Cost of Government/Governance

In the United Kingdom (a constitutional monarchy) we have multiple overlapping tiers of government/devolved-government and we send delegates to the European Parliament and the five different organs of the United Nations.  I have been shocked by the capacity of governments, prime ministers and the peerage to appoint political affiliates to the second chamber at Westminster and even to appoint quotas of unelected party representatives into political or diplomatic office.  This "list member" concept applies to the Scottish Parliament but also to incredibly influential (and well remunerated) posts in Global Governance (and "peace keeping"). The concept of TRICKLE DOWN (at the revolving door between politics and commerce, particularly in the Banking, Industrial-Millitary and Criminal Financial services sector is covered on this page but please spare some time to look at the catastrophic damage that has been wreaked by CORRUPTION and HYPOCRISY in this sectorPMs, Presidents, Dictators, MPs and your religious & civic figureheads "on the FIDDLE" or "TOUCHING your children's future"

I live in Scotland where we have elected representatives to:-

Local councils 
(Councillors earn £16,234/yr) but work with highly paid unelected but apolitical administrators/CEOs (earning up to £130,000-£160,000/yr ).  They pass on funding issues to future councillors (ratepayers & taxpayers) by funding 30-40 year projects using public private partnerships (but cannot find a mechanism to publish tenders or contracts won).  Their auditors (Local Govt Audit) are increasingly from the big four Multi-National Companies KMPG, Deloitte, Price Waterhouse Coopers and  (Limited Liability Partnerships) whose personnel (and ex-personnel) lobby and advise politicians, administration leaders, civil servants on every tier of this page (as well as private investors and multi-national corporations).  Local and International Governments are in an unprecedented borrowing crisis (Local Govt Debt).

The Scottish Parliament at Holyrood where MSPs, elected or appointed by their party,  earn a modest salary of £57,520 but can claim liberal living and staff expenses (some claim more than the minimum wage in travelling expenses alone each year)  The cost of building Holyrood was over £400million (8-10 x over-budget).If Scottish MSPs are uninspiring enough to be voted out of office they get a lump sum of £25,000 or if there are not enough party members across the political divides elected then they can become an unelected LIST MEMBER just to ensure that Scottish Government stays dysfunctional enough not to threaten that big gravy train that is the GOD of the HEADS of unionist/separatist/coalition governments all around the world (see Salmond-Gate: opening it all up for your Nation )

Currently elected MPs are on a basic "frozen" salary of £65,738 and PM Cameron earns a thrifty £142,500.  MPs can claw back expenses for travel (including trips to Europe), staff, accomodation, offices etc and the allowances are defined in the green book but are difficult to quantify for individuals or collectively for all 650 MPs.  Expenses claims for a couple of local MPs in the Borders region through the rigorous IPSA suggests that claims can vary from £40,000-over £100,000 per year for 2010-11.Full details here:
Most Unelected Peers "do not earn a salary" in the second chamber BUT there is a disparity in attendance allowances & costs claimed: re-assuringly all the data is eventually published openly.  Most peers in the house of lords get no salary and some claim no attendance allowance but others claim up to £300 a day for 12-15 days attendance/month.  Data on allowances for individuals are published monthly in the UK  but there are circa 820 peers in the second chamber (May-Dec,2011). Prime ministers (and parties) can nominate life peers (Tony Blair 357 (35.7/yr); Brown 34 (11.3/yr) and Cameron 121 (60.1/yr since 2010).   Some leading party-political figures have drawn controversial scrutiny from the press but these working practices are "lean and efficient" compared to EU government (see below). It is fascinating to look at the data collated monthly for individual members.  Arbitrary example allowances-expenses-2011-12-month-9-december (2).xlsx

Leaked internal reports suggest that a 5 year term in office can make millions of Euros for European politicians.  

