The government is trying to give us handy ways in which we can save money and firms can increase efficiency. For example, their ‘Business Link’ website tells us that fixing a dripping tap could save 90 litres of water a week, greatly reducing costs. If we were to extend the analogy of a dripping tap on to the governments waste of public money, we would no longer be talking in terms of taps and drips, but pressure-washers and lakes. Perhaps the government should sort out its own spending and efficiency before preaching to individuals and firms.
We all know examples of government waste, ranging from the immoral MP expense scandals to the absurd overpayment of civil servant pensions. The latest example of government waste I have seen from the government is a flashy advertising campaign telling people that they could face £50 fines if they are caught freshwater fishing without a licence. When we are so badly in debt, people are dying in hospital beds and children are leaving schools with no qualifications, is this really the best use of taxpayer money?
It is not only the cost of these adverts that is scary. They are sinister and oppressive, saying we could be hauled up in front of judge and fathers could be banned from spending time fishing with their sons if they do not comply with the rules. I know this government has tried to sap the fun and enjoyment from life, but now they are even targeting a very British past time.
The ‘fishing police’ have already begun to claim victims. Last year this school headmaster was caught without a licence, after paying his fine of £50 he found that he found that he now had a criminal record which could have potentially prevented him from working with children, meaning he would lose his job and the students their headmaster.
Of course, the most efficient way to encourage responsible and sustainable fishing would be to extend greater property rights over fishing lakes, allowing owners to charge a market rate for fishing. This would also provide greater incentives for river owners to promote fish stocks and maintain clean, healthy rivers.