Labour’s arithmetic is way out- Conservative public spending is nine times the 1930s level!

When Labour says Conservatives wish to take spending back to 1930s levels they mean as a percentage of GDP, not in real terms let alone cash terms. However, it comes across as if they think Conservatives want to cut real spending back to 1930s levels. So what are the true figures?

In 1932 the UK public sector cost £1.397 billion. If you translate that into today’s prices, allowing for all the inflation since then, it would mean public spending of just £82.9 bn. Instead public spending this year is £731 billion, or 780% higher than 1932. That’s why we can afford the NHS and much else besides which we did not have in 1932.

Put another way, today’s £731 bn would have cost £12.3bn in 1932, nine times what was actually spent! Incidentally, for much of the 1930s public spending was lower than 35% of GDP, as well as GDP being so much lower in real terms.

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  1. petermartin2001
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    We need to be careful when we say public spending is 9 times the 1930’s level – even in real terms. It doesn’t mean we have a public sector which is 9 times bigger than it was.

    It doesn’t mean that we have 9 times more teachers, for example, or 9 times more policemen, 9 times more servicemen and women than we used too. Or even 9 times more MPs!

    Those teachers and policemen etc have had their salaries increased as GDP has increased. But whereas a factory worker is much more productive now than they were then, a teacher, a policeman or an MP by the very nature of those jobs cannot be.

    Reply We have an NHS which we did not have in the 1930s, and many more people employed throughout the public sector.

    • margaret brandreth-j
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      And a much larger population who take their share of spending per capita

    • Hope
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Quite frankly public spending is far too much. I weep at the lunacy of Cameron and Osborne’s public spending against what they told us to get elected. Take a look at the debt and it is obvious that whichever sum you use the politicos are wasting taxpayers’ money hand over fist. What is also alarming is that Cameron does not appear to understand the difference between deficit or debt. He also failed on percentages for the 80 percent spending cuts and 20 tax rises.

      I suppose in your calculations Cameron and the other idiotic type of politicians were not giving away £14 billion pounds of taxpayers’ money on overseas aid when their own reports showed the money was in the main being wasted!! Nor was the UK giving away another £14 billion pounds on the EU for nothing in return!

      Today we have the false claim by Cameron he is deeply concerned about Farage’s comments. As was Sadique Khan. Yet these claims were not made when Gordon Brown pledged British jobs for British workers. Was this not racist? Why wasn’t so much made of it? After all Cameron’s immigration policy could equally be claimed to be racist against those who live outside the EU?

      • Jerry
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        @Hope; “Today we have the false claim by Cameron he is deeply concerned about Farage’s comments. As was Sadique Khan. Yet these claims were not made when Gordon Brown pledged British jobs for British workers.”

        Except that Gordon Brown never suggested that there should be a repeal of anti racism laws to achieve such a pledge [1], something clearly stated in the recording of the interview and something that Mr Farage has been frantically rowing back from all of today.

        [1] which Brown was ridiculed for, by UKIP amongst others

        • Hope
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          Preferring one group of people from another purely on nationality could be viewed contrary to the Race Relations Act, Dah.

          • Hope
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            And, no your point about the interview is incorrect as well. Read Richard Littlejohn in the DM today.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

            Hope; “[the] point about the interview is incorrect”

            1/. If race is not the issue then why the need to repeal race relations laws? Dah…

            2/. Forget the europhobic spin of Mr Littlejohn adhering to the editorial line in today’s daily Maul, listen to Mr Farage’s own spoken words within the said TV interview. Dah…

            3/. If Mr Farage said nothing that he would later regret or politically damaging why did he spend all of yesterday attempting top row back on what he clearly said. Dah…

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      If the British economy expands at an average of two per cent a year, it doubles in size roughly every twenty five years. In seventy five years it will have grown around eightfold. And this is what seems to have happened to the British economy since 1932. Even with the intervention of a hugely damaging world war and the nationalisation and crippling of significant sectors of industry, the British economy seems to have managed this two per cent growth.

