Thursday 4 August 2016

The nanny state gravy train


Excellent work from the Taxpayers' Alliance here. They've used Freedom of Information to find out how much 'public health' apparatchiks are being paid in so-called austerity Britain.

The answer is, of course, a great deal. Public Health England alone has 199 people on more than £100,000 a year...

Key findings:
  • There were at least 325 individuals employed in public health who received remuneration of over £100,000 in 2014-15
  • 43 of which had total remuneration over £150,000
  • There were at least 105 public health employees in local government with total remuneration of over £100,000 in 2014-15
    • 27 had total remuneration of over £150,000
    • Two Local Authority Directors of Public Health had total remuneration of over £200,000 in Cornwall (£207,302) and Oxfordshire (£202,349)
  • There were 16 regional NHS public health employees with remuneration of over £100,000
  • Seven of which received more than than £150,000
  • Public Health England employed 199 people with remuneration of over £100,000 in 2014-15
    • Seven employees had remuneration of over £150,000
      • Chief Executive: Duncan Selbie - £200,000 
      • Director, LondonYvonne Doyle - £182,500
      • Director, North of England: Paul Johnstone - £182,500
      • Director of Health and Wellbeing: Kevin Fenton - £177,500
      • Director, Midlands and East of England: Rashmi Shukla - £167,500
      • Chief Knowledge Officer: John Newton - £167,500
      • Director for Health Protection and Medical Director: Paul Cosford - £157,500
  • Public Health England employed 41 further part-time staff whose pro rata remuneration was over £100,000
  • Public Health Wales had at least five employees receiving remuneration of over £100,000 and two employees receiving over £150,000

The Sun's coverage of this includes a quote from me...

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, added: “As bad as it is to be bullied and harassed by these joyless puritans, it is worse when you see how many of them are getting filthy rich from it.

“It is bewildering that this gravy train keeps rolling at a time of supposed austerity. Most of these jobs could be axed without having any effect on people’s health whatsoever.”

It would be churlish to deny that Public Health England do some useful work on infectious diseases (ie. real public health), but they spend an inordinate amount of time giving inane health advice (eg. telling people to turn their heating on in winter) and demanding action on sugar, drinking, smoking et cetera.

There is a case for there being a central hub of intelligence on contagious diseases but it could be done with far fewer staff and with far fewer fat cats at the top of the management ladder.

There is, in my view, no case at all for having a 'public health director' in every local authority being paid up to £200,000 a year to agitate for idiotic voluntary bans on smoking and voluntary sugar taxes. (I am quite sure these people have been behind 'voluntary bans' on smoking and vaping in several local councils. They certainly have in my neck of the woods.) They then encourage further profligacy by spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on idiotic schemes that only make sense if you are deep down the 'public health' rabbit hole - see Simon Cooke's experience of attending a council meeting about obesity for a taster.

It's Jobs For The Boys on the nanny state gravy train and the truth is that the TPA's report only shows the tip of the iceberg. There are countless people working for fake charities, quangos and universities who are using vast sums of our money to interfere in our lives. They are - if I may be blunt - parasites, and it needs to stop.

Download the full report.

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