LETTER: Reduce waste to fund schools

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County Times reports on threats to reduce the school working week were no doubt linked to George Osborne’s austerity plans.

But since the new Chancellor is to delay paying down the deficit, can we now expect our politicians to lobby for the schools budget to be restored?

They might also lobby to reduce the £120 billion of government waste, reported by the Taxpayers Alliance (TPA), which happens to exceed the UK deficit. Then we won’t even need to talk about austerity.

In any event, if teachers (fixed) salary costs represent a large portion of the budget, how would closing schools for one day per week have more than a marginal impact on costs? What of the impact on working parents, who (between them) will have to find more money for child care, or will have to stay at home thereby reducing their productivity and their spending power? The proposals are reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.

We know of course that increased population continues to put pressure on schools, but the implication that the fifth largest economy in the world has not enough money to properly educate the next generation, is unbelievable. It is surely about priorities.

Of course reducing government waste is difficult, as is reduction in tax avoidance and waste in overseas aid, which also runs into many £billions pa.

But government is not meant to take the easy option of cutting budgets.

We must give every chance of success to future generations, by not shirking the big challenges.

So let’s see local and national politicians, stepping up to the mark, with ideas for reducing government overheads - or do they not have any?

Roger Arthur

Melrose Place Storrington

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