Taxpayer watchdog slams wasted public spending

27th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 September 2005, BERLIN - A German taxpayer watchdog on Tuesday warned that billions of euros continued to be wasted annually by the state and called for consolidation of the country's badly strapped public budgets to be a top priority for the next German government.

27 September 2005

BERLIN - A German taxpayer watchdog on Tuesday warned that billions of euros continued to be wasted annually by the state and called for consolidation of the country's badly strapped public budgets to be a top priority for the next German government.

Karl Heinz Daeke, head of the Federation of Taxpayers, noted that Germany's total public debt - federal, state and local - currently stood at more than EUR 1.4 trillion, or some 66 per cent of gross domestic product.

Despite this fact, Daeke said about 5 per cent of public expenditures continued to be blatantly wasteful. Given Germany's federal budget of EUR 254 billion for 2005 this amounts to EUR 12.7 billion of waste for this year alone, according to Daeke's calculations.

He cited numerous cases of what he called waste - "just the tip of the proverbial iceberg" - at a news conference presenting the association's annual report dubbed a 'Black Book' of wasteful state spending.

Daeke said a "superfluous image campaign" by the Federal Labour Agency had run up a EUR 100,000 bill merely to change the agency's logo and revise information brochures.

Although the only difference in the logo was its colour, Daeke said, an unspecified amount of additional funds had to be spent to change the agency's official seals, stamps, signs, etc.

With German unemployment at more than 11 per cent, "a better image campaign would be the successful procurement of jobs for the jobless", Daeke remarked.

Another example of ill-spent public funds cited by Daeke involved a European Union regulation requiring a town near Kiel to build a 'spiral staircase' so that river fish could climb six and a half metres to get to the other side of a dam serving a small hydropower station.

The tube-shaped device cost some EUR 550,000, but environmentalists say the other side of the dam is "inappropriate living space" for fish, Daeke said.

"The case would be amusing if it didn't involve taxpayers' money," he added.

DPA

Subject: German news27 September 2005

BERLIN - A German taxpayer watchdog on Tuesday warned that billions of euros continued to be wasted annually by the state and called for consolidation of the country's badly strapped public budgets to be a top priority for the next German government.

Karl Heinz Daeke, head of the Federation of Taxpayers, noted that Germany's total public debt - federal, state and local - currently stood at more than EUR 1.4 trillion, or some 66 per cent of gross domestic product.

Despite this fact, Daeke said about 5 per cent of public expenditures continued to be blatantly wasteful. Given Germany's federal budget of EUR 254 billion for 2005 this amounts to EUR 12.7 billion of waste for this year alone, according to Daeke's calculations.

He cited numerous cases of what he called waste - "just the tip of the proverbial iceberg" - at a news conference presenting the association's annual report dubbed a 'Black Book' of wasteful state spending.

Daeke said a "superfluous image campaign" by the Federal Labour Agency had run up a EUR 100,000 bill merely to change the agency's logo and revise information brochures.

Although the only difference in the logo was its colour, Daeke said, an unspecified amount of additional funds had to be spent to change the agency's official seals, stamps, signs, etc.

With German unemployment at more than 11 per cent, "a better image campaign would be the successful procurement of jobs for the jobless", Daeke remarked.

Another example of ill-spent public funds cited by Daeke involved a European Union regulation requiring a town near Kiel to build a 'spiral staircase' so that river fish could climb six and a half metres to get to the other side of a dam serving a small hydropower station.

The tube-shaped device cost some EUR 550,000, but environmentalists say the other side of the dam is "inappropriate living space" for fish, Daeke said.

"The case would be amusing if it didn't involve taxpayers' money," he added.

DPA

Subject: German news

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