      It would have been better if this economic growth had been used to reduce the amount the state takes from the individual citizen. The fact that we no longer have to pay the costs of a bloated empire should not have meant that we would be landed with the costs of an even more bloated welfare state.

      Of course there is room for considerable productivity gains in the state sector Peter, even if the state sector has never been in the vanguard of the calls for these gains. For instance the internet could and should revolutionise Further Education and bring down the cost of tuition fees at the same time. With the internet, why do we need so many lecture theatres and university lecturers to go in them?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      We have an NHS yes but a very badly dysfunctional one.

      You say “many more people employed throughout the public sector”

      Indeed, and a rather high proportion of them doing little of any use or worse still actively inconveniencing the public or indeed inconveniencing other government departments.

      Like all the people now endlessly harassing landlords for pointless expensive licences.

      All paid (with pensions included) at on average 150% of the rate in the private sector. Paid for fewer hours, earlier retirement, better pay offs, and more sick leave too. Despite this it seems very hard to get anyone at HMRC to answer the phone, still less anyone who knows anything much about their absurd tax system.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        We have seen the deprivation large number of cheap rental unlicensed properties have brought this country in particular in seaside towns and the massive cost to the taxpayer funding these state employed landlords houses as dumping grounds for undesirables instead of helping them.

        • libertarian
          Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:52 pm | Permalink


          You are absolutely right and in 95% of the cases both the councils taking these tenants and the councils packing off people they don’t want are Labour councils. You are so right Baz its a disgrace

          • Bazman
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

            All Labour huh? Really. Conservative and sending the most away from London and Blackpool, the council receiving the most is Labour.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          Bazman – Hundreds of thousands come to Britain every year to seek employment. You would deny they come here for benefits so you admit there is plenty of work.

          If people refuse to work then why help them ? The problem isn’t just state employed landlords – it is state funded ‘undesirables’. They are the unwitting deterrent to decent people getting uppity with the goverment.

          “Do as we say or you end up living in close proximity with a state undesireable – refuse to pay your TV licence and you end up in a prison cell with one.”

          May I ask, Bazman. Have you ever voted Conservative ? Will you ever vote Conservative ? Just how far to the Left would the Conservative Party have to come before you’d vote for it ?

          I used to vote Conservative – when it aligned with my own beliefs.

          I only ask because you have a lot of influence here (and possibly elsewhere)

          I think it only right to point out that I am the customer here and you are only a window shopper.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

            Most are not refusing to work its the problem of finding work they are able to do within a commutable distance. Moving to another part of the country is not always possible for many for a number of reasons and most benefits are paid to those in work.
            You think just stopping their benefits would help them and in the real world what would happen to them if their money was just stopped? They have entitlements to a certain standard of living in this country not least for the benefits of the rest of us. Cold hard facts that stand whether the right accepts them or not.
            Thousands on the streets is not real so that makes you a window shopper.

      • Ralph Musgrave
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        “Badly dysfunctional” compared to what? The NHS is more efficient than the American largely privatised model.

        • APL
          Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:58 am | Permalink

          Ralph Musgrave: “The NHS is more efficient than the American largely privatised model”

          Neither respond to the demands of the patients, although for somewhat differing reasons.

          The NHS, is run for the benefit of the management class and the politicians.

          The US health care system has been captured by the drug and medical appliance manufacturers who have entrenched their market privilege thanks to the intervention of the politicians.

          Neither operate in anything nearly resembling a free market, so in both instances, the patients get the worst of all possible worlds.

  2. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    A demonstration of just how much money private banks have been allowed to create from nothing and then charge interest on.

    Also a demonstration of just how big government has become.

    It would be interesting if you could map the departmental spending from 1932 to today showing new departments and including 1970 aa a mid point and when the US came off the gold standard.

