Sunday, 12 September 2010

Whose money

There is much ministerial and public indignation - understandably so - at public bodies having wild and extravagant expense accounts, with higher management being taken on luxurious jaunts, staying at five-star hotels - and often receiving large salaries and larger bonuses. After all, the money is 'taxpayers' money'.

The same indignation is rightly held when confronted with certain bankers and investment managers receiving large bonuses and pay-offs.

Curiously, though, the vast number of commercial bodies escape censure. Yet, of course, many large businesses cover the expenses of directors and upper management, expenses when staying in the top hotels, taking lavish meals, travelling in luxury. Why the difference in attitude?

'Ah,' it may be said, 'the money being spent is not taxpayers' money.'

But, hold on, where does the money come from? Well, from consumers - and much of the consumption, in practice, is not optional. Further, many, many consumers are far less well-off than those with their large expenses - indirectlly being paid by - those consumers.

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