Monday, 22 March 2010

Borrow for the internet

Budget deficit? National debt? What are you talking about?

According to the Daily Telegraph, Gordon Brown is promising to bribe current voters by borrowing from the kids some more by promising that every citizen will have access to broadband internet services, without saying when or how much he is going to spend to achieve it.

I will wait to see when he'll promise everyone will have access to uncongested roads, public transport that goes everywhere you want, and anything else people might want, but never mind, it's good old fashioned socialism - subsidise people who live in lower cost remote areas. Given he is already taxing every landline £6 (which just encourages more people to abandon such lines in favour of mobile phones), and is already subsidising to extend broadband to 90% of homes, it's just more largesse to bribe voters dressed up as "caring".

He put forward a semi-Orwellian vision of a single website for the state for citizens, personalised, so you can pay all of its varied taxes and levies, and demand information and largesse in return.

"a single website would offer people the chance to “manage their pensions, tax credits or child benefits; pay their council tax; fix their doctors or hospital appointment and control their own treatment; apply for the schools of their choice and communicate with their children's teachers; or get a new passport or driving licence - all when and where they need it"

Given the UK government record on so many IT projects, I am sure you can't wait to see how you'll be forced to pay for the failures of this idea, rather than simply letting providers figure out how to do this themselves.

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