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Government bloat

English taxpayers are bankrolling ghost government offices across Wales as nine in 10 of the country’s civil servants work from home.

Some 5,287 people are contracted to work across the Welsh government’s 10 main offices, according to a recent response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Forget who is paying for it for a moment.

Note that this is not the national (which is the UK, Wales is a principality, not a country) government, nor is it the local governments which actually do things. This is an extra and bonus level of government between those who pay and those who do.

Now note the numbers. 5,300 or so to “run” 3.1 million people.

There were some 1,000 “Civilians” running 300 million in the Raj.

Baumol’s right, there are areas of life where increasing productivity is very difficult, he’s right because C Northcote Parkinson of course.

Lions with flamethrowers – although I understand that the US might soon have a surplus of tigers.

6 thoughts on “Government bloat”

  1. “Now note the numbers. 5,300 or so to “run” 3.1 million people.

    There were some 1,000 “Civilians” running 300 million in the Raj.”

    I shall refrain from comment about the differences between Indians and the Welsh…

  2. Not sure this is Baumol: running the Raj largely consisted of preventing the place rebelling or falling apart; running Wales includes multiple public monopolies, “ongoing humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine”, and regulating the molecules expelled by economic activity.

  3. Not all the civil servants in Wales are limited to dealing with Wales. A couple of decades ago I had a problem with with NI records – which was due to a HMRC “worker” in Wales filing documents from my then employer without posting the employer’s records of NI contributions deducted from salaries onto our individual NI files.

  4. I once had a conversation with the Statistics Office, which is based in Newport so sort of in Wales, about missing forms. When I said I had returned them in the same envelope as the other forms that prompted the advice not to do that as the 1st person who received their forms would bin all the others as they weren’t theirs.

  5. Baumol’s Cost Disease has nothing to do with productivity. It has everything to do with having to match pay with alternative employment opportunities.

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