Sunday, April 11, 2010

Drugs: Does spending £1.2 billion a year help? Who knows? Who cares?

Here's a classic from Transform's blog:
The Government spends £1.2 billion a year on measures aimed at tackling problem drug use, yet does not know what overall effect this spending is having.

Get that? The government spends £1.2 billion a year and they have no idea the effect it is having. This means that it might not be very effective. It means that it might be really effective. But it also means that it might have the opposite effect - that the government spends £1.2 billion a year to make the UK's drug problems worse.

What kind of a way is that to run a policy?

I noted before that the director of Transform, Danny Kushlick, is standing in the Bristol West seat - his election would be an amazing victory for a common sense approach to drugs.

You've got my vote, Danny!


Phil said...

If you've ever observed government spokespersons at work, they always describe how well they are talking problems by detailing the amount of money they are spending on them.

Interviewer to spokesdroid: "what are you doing about the xxxx problem?"

Spokesdroid: "We increased government spending on xxxx by 20% last year"

No measurable performance indicators there, just the naive assumption that spending more achieves more.

Phil said...

Freudian slip there.

Tackling problems, not talking problems...

anarchist said...

Good point!