasury agreed that in future the royals can have a percentage of the Crown Estates money that previously went to the government, but the Duke of Rothsay has managed to increase his private income by over £600,000 and increase his state earnings by 40%. Nice recession guys.
The Lords were having a problem with people cheating (some would say 80%) on their expenses, so they introduced a new system whereby they pay themselves expenses whether or not they have expended anything, and needless to say, that now costs the taxpayer more. Brilliant way to not earn a living chaps and chapesses.
The bankers, fearful that their gigantic bonuses would be stopped by the government , awarded themselves massive pay rises to make up for the anticipated loss in income, only to find that the bonuses weren’t stopped after all, and so now they have both. Smart thinking lads.
And now, according to a report in the Telegraph, despite pleas from ministers not to do it, senior civil servants are taking bonuses worth between £8,000 and £20,000. The bonuses, which were agreed with the last government, seem to be set in stone. Although if I were the government I'd be inclined to tell them that they could fiddle for the bonuses. What are they going to do? Go on strike?
The total cost to the treasury will be around £10 million.
Helen Ghosh, permanent secretary at the Home Office (that bastion of efficiency) defended £10,000 bonuses for her staff as “not exactly big bucks”. She told a committee of MPs in the coherent manner you might expect: “The average was... I think the very maximum for the highest earners was £10,000.” Gosh Ms Ghosh. As people may be paid as much as 10% of their salaries, as salaries are as high as £200,000 pa, and as the bonuses are performance related, it is rather an indictment of the quality of staff in her department if they are only achieving £10,000. Why, at £180,000 pa, Helen's own bonus has the potential to be £18,000.
Not big bucks at £10,000 for Golly Ghosh, but twice what a pensioner gets to live on for a year and now the government has reduced their winter fuel allowance, regardless of the quality of their performance. And three times what the paid off civil servants all around the country will be collecting in Job Seekers Allowance.
What a grim, miserable, greedy, unpleasant country the UK is. Let’s get out of it.
Pics: Ms Ghosh and her shiny Home Office, which reminds me of Paris's Centre Georges Pompidou, to my mind, one of the world's most unlovely buildings.