Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Whet, Jun 10, 2009.
The heart of the site is the forum area, including:
Lansley tells it like it is?
An extra 2% on the NHS when they're announcing that this gargantuan profligate waste can't be sustained even with spending tripling since 1997? I think fundamental reduction and root & branch reform of this outdated behemoth is more important then throwing more resources into its bottomless pit...this becomes even more pressing when we see it reported that public sector productivity has declined since '97, meaning we're getting less per pound spent anyway...
Interesting choice of thread title - presumably 'Lansley Declares Tories would Increase NHS Spending' was too positive for the Grauniad, since such a claim would undermine quite a bit of Labour spin?
Ignoring the debate over whether the NHS should be subjected to rigorous cuts amongst its burgeoning administrative staff for a moment, I'm sure quite a lot of the money required could be found by trimming the remarkably bloated Quango budget by a few billion. After all, when a certain politician was shadow chancellor, he stated that the amount spent on quangos was obscene, and he'd do something about it - which he did, by vastly increasing the amount...
Do you think that Defence will be ringfenced against the 10% cuts, Archimedes?
No idea. I'm not writing Tory policy...
I would expect not, since the public response if defence were pre-emptively ring-fenced at the apparent expense of education or health would be dubious at best.
As I've said before, though, some Â£10-12 Billion out of the Quango budget (a cut of 10%) would be a start. Indeed, the entire alleged (and let's not forget that word) 10% cuts could be sustained through this.
But why stop there? Off the top of my head:
1. Why spend money on a proliferation of diversity coordinators and similar posts which have either over-proliferated, or which never needed to exist in the first place?
2. Then there's social security. We're paying not inconsiderable sums to thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of people whose only long-term disability is the pscyhological condition "being an idle bastard", who refuse to work and prefer to live off benefits because the state makes their life tolerably easy.
It is as ludicrous to suggest (as some do) that such people don't exist in substantial numbers as it is to suggest (as others do) that almost everyone on such benefits is on the make. So room for some cuts there, one would think, as those in genuine need receive the money, while those of a similar outlook to the chap seen on TV (on unemployment benefit) a few months back refusing to work for Â£7 per hour because the task on offer was too much like hard work, find themselves with the choice of putting a spot of effort in or starving.
3. We could reduce the vast sums of money spent on IT projects that don't work, and bin ID cards.
The idea that the public sector is a lean, efficient example to us all is just bonkers. Cuts are required - IIRC, by 2014 we will be in a position where debt as a proportion of GDP is worse than it is currently in that economic powerhouse Kenya.
So why Defence should be exempt from scrutiny when the next administration attempts to sort out the mess (thank God that Brown chose not to display fiscal imprudence...) is beyond me. The issue is one of ensuring that if cuts to Defence are deemed necessary that they are not made ahead of more obvious areas for ruthless pruning (Quangos, non-jobs on the public pay roll, etc, etc).
There are tens of billions that can be saved by dismantling the Labour client state of quangos, fake charities, non-jobs in local government, top-heavy NHS and local government management. And that's just for starters.
Then there's a nice bit of welfare reform -- how hard could it be really to remove welfare as a career choice?
Lose the tax credits and replace them with personal allowances -- millions per year saved in civil service administrative burden. Why the hell are we essentially paying welfare to people on 35,000 pounds a year through a complicated "tax credit"? Oh yes, to help build the client state...
As the meerkat says, simples!
But, does Call Me Dave have the balls to do it? I think not...
The fact is that Labour have left this country with massive (levels unimaginable 10 years ago) debts, and will be out of government for a long time. This debt has to be repaid and as soon as possible, or we will never finish paying the interest off.
So what options do we have:
Browns Spend to invest, adding to the country's debts? No way too much of that has gone on already.
We have to face up to it, we have to repay debt, and the only conceivable ways of doing that are:
Devaluation - massive inflation problems for the next 3 decades.
Taxation - Taxpayers are paying more than they can reasonably afford now, adding more taxation will cripple business and worsen our problems
Cut public spending - Its the only realistic answer. Live within our means. Politicians of all colours are deceiving the public if they dont accept european methods for funding healthcare - ie insurance based. European health provisions are more efficient, cleaner, cheaper, lead to quicker treatment, and in all ways better.
You have to look at the NHS as being an overburdensome job creation programme, Labour have axed 25000 beds in the past 10 years, so things should be getting cheaper, nor more expensive.
The sooner we get a government that will trim public spending, the sooner this country is going to be getting back on its feet.
Government spending now accounts for 53% of economic activity, with a PSBR of Â£100Bn a year.
It just isnt sustainable, but simple policies like no Gender Realignment on the NHS could save a few billion. Tesco Value Defense? Time for Tesco Value Government!
I don't know, CMD is tougher than he looks and if (when?) he takes the reins next year he is going to have to make some hard, urgent decisions. I believe the Tories have already had a close look at Government spending and have identified 'at least' Â£50 Billion of savings - and that's before getting a chance to really scrutinise the books.
If, however, Cyclops (by some Zimbabwean manipulation) manages to retain power, we will be hitting the bottom of the cliff shortly after - if the IMF haven't taken us over by then.
The fact is that the poor showing for Labour at last weeks elections was not much to do with expenses, but the realisation of how much damage G Brown has done to the financial viability of our economy. Voters can see the lending to the banks by the taxpayer leaves us liable to massive public debt which will in all likelihood not be repaid by the banks themselves.
The electorate can see that PFI Schemes are uncosted, "off balance sheet" accounting is widely used by the Treasury, spending is out of control and the man in the street isnt stupid, He knows it must be repaid sometime in the future. We can all see that we will be taxed to death in future years.
Brown is delusional if he can claim that for the next 5 years public spending will increase, of course he will claim that he doesnt have to repay it. The voter doesnt trust him, and wants him out of office and unrewarded for the damage that he has committed to the country.
Labour isnt working.
I always thought the NHS was to keep people healthy, not happy. Electives such as plastic surgery or gender reassignment should be axed. Reconstructive plastic surgery should be available, but there are many areas where people don't need treatment.
I also think that the NHS should work with drug companies- if there's a test of a new (say) cancer drug, let cancer patients know about it and make an informed decision. Then get the drug companies to chip in to the cost of treatment- after all, they're getting guinea pigs, they should pay for it.
You weren't watching the same programmes I was then Bob, because most who were interviewed on those programmes gave out the expenses horror as their reason for not voting or not voting Labour.
bobthedog - a great deal of sense in both of your posts, you omit one thing, though - Public Sector Pensions. This alone is projected to match GDP in a few years (and at the rate the Private Sector is contracting, probably sooner).
Still, we are being bombarded by Liarbour grandees with the spin that 'Gordon was an outstanding Chancellor'. Do they really believe this or are they merely parotting the Goebbels mantra 'if you tell the people a lie often enough, they will eventually believe it'?
Whet you are living on another planet, if the expenses scandal was the prime reason for Labours vote collapse, why did it not affect the Tories and the Lib Dem vote in the same proportion. Dont take the propaganda spread by ministers, it is for their p1ss poor handling of the economy, and other issues that Labour got wiped out last week, as they will be in the election. It is the failure of Brown as a PM and his poor economic decision making that has really bitten them, and the fact we want him out of No10 to let someone else take over and put the country back on the right path.
Most of those inverviewed on TV last week were ministers from a split and fatally damaged Labour party panicking because they can see Labour becoming a minority party next year.
Sorry Bob - I didn't make myself clear. I meant the interviews with the men/women on the street.
I admit they did offer other reasons as well, but the overwhelming reason was the expenses row.
Separate names with a comma.