Tag Archives: PFI

That sacred cow the NHS


This week on Facebook I posted some links on the National Health Service (NHS). By the 1980s if society was divided by notions of a welfare state all strata of society were united in giving the NHS the status of a sacred cow. Yet from the moment of its inception in 1948 by the newly elected post World War II Labour Government, the NHS was unaffordable as a free service. Aneurin Bevan who, as the minister of health, was responsible for establishing an NHS that included free diagnosis and treatment for all, resigned from the government in 1951 as a protest against the introduction of prescription charges for dental care and spectacles. Read more of this post

Other People’s Money


While we may display genuine and heartfelt  compassion for those in need of it, ultimately we all have a compassion fatigue point at which our self interest – be it physical or spiritual – ultimately triumphs. While that may sound like the writing of a consummate cynic, any such ethos is open to interpretation. I find myself becoming increasingly cynical about the role that economic theory plays in the ‘creation of money’ and the role played by politicians,  either ‘in’ or ‘out of’ government,’ in the manipulation of ‘economic theory’.  When economist, politicians and ultimately governments introduce fiscal measures it always involves other people’s money.

Oscar Wilde’s view of a cynic was that of: ‘A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing’.

George Bernard Shaw’s view was that: ‘The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it’.

 

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PFI – Politically Financed Insanity


Richard Murphy who maintains the web site ‘Tax Research UK’ has published an article today about PFI. PFI being a bête noire of mine, I have read and re-read the article a few times. Paraphrasing what Richard has written:-

“According to data from HM Treasury £56 billion of projects have now been financed by PFI at a total eventual cost of £252 billion. The ratio of cost to benefit is sufficient evidence in itself of the appallingly poor value for money inherent in these projects, many of which are now owned by banks. If cash has to be injected into the economy to provide liquidity then there can be no doubt that one of the best way to do so for the future benefit of the UK would be to buy out all PFI schemes now. Around £200 billion could be ‘saved . If new legislation to empower such arrangements is required we would argue that is a necessary price to pay to achieve this important social and financial goal for the UK as a whole”.
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The debt we’re in


In 2009 it was claimed that the true level of government debt was £2,200 billion (i.e. £85,610 per household) and not £805 billion as was reported by the ONS. In a report issued by The Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) in 2009 — The Hidden Debt Bombshell — claims that the official figures did not take into account:

  1. the full cost of projects financed through the PFI (£139 billion)
  2. unfunded public sector pension liabilities (£1,104 billion)
  3. contingent liabilities such as Network Rail (£22 billion)
  4. the cost of recent interventions in the financial sector (£130 billion).

These hidden liabilities totalled £1,395 billion (100% of GDP). The true public debt was therefore £805 billion + £1,395 billion = £2.2 trillion (157% of GDP). This was an increase of £346 billion since 2008 – almost £1 billion a day or £700,000 a minute – when the true level of debt was £1.85 trillion (127% of GDP).
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This site was created for members and friends of My Telegraph blog site, but anyone is welcome to comment, and thereafter apply to become an author.

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The Real Economy

Hello, I’m Ed Conway, Economics Editor of Sky News, and this is my website. Blogposts, stuff about my books and a little bit of music

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Professor Mark Elliott

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An Anthology of Short Stories

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The Short Stories of David Goodwin (Capucin)

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