  3. Richard1
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Indeed this line of argument pushed by the Labour Party – and amplified by the BBC – is complete nonsense. The response from the Conservatives has been anything but robust. Firstly, as you point out, the actual amount of real spending is hugely bigger than in the 1930s. Secondly what is projected to happen is the economy will show good growth but public sector spending will be brought under control such that the budget deficit is dealt with and brought into balance. Ie the economy will be growing faster than the state, which is as it should be. It follows mathematically that public spending to GDP will fall. This does not mean absolute real public spending will fall, it won’t, it will continue to rise. Under Labour much of the ‘growth’ was in fact just expansion of the state. The growth in employment was in the public sector – and most of brown’s ‘investment’ was in fact public sector wage increases. In the last couple of years under this govt the private sector has flourished again which is why we have such excellent increases in employment.

    By the way countries with public spending well below 35% of GDP include Switzerland and Australia, both of which have much better public services than the UK. Really fast growth economies such as Singapore – now richer than the UK and with better services – have public spending c 20% of GDP.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      We are still waiting for some sort of apology or at least acknowledgement that they were completely wrong from all those ‘keynesian’ Cassandra economists who were so prominent on the airwaves until a couple of years ago, prophesying doom and explaining the impossibility of growth. Could we not have a guest post from eg Messrs Blachflower, Stiglitz, Wolf of the FT, and numerous others? As in 1981 the de haut en bas academic economics establishment has been proved completely wrong by a Conservative govt.

      • petermartin2001
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        The Keynesian prophesies were that growth wasn’t possible at the same time as the Government moved to balance its budget unless any reduction in the budget deficit was matched by a reduction in the trade deficit too. However, the budget is still nowhere near balanced. The Govt gets enough criticism about that on this blog!

        However, that deficit is a good thing. The budget needn’t and shouldn’t be balanced right now.

        The Eurozone countries are forced to balance, or nearly balance, their budgets by the rules of the SGP. The Keynesian Wynne Godley prophesised as early as 1995 just what would go wrong in the Eurozone when those rules had to be applied in a recession.

        On the whole, the Keynesians have had a good track record since 2008. The USA has been the most Keynesian in its approach and has been by far the most successful of the western economies as a consequence.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

          The struggling Eurozone countries lack a floating currency to speed up their recovery.
          Their budgets are nowhere near balance.
          The deficits are not a good thing.
          The continual overspending and over taxing State is the root cause of their problems.
          The USA has not grown because of Keynesian policies at all.

        • Richard1
          Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          No I don’t think this is a good explanation. Public sector spending in the US has been brought under control in spite of a left leaning (by US standards) president, mainly at state level. Much of the so called stimulus in the US happened in the UK under automatic stablizers. It’s true Obama wasted $100bn or so splurging money eg on green crap, but it’s a drop in the ocean in the US. What’s got the US going is the fundamental dynamism and flexibility of the US economy, even with a Democrat in the White House, the relatively low tax burden and of course the shale gas revolution. I suspect when history books are written the shale gas revolution will be the key thing. Keynes himself of course – who thought tax shouldn’t exceed 25% of GDP and would have urged a surplus in the big borrowing Brown years – could not be said to be a Keynsian like all those BBC favoured leftists we used to hear so much from.

          • acorn
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 9:38 am | Permalink

            The last time I looked at the numbers, the US was injecting 6% of GDP as “fiscal” stimulus compared to the UK 1.4%. The UK’s busted banks were about seven times the size of the UK economy the “financial” stimulus (bail-outs) to those bank’s balance sheets, had a much greater impact on the UK government than the US.

            As it happens, last week I was lectured by a character who thinks Cameron is a pinko liberal, with the same right-wing rant as above. I had to explain to him that public sector employees buy stuff in private sector markets like everybody else. So when the government stops employing people to buy goods and services, then people in the private sector who supplied the government, get made redundant as well. Which his daughter has just found out.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            By that logic Acorn, we could all work for the State and live happily off the magic money tree.
            Plainly the State spends money and employs people directly and indirectly.
            But it has no real money of its own, just the money which it takes from us.
            But how much more of a Keynesian stimulus can the UK afford?
            We have a deficit of 100 billion a year.

