Tearful caller ‘angry’ at £14bn wasted by government on failed scheme, luxury getaways and vegan ice cream

17 November 2022, 10:50

Caller breaks down in tears over £14bn government waste

By Phoebe Dampare Osei

“I was so angry and then I started crying” says this emotional Nick Ferrari caller. She despairs at the news that the government has squandered £14bn of taxpayers' money on luxury villas and vegan ice cream in Uruguay.

A tearful caller expressed her anger at the government after it was revealed £14bn of taxpayers’ cash was wasted- £98m of which was on a now abandoned electronic tagging programme and £837 on vegan ice cream.

Janet in Manchester told Nick Ferrari on Breakfast at LBC: “I’m glad that I took some time just to calm myself down. I was just so angry, and then I started crying of the years of austerity especially as a carer of two children with severe, severe disabilities.”

“I’m a postgraduate person”, she continued. “I don't have a pension, I don't own a home, because I stayed home to look after the children because the council and the government could not provide the support for me.”

“These people, during austerity, collected all this money for them to spend and waste it with companies which are known to their friends and family”, Janet said.

The revelations and the call are particularly significant. Today the nation awaits the Autumn Statement from Chancellor Jeremy Hunt with bated breath, after the widely criticised mini-budget under Kwasi Kwarteng in September.

Follow LBC’s live blog for the Autumn Statement here

The 45p tax rate cut in particular was met with a rare issue of rebuke from the International Monetary Fund, and Kwasi Kwarteng eventually made a U-turn on the policy, with Mr Hunt scrapping most of it within days of his succession.

The Office for Budget Responsibility was also ignored in the production of the mini-budget, much to the disapproval of former Chancellor George Osborne.

“My sister is a senior nurse in theatre. She told me the NHS was running smoothly with the doctors consultants and the cleaners. The managers were at home on furlough enjoying the prosecco. This is not fair!”

Janet’s voice began to crack as she explained how she gave up her job to look after her children for the past decade.

“After 10 years going to tribunals, fighting, finally in the last six months they’ve started supporting me with 10 hours a week…imagine my mental health, my physical health, everything!”

“Listening to these people going to Uruguay, Panama, vegan ice cream and all that - I gave up my life.”
Nick had previously listed examples of government waste totalling £14bn.

Nick Ferrari in disbelief as he lists off examples of government waste

It includes £98m spent by Ministry of Justice on an electronic tagging programme now written-off, £6bn spent on HS2 that is now not needed, £11,000 worth of food and hampers from Fortnum and Mason, a luxury villa stay in Italy, vegan ice cream in Uruguay costing £837 and £14,000 of staff training from the fiercely competitive Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

“I mean, I can’t believe I’m reading this!” he said, looking up at the camera and faintly smiling in shock.
The news provoked a ferocious response online.

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