We have covered the issue of the UK potholes in quite a lot of depth in recent weeks. When the Government announced it was making an extra £100 million available to fix the pothole problem this looked like a really good step in the right direction. We knew that it was nowhere near enough to completely eradicate the problem but considering we are in a complete mess as a country any step forward is a good one.
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After every budget there is always the initial period where you get the top end big numbers then over the following few weeks the actual smaller numbers and how the big numbers will be achieved are released. After last Wednesday’s announcements the fall out is now starting to begin with each line of the budget coming under deep scrutiny.
Today the Government is facing its first set of criticism about the pothole budget. Many councils have come out and said that the additional £100 million pledged towards the problem is merely part of the money that had already been cut. Figures produced show that the current road budget is around £870 million but is set to be cut to around £700 million in the coming years.
It is very easy to see that the additional £100 million is just over half what the original cuts were set to be. However if the cuts were genuinely set to reduce the budget to £700 million then the £100 million is additional funding over the period.
Many people will see this as the government taking with one hand and then giving back with the other.
And its clear to see the cut is bigger than the present. We were unsure if the £100 million was going to be ring fenced and it now seems that this may be the case. Whilst the current spend of £200 million is nowhere near the expected cost to fix the road surely any improvement is still improvement.
Now personally I come from a business background and there are some questions that I would have for local councils. They have had a huge budget in previous years as they have stated it was nearly £900 million a year, the roads have become steadily worse over the past ten years so why have they not been chipping away at the problem instead of leaving it until the last minute.
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Over the past five years we have heard media stories saying that it was the road budgets that were being dipped into to cover overspending in other areas. So each year why do councils over spend, if this was a private company there would be some serious questions being posed. Not every company has the luxury of money coming in year on year without fail.
It is clear that the country is facing some big cuts but surely there must have been areas of waste which can absorb some of these cuts. We await the Governments response and what other mud will be flung in the coming days. Make sure your budget balances by buying Cheap Car Insurance.