£1.1 billion could be saved, say the Liberal Democrats, by scrapping Ed Balls' Children, Schools and Families Bill. This piece of draft legislation has the remarkable distinction of threatening to introduce a regulation (namely a licence to teach), which even the ineffably left-wing National Union of Teachers regards as an
"...entirely unnecessary, pointless hurdle..."
It is also the bill that introduces powers, as abhorrent as they are unnecessary, to force home-schooled children into public education where the state disapproves of the parents' teaching. Clearly, that must be a major priority for a state currently engaged in beggaring generations yet unborn with massive public borrowing. Well worth diverting resources from front-line services (and future taxpayers' pockets) don't you think? Not everyone does, apparently. A letter in today's Guardian describes clause 1 of the bill, with a charming combination of naiveté and understatement, as;
"...an unacceptable imposition of state control over families..."
As part of Labour's brass-necked campaign to sound tough on public spending Mr Balls has recently suggested that the education system could save £750 million by turning off lights and heating in schools. Dare one suggest that, in straitened economic circumstances, it could do that in addition to scrapping his Bill? For that matter, if Mr Balls really cares about the public purse, perhaps he could get a proper job and pay some more taxes from generated, not confiscated, wealth?