From Christopher Booker's column in The Sunday Telegraph. Let's just repeat part of that: "by far the most expensive piece of legislation EVER to go through Parliament." Worryingly, the almost unnanimous vote confirmed what Booker calls the "zombie state of our MPs" because they all agreed without the minister Ed Miliband or the Government saying what it would/could cost. Peter Lilley [ you may remember that he forewarned in 1997 of the possibility of the FSA disaster] informed Booker that the minister had "at last slipped out a figure on his website (without bothering to tell Parliament)." Unbelievable.
"One measure of the fantasy world now inhabited by our sad MPs was the mindless way that they nodded through, last October, by 463 votes to three, by far the most expensive piece of legislation ever to go through Parliament."
Knowing that that is the government's estimate means we can safely assume that the real figure is probably well beyond the 404 billion mark.
The Government's estimate was £404 billion, or £18 billion a year, or £760 per household every year for four decades.
h/t Conservative Home.
(Updated) Off on a tangent and just as a reminder of other problems and ramping up the debt under cover of the expenses scandal George Monbiot in the Guardian says the expenses hoohah "is microscopic by comparison"...and he's right (not often I could say that about what George writes!) He is referring to the PFI schemes and one in particular: the M25 motorway widening: now it is going to cost 25% more...for 50% LESS work. [monbiot.com]
"The Campaign for Better Transport had calculated that the same amount of extra road space - if it were really needed - could have been created for £478m(1). But somehow, over the past four weeks, the £5bn for widening four sections of motorway has mutated into £6.2bn for widening two(2). In Sicily, officials agree to terms like this with the help of dainty gifts like horse’s heads and waistcoats full of fish. In the UK, the government volunteers them without any obvious inducement."
1. Campaign for Better Transport, 8th May 2008. Award of £5bn M25 PFI contract shows “appalling judgment”. [Link]
2. Highways Agency, 20th May 2009. £6.2 billion M25 Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) contract awarded. [Link]