Trimming costs

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Inequality in society is natural and unavoidable, but government has a duty to help individuals who fall too far behind – particularly during periods of imposed austerity. That also applies to public services, such as the NHS.

Removing unnecessary expenditure of taxpayers’ money should be top priority in seeking a more balanced situation, and there is no shortage of sources for this. Who needs the House of Lords? This supervisory chamber, with no legislative powers, dwarfs Commons membership. A handful of qualified people (preferably non-politicians) could do the same job, the better for being free of political bias.

Who needs royalty? Enthusiasts and apologists point out that the latest costing for this was a bargain at “only 56p” per head of population, but that amounts in total to £35.7 million. Think how that could benefit any of many public services that are currently under-funded.

Who needs the European Union? Membership costs are a serious drag on every family in the UK, while the claimed danger of losing trade with EU countries if we leave the union overlooks the fact that our trade with the EU is routinely in deficit: they buy less from us than we do from them. The argument that we would automatically lose all this trade is farcical; the EU would also lose out.

These are only three possible avenues for economising, but the government should be searching absolutely every aspect of public expenditure for all available areas where finance might be redirected to more deserving causes.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road

Tranent, East Lothian