There's nothing better than discovering how much a Government department has spent on consultancy fees and shouting "Jesus wept" at the sky as you ponder upon the pissing away of taxpayers money on... well... I don't know, but I bet it involved lots of writing and replication of work as consultant after consultant started to overlap their work.
This morning, I have just discovered just how much the Home Office has spent on consultancy fees in the financial years from 2005/06 until 2007/08. The figure is truly staggering and stands at £382,615,960 according to information released by the Home Office under Freedom of Information legislation last month.
Just to put that in persepctive, that is equivalent to about £7 per head for every man, woman and child in the UK over three years. Or, alternatively, if you assume the cost of Police officer (including pension) is about £50K, you could have paid for additional policing of somewhere above 5000.
Some may also recall that police officer have been falling sharply due to lack of funding. And as the Police Federation's chair, Jan Berry noted last month, "the government could find £2.7bn to dig itself out of a hole before a byelection but couldn't find £30m to settle our pay award". Clearly that was because the consultants are more important than plod on the street.