Sunday, February 11, 2007
The Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS), which helps people rearrange their debts so they can pay them off, was launched in 2004 as a flagship Executive policy to tackle spiralling debt. Since then, it has ploughed close to £12 million into setting up the service and supporting advisers whose job it is to deliver it.The real problem with this is not just that it was ever done but that our leaders don't want to axe it merely "reform" it & that the Tories & SNP are barely better
Yet in that time, the advisers have helped Scots with a total of only £3.2 million of debt.
Politicians and accountants last night said the scheme was far too bureaucratic.
The Executive admitted the take-up of Debt Payment Plans was "lower than hoped for" but said it would be reformed.
Kenny MacAskill, an SNP MSP for the Lothians, said: "The idea is right but not the implementation ......David McLetchie, the Conservative MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, said: "The DAS is a good idea, but it's not working in practiceNo it isn't. If it is doing that badly it should be axed immediately not "reformed" & given another chance to blow another £12 million. This is the problem with our government spending having got out of control & politicians being afraid to grasp this nettle.
£12 million could cut business rates by 1%. Does anybody believe there are not 100 other government activities similarly useless which could be axed without harm? There is absolutely no reason why Scotland cannot have a very successful growing economy indeed if we let the people make use of more of the 55% of the economy the government takes & spends.
I don't think this is just socialism since David McLetchie mentioned as someone who didn't want to axe it, is no socialist. Though socialism is an 'ism that fits with state bureaucracy better than most. The problem is that there is very little incentive for anybody of any party to cut spending & a culture in Holyrood of throwing money.
It must be made possible to fire public "servants". Nobody else has a job for life. Beyond that I would like to see a cap on government spending. Any other industry expects to make efficiency savings of about 2% a year & government clearly has room for this. A 2% cut in real terms would be the equivalent of no inflationary increase. The savings should then be devoted to cutting corporation tax, business rates & income tax in that order. This would get the economy moving in a world beating way.