Monday, 5 September 2005

Who should pay for the G8?

The City of Edinburgh Council is concerned about the costs incurred during the G8 meeting:
They fear that Edinburgh taxpayers will now be left to pay up to £1m of the costs despite a pledge from Jack McConnell.

The First Minister has said that the Scottish Executive will pay "all reasonable costs" associated with the summit, but warned there would be "no blank cheque".

I seem to recall that the Gleneagles Hotel was prevented by Whitehall from flying the Saltire on the grounds that the G8 was a British event and not a Scottish one. Nevertheless, there seems to have been some sort of agreement to share the costs between London and Edinburgh. So why this argument? Surely it's because the "agreement" hasn't been properly spelled out. Can anyone imagine a private company entering into a contract that seems to be as vague as this one? But of course private companies have owner's money at stake and there's a huge incentive to make sure things are watertight in advance. It looks like another reason to support privatised roads.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Bill (Scotland)
The straight answer to your question is "No". A lot of what government does (ANY government from whatever political party, not just this one) is led by politicians who very often have no particular expertise in the matters they decide upon, whether through legislation or by way of day-to-day decisions, nor do a lot of the civil servants who profer advice to ministers. It's basically the blind leading the blind. 
The G8 summit is just a minor example. The most blatant, and costly, example in recent Scottish history is the way the building of the new Scottish Parliament building was handled. Mind you, not much has changed over the centuries - you could say the same about the catastrophic Darien Project! 
Basically, contracts and investment generally need to be guided by people who know what they are doing, which successful commercial enterprises take very good care to ensure happens. Governments can always tax or inflate (by printing money) their way out of problems. Companies must face market sanctions.

6 September 2005, 09:32:14 GMT+01:00