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Synopsis

Britain is in the midst of a fierce battle over government spending. With debts mounting rapidly, the £700 billion annual bill is no longer sustainable. But cuts face a wall of opposition, with dire warnings that they will ravage our society: hospital waiting lists will grow, schools will close and the poor will tumble into a new Dickensian abyss. Yet much of what the government currently spends is wasted, and public sector performance is often woeful. In Burning Our Money, Mike Denham casts a critical eye over the services we receive for our hard-earned cash, and finds them radically – often shockingly – wanting. For all the media insistence that the NHS is ‘the envy of the world’, it stacks up poorly against European healthcare systems. For all our apparently soaring exam grades, our children significantly underperform their future competitors in China, Korea and elsewhere. And for all our hand-wringing about abolishing poverty, our huge welfare system actually damages many of the poor it’s supposed to help. Drawing on extensive research and up-to-the-minute reporting, Burning Our Money comprehensively debunks the myth that more public spending means better public services, and shows how we can – and must – get more for less.

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