      • Qubus
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely. The Conservative PR Department fills me with dismay.

      • peter davies
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        That is not going to happen. All these types tend to do is deflect the argument or find another front. Even Mr Blanchflower tried to insist he was talking about QE rather than spending just to muddy the water.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Even if you dragged that mob kicking and scrreaming to the guillotine, they still wouldn’t apologise. None so blind as ……………………

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Lets get back to below 35% GDP. It is plenty for the government to do the rather few things governments can do better than individuals.

    If Cameron, contrary to all the evidence, is really a low tax conservative at heart he needs to start by cutting all the pointless and damaging expenditure. All the green grants, HS2, much of the payments to the health feckless, cut the remuneration in the state sector (why is remuneration 50% more that the private sector for so little useful output), the out of control dysfunctional NHS, the second rate schools, the many hugely over prices government buildings pointless quangos, poor and very inefficient universities and countless other things.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile I see the supreme court and decided that a woman can still seek money from an ex-husband some 30 years after the divorce. Over ruling the sensible court of appeal.

      What complete and utter insanity. But then one has to keep all those parasitic lawyers in a style to which they are accustomed. Thus they encourage a constant stream of litigants by rewarding them with other people’s money and keeping the rules as vague, multilevel and arbitrary as possible.

      Is it not rather sexist for the courts to assume that some woman are so helpless that
      they still need help, even 30 years after a divorce. Do not get married seems to be the message and certainly not if you are rich or ever intend to be.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      I see the Local authorities are slowly extending landlord licencing to all landlords, charging huge fees/taxes wasting their time & inconveniencing them hugely. Completely pointless and a total waste of time and money. Why not just deal with the few bad landlords where complaints are made rather than harass and fine the good ones. Well of course as usual it is all about grabbing other peoples money.

      Yet another cause of more expensive rentals for tenants, someone has to pay for all this pointless nonsense and those over paid LEA officers pushing pits of paper around.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        Someone has to pay and its usually the tenant as you say…
        The rental industry have has enough warnings and now that day cometh in this massively subsidised unregulated industry that regularly threatens their customers in a market with massive shortages being the main reason for large profits.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

          Large profits?
          Why dont you get stuck in Baz?
          Average landlord rate of return on capital invested is around 5%

          • Mondeo Man
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

            Edward 2 – The profit isn’t in the yield. It’s in having tenants pay off your mortgage and buy you a house !

            Yes. It is subsidised from the bottom in the form of welfare landlording. If you want to stay in your childhood vicinity then get pregnant by male anon at a young age and claim that to be moved would sever you from your support network.

            Whatever you do. Don’t get a job and do the responsible things !!! You’ll never live near Mum and Dad that way (unless you stay in your childhood bedroom and never marry.)

            In becoming obsessed with equality ALL parties have ditched any concept of fairness.

            Welfare-to-landlord subsidies have ramped up property prices beyond the reach of the working young.

            Rent didn’t used to be 50% of income (or higher) as it is now – for accommodation often too small to raise a family with the generous floor space that our parents took for granted.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

            Blaming private landlords is unfair mondeoman.

            If the state or councils wanted to, they could borrow money, buy land, build houses and rent them to the many clients they have waiting.
            There are huge profits to be made as you say.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

            When the majority of MP’s are landlords how probable do you think that is edward?

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Its not entirely about money grabbing.

