The national debt currently stands at £1.78 trillion or 86.58% of GDP. The annual cost of servicing this debt (paying interest) is currently around £39.4 billion per annum, approx. £108m per day.(18) Every area of spending should be scrutinised. UKIP believes in small government and low taxation, and unnecessary spending must be cut to help pay for those services we need.
Some of the policies itemised above will save money, some will cost money. UKIP does not intend to raise taxes but wants to reduce taxation wherever possible. Therefore, where expenditure is indicated above we would look to save money in other areas to pay for it.
• Leaving the European Union will save about £13.9 billion per annum (if we stay in the EU the cost of membership will rise). The ONS figures for 2016 show that we paid £18.9 billion gross, less the £5 billion rebate which equals £13.9 billion – this however includes Public Sector Receipts (our money spent in the UK by the EU) of £4.4 billion. Less the PSR, and rounded down, this leaves an absolute minimum saving of £9.4 billion per annum.
• Abolishing the Department for International Development (DfID) and the Overseas Aid Budget would save the taxpayer in the region of £14 billion per annum.
• The Tax Payers’ Alliance think tank calculated in 2017 that there are 1,148 Quangos (Quasi Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisations) costing the taxpayer £90 billion per year. The Tory/Lib-Dem Coalition Government of 2010-2015 promised a ‘bonfire of the quangos’ but only managed to abolish 192 and merge another 118. UKIP will conduct a comprehensive audit of quangos leading to abolition wherever possible. An estimated 400 of these (35% of the total) could be disbanded. If this achieved only a 25% reduction in overall expenditure this would save £22.5 billion.
• On the basis of the previous three bullet points alone a minimum potential saving of £46 billion could be made.
• In addition to the savings above there is enormous scope for cutting government expenditure (and therefore borrowing). For example, abolishing HS2 would save an estimated cost of £100 billion – £2.3 billion has already been spent without a yard of track being laid.
• Scrapping the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport offers potential savings of £6 billion.
• Abolishing the Foreign Office quango, the British Council would save £182 million per annum.
• Scrapping the Equalities and Human Rights Commission and the Government Equalities Office we can save £67 million p.a. (see Section 28 last bullet point).
These are just a few examples, and there are a host of other areas where cost savings can be made in order to pay for public services in health, education, defence, policing etc. When the full UKIP Manifesto is published before the next General Election we will give more details of cost savings that can be made.
18 Office for National Statistics, Public Sector Finances.
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