The TaxPayers’ Alliance has suggested that there are at least 1,129 unnecessary jobs in the NHS costing taxpayers almost £46m. Out of this there are at least 86 ‘green’ staff at a cost of almost £3.5m, writes Tim McManan-Smith.
These non-jobs, as the alliance puts it, are wasting taxpayers’ money that should be put towards frontline services. The are, however, quite a number of PR representatives (826) and one could argue without negative press and freedom of information requests from the TaxPayers’ Alliance they could well be dispensed with.
Green jobs could be a waste of money or they could be a tiny investment for a massive return, making the hospital more effective to the taxpayer and not less.
Any energy manager worth their salt would pay for their salary many times over through reduced energy consumption, lower risk of energy price fluctuations and supply shortages as well as reducing emissions and helping the corporate social responsibility agenda, a subject which resonates well with the public at large. The only time that ‘green’ jobs could be a waste is if they are more about creating pretty reports for senior management and shareholders and less about actually doing.
The trouble is, this reaserch was done on job titles and they do not always describe the vital role that people play within an organisation, especially if it is about reducing costs to the public. For instance one could have a title that incites ridicule in the public at large, such as policy analyst, at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, but this needn’t necessarily mean that what you do day-to-day is worthless.
In the report the Alliance says: “These staff are employed to reduce an organisation’s energy use and emissions. While this is a commendable aim, the fact that many large hospital trusts do not employ people in such roles again shows that they are not necessary.”
This faulty logic to say the least, perhaps many of the large hospitals should be emplying key staff to reduce their energy spend? Contrary to the TaxPayers’ Alliance’s belief, this cannot be done by technology alone.
The NHS employs 1,045,999 full-time equivalent staff, less than 0.01% are ‘green staff’.