        1. All landlords are capitalists.
        2. All capitalism is evil and must be destroyed.
        3. Tenants are an oppressed and vulnerable minority whereas landlords are evil parasites.
        4. All dwellings must be controlled by the state.
        5. The planning and building of accommodation for the proletariat must be carried out by the Democratic Representatives of the People.
        6. The Conservative Party is the lackey of Big Business and landlordism.
        7. Ownership of land is a crime against the people.
        8. A register of all landlords must be established in order that they may be identified and stand trial for retrospective crimes against the people at the Supreme Court of the Peoples’ Proletarian Council of Comrades.
        9. A special court will be established to deal with urgent cases of landlord crimes. This shall consist of a lawyer, an expert from the civil service and a lay proletarian. It shall be titled The Rent Assessment Panel.
        10. All Court and Panel members will require to be fully paid up Labour/SNP Party members.

        • Bazman
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

          And where do the millions of renters, homeless, those paying large mortgages and the massive drag on the economy and bull to the taxpayer fit into this manifesto of apologist nonsense listing the permission of the ruling elite and large landlords. More protection for them will make it better for all you are telling us and as we have seen the results know how false your claims are.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          Edward 2

          “Blaming private landlords is unfair mondeoman.

          If the state or councils wanted to, they could borrow money, buy land, build houses and rent them to the many clients they have waiting.
          There are huge profits to be made as you say.”

          A) How has this shock shortage of housing come about ?

          B) Why can’t kids own the houses that are instead owned by greedy landlords ? YES. It is their fault – along with others.

          This form of capitalism is dysfunctional. A whole generation is being denied a stake in their country – why on earth should they vote Conservative ?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

            Trying to get planning permission for new housing is a nightmare.
            The biggest increase in population in the nations history.
            Rising numbers of people wanting to live alone.
            Low interest rates equals cheap mortgage rates so you can borrow larger amounts equals higher house prices.
            There is a strong demand to rent by this generation.
            Landlords merely meet that demand.
            Buy to let growth is a result of ruined pensions and all the above.
            But I realise the demonisation of landlords is the new fashion.
            State or LA landlords would be so much netter of course.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 15, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink

            Landlords not only supply they create their own supply. Its not the demonisation of landlord that is needed it is the supply of more housing to dilute the demand for rented property, but like employers they will not take attacks on their profits lightly, but that tough, we need more housing.

  5. JoeSoap
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    That means taxes are 9 times higher.
    This is nothing repeat NOTHING to be proud of.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      @JoeSoap; It also means that means wages are (at least) 9 times higher.
      This is nothing, repeat NOTHING, to be proud of?…

      Reply Of course it is – there have been large advances in real incomes and living standards

      • APL
        Posted March 15, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        Jerry: “It also means that means wages are (at least) 9 times higher.”

        Wages are 900% higher now than in 1930. And inflation has been in excess of 9000% in the period of 1913 – 2014, the worst of the inflation occurring after 1940.

        Your wage packet may be nine times bigger, but the purchasing power it yields is reduced by 9000%

        Yet we feel we are better off (although how you can claim that since few people alive today were alive in 1930). It certainly isn’t because of government action, it’s only because of advances in technology.

        JR: “Of course it is – there have been large advances in real incomes …”

        Of course that is untrue!

        900% improvement in wages?

        (1) What is the increase in taxes in the same period?

        (2) The overall ( not the annual rate ) rate of inflation during the period 1930 – 2014?

        JR: “and living standards”

        May have increased, but despite government intervention, not because of it.

        During the period 1939 – 1945 governments spent huge resources destroying living standards of millions of people.

        Reply I am quoting real rises, not inflation ridden figures

  6. Jerry
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I doubt Labour even bothered to do any basic -back of an envelope- calculations on this, it’s just a sound-bite, it connects nicely with their chuntering about Tory plans for the NHS, they like to suggest that the NHS would be no more – back to those awful 1930s.