Scotland is a single constituency in the EU parliament with 6 members elected from party lists by proportional representation.
EU parliamentarians have rejected calls that they should reduce salary or allowances in periods of austerity
The wasteage in the EU governance/running costs is mind boggling. They have an HQ in Brussels and Strasbourg (which is used only one day a week with all 736 MEPs shipped back and forth at a cost of $230M/year within the rigid constitutional arrangements) The cost of purchasing/renovating  the Strasbourg offices was approximately $770M   

The United Nations . As noted for the House of Lords, current trends in politics suggest that party nominations are vitally important for political governance and outgoing heads of state or cabinet members (or their expert advisors) often find their way into the corridors of power at the United Nations (based in Institutional HQs/Office Blocks/Courts) in  New York, Geneva, the Hague, Vienna or Nairobi).  Roles for the five organs of the UN are defined elsewhere but this behemoth now has 193 member states (peace loving nations all).  The security council comprises 5 unelected Imperialist Nations which have been almost constantly at war (or engaged in cold wars) somewhere around the globe since the UN replaced the "failed" League of Nations (that failed to create policies to end all wars) in 1945Empire: a very expensive long term goal!.  Within a year of WW2 UN troops were back in action in Palestine who have been refused membership of the UN (although they have been endorsed as members by UNESCO; the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation ) and access to peace and civil liberties we take for granted in many Western countries.

I do not have sufficient time to cover the workings of the five organs of the United Nations in this brief introduction  but like all the tiers of Government they are taxpayer funded and the staff are very well remunerated.  Ms Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF (who replaced Dominique Strauss Khan after the banking bubble had burst) allegedly earns $550,000 US per year  Kofee Annan (a diplomat from impoverished Sub Saharan Africa who replaced an Egyptian UN leader during President Mubarak's 30+ year  presidencyguilty BUT) lives in a UN owned mansion has a Liberal budget to ensure those peace loving states get modernised/globalised transitional democracy . 

The Auditors for all these multi-tiered "quangos"at the UN and G8 Nations earn more than the Prime Ministers/Presidents around the globe.  For example, in the UK the audit comptroller earns over £210,000 and has been elected to sit on the UN Board of Auditors for a six-year term 14 people in the UK audit office earn a six figure salary (and we have devolved audit offices too).    These salaries are almost on a par with Vice Chancellors in leading Universities who are "advisers to government" and closely in touch with their mentally/intellectually agile student charges (who are to have their fees raised by 3 fold in England in 2013).  The top media menBBC director general, also advisersto/in liaison with governmentmurdoch-cameron, earn almost as much as the banking bosses and are very closely linked to Imperialist geopolitical bullying which is now covered by satellite TV/digital radio all around the GLOBALISED world.  All these tiers are currently engaged in soul searching & retrospective inquests (e.g.The UK Leveson Enquiry) which is empowered only to provide gossipy coverage of interpersonal exchanges between media figures,politicians, celebrities, law enforcement officers and the "free press".....they use taxpayers funds to compensate for personal slights but fail to deliver effective government everywhere.  Leveson has no executive or legal clout to denounce & punish wrongdoing (all at the Global taxpayer's expense).  Globalism reigned to 2008 but now free-market capitalism and human greed means that political governance is an effete but ULTRA-EXPENSIVE cross-party, multidisciplinary failure.   

 I could continue with the figurehead remuneration but it would take far too long: the following extract from Wikipedia shows how extensive the UN efforts are. 

Funds and programmes, research and training institutes, and other bodies (original source)

The separately-administered funds and programmes, research and training institutes, and other subsidiary bodies are autonomous subsidiary organs of the United Nations.

[edit]Funds and programmes

Each of the funds and programmes is headed by an Executive Director at the Under-Secretary-General level and is governed by an Executive Board. One former fund, the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), was merged with other elements of the United Nations system into a new organization, UN Women, in January 2011.

[edit]Research and training institutes

The various research and training institutes were established by the General Assembly to perform independent research and training. One former institute, the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women(INSTRAW), was merged with other elements of the United Nations system into a new organization, UN Women, in January 2011.

[edit]Secretariats of Conventions

[edit]Other entities

[edit]Specialized agencies

The specialized agencies are autonomous organizations working with the United Nations and each other through the coordinating machinery of the Economic and Social Council.

George Lees,
28 May 2012, 13:42