Where the money goes

Opposition politicians and union leaders have expressed astonishment at the cost of the project to create a new home for Justice Secretary Jack Straw and his staff.

The remodelling of the concrete tower block, next to St James\’ Park in London, cost £915 a square foot to complete – around 18 times more than a standard refurbishment would cost in the private sector.

No, you don\’t need to wonder why government is so expensive. You don\’t need to wonder because now you know.

5 comments on “Where the money goes

  1. Excessive costs for “refurbishing the office” is a classic way to hide stolen money. If historical precedent is a guide, the chances are this isn’t just a case of careless mismanagement, but actual theft.

  2. Our business premises COST £200 per square foot when we bought them last year, in a home counties location. We carried out a big refurbishment, changing them from an office into a laboratory (i.e. not just poncy new desks and a new carpet). This cost less than £20 per square foot. £915 per square foot for an office refurbishment is simply astounding!

    The UK government appears to be incapable of getting value for money, on refurbishment, IT or just about any project.

    If they were ever to achieve value for money across the board, just consider how much taxes could be cut by.

  3. Governmental bureaucracies are intrinsically unable to get value for money. This office refurbishment is category three spending (in the Friedmannian sense) and thus no cost signals impinge on those spending the money. It’s why we get £20 billion IT schemes that a GCSE ICT pupil could knock up for a school project.

    Asking governments to be more efficient in their spending is a category error. Where the Tories and even to an extent people like the Taxpayers’ Alliance make their mistake is asking why function ‘X’ requires ten civil servants to do it when three would suffice in the private sector. They neglect to ask whether ‘X’ is a legitimate function of government in the first place. A truly efficient government would be a nightmare. The only way to really cut costs while increasing liberty is to radically reduce the scope of government.

  4. Pingback: eurealist.co.uk » Blog Archive » Austerity government

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