    • Hope
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      But the NHS is nothing to be proud of, it is an an absolute mess. No action taken against those responsible for the thousands of unnecessary deaths when being treated, nothing to curb immigration and free use of access to anyone in the world, waiting lists continue to increase and the term major incident changed so A&E departments will not be a politcal inconvenience before the election. It needs a radical overhaul with British patients at the core of every activity.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        NICE to provide £5000 a year vaccines to enable people to have sex without condoms while life prolonging cancer drugs are denied !

        • Jerry
          Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

          @Anonymous; “NICE to provide £5000 a year vaccines to enable people to have sex without condoms”

          Ever heard the joke about the religion that believed that sex was the road of all evil, and thus banned their followers from engaging in such carnal acts — it only lasted 80 years before it died out!….

      • Jerry
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        @Hope; “But the NHS is nothing to be proud of, it is an an absolute mess.

        You are entitled to your opinion. By the way, have you ever noticed the number of medical litigation cases there are in the USA?… No health service is perfect.

        • libertarian
          Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:56 pm | Permalink


          I get really annoyed with apologists for NHS who think there’s only one other system of providing health care which is the private USA system ( oh by the way the US government spend more on free health care than we do on the NHS)

          Try looking at the French system, or the German or my favourite Singapore. All are state funded all provide better health outcomes than the NHS. In fact there are 18 better systems around the world.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “oh by the way the US government spend more on free health care than we do on the NHS”

            Is that a per head figure or just a total, as obviously with a higher population figure they would pay more even if the amount per head is actually less. Also health care costs in the USA are far more expensive than in the UK.

            “In fact there are 18 better systems around the world.”

            How many of those 18 health services are totally free at the point of use (not just need), in other words how many do not require any form of remeasurement and/or additional health insurance [1] on top of payments that have al;ready been made up to that moment in time via the income tax revenue system?

            [1] such as in the French and German systems

  7. Old Albion
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Labour are hopeless with government spending, as they ‘ve proven every time.

  8. petermartin2001
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    That’s why we can afford the NHS and much else besides which we did not have in 1932.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the implication of this sentence is that ‘we’ (even though ‘we’ may not have been alive then) could not have afforded the NHS in 1932.

    Unemployment then was quite high. Over 15%. Of course married women wouldn’t have counted in the figures. The true figure would have been much higher. That’s a lot of unused potential in the economy. Of course, if we just looked at the pounds, shillings and pence that were available to the government at the time, it could well be argued that the NHS was unaffordable in the pre-war period.

    The snag with that argument is that the 1939 war would have been unaffordable too. If the beancounters had been in charge we’d have had to surrender when the money ran out. Maybe we’d have just made into 1942. The Germans would have been in retreat on the Russian front, and in North Africa the Allies would have just won a significant victory at El Alamein but if there’d have been no money left in the kitty…….

    Fortunately during times of war, the beancounters are shunted aside. They are told in no uncertain terms that it is resources that matter. Not beans.

    If that’s true in wartime, it must be true in peacetime too.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Peter, your last sentence is wrong, fundamentally wrong. When the very existence of a country is seriously threatened all kinds of things may have to be done which would not otherwise be justifiable.

      • APL
        Posted March 15, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        Denis Cooper: “When the very existence of a country is seriously threatened all kinds of things may have to be done which would not otherwise be justifiable.”

        Yes. The threat may be dire, but it’s existence short lived. Either way the war goes; victory, we can get back onto a normal peace time footing – something that wasn’t done after either WW1 or WW2, or defeat, in which case it doesn’t matter anyway.

  9. Ian wragg
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Government should only be spending on the bare minimum. Defence and policing. Emergency welfare and little more. 25% of GDP should be more than enough
    If the government didn’t have the money to waste we wouldn’t have an immigration problem or so many special needs children. Government funding encourages these things. Why should we support the arts or give billions to corrupt countries with nuclear weapons and space programmes. Tax, borrow and waste is the government motto.

    • Jerry
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      @Ian wragg; “or so many special needs children. Government funding encourages these things.”

      A DISCUSSING comment, total unadulterