Saturday, December 17, 2011

Questionable costs

Translation services, that which are used by public services (and charged to us) are coming under increasing scrutiny as the real cost of them comes to light. After all no other country is insane enough to translate anything from its native languages without charging those who want it or requiring them to do their own translation. Try getting the French local or national government to translate anything for you into English and you'll see what I mean, they simply don't do that, you're in France, learn French.
COUNCILS are spending more than £1.1million a month helping residents who do not speak English, new figures reveal.
Taxpayers in England have had to foot a bill of £27million for translation and interpreting over the last two years – a staggering £37,000 a day
The total covers face-to-face interpreters, document translation and telephone assistance and comes as councils across the country are being forced to lay off tens of thousands of staff and cut back vital local services.
Some areas are seeing their bills soaring despite official guidance calling on local authorities to find ways of helping people learn English.
Figures provided by 354 local authorities in England show that over two years the bill for interpreting and translating was £26.5million.
Kent is the highest spending single authority in the country with a two-year bill of £1.9million.
However, the combined cost for the multi-cultural London boroughs is at least £10.3million.
These are totally unnecessary costs, if people want or need an interpreter, the cost should come out of their own pocket. The only areas I can see such services not doing so would be for emergency medical treatment and law enforcement where the police need to interview someone. Other than that, it's an unnecessary expense to the taxpayer and ought to be removed from any public service budget, if people come to England/UK then they should learn the language or if they wont learn the language then they pick up the tab for a translator. Personally I wouldn't dream of emigrating somewhere and not making a hell of an effort to fit in with local customs, this would include becoming fluent in the local tongue. The only alternative translations should be Welsh and Gaelic in the UK and then only in areas where they are spoken, I see no reason for Kent to provide a Welsh or Gaelic translation on any documents for anyone, though I would not charge a Welsh or Scots Gael for a translation service if required, being a native UK tongue, it would have to be asked for, but that's ok.
All in all I'm with Nick de Bois, Conservative MP for Enfield North,
I would argue that even if we were not living in tough economic times, the use of taxpayers’ money in this way is very questionable indeed. 
This is an area where taxpayers should not be paying the bill and should never be picking up the bill save in exceptional circumstances. It's not our problem and local government and public services were very wrong to make it theirs.

2 annotations:

iluvni said...

You want to have a look at the money wasted on Irish and Ulster-Scots too.

Feast your eyes on this..the census in Ulster-Scots..

Anonymous said...

FFS what percentile of the population of Gaelic and Welsh speakers cannot also speak English?

I there little enclaves like Summerisle where they all fuck each other and can't communicate with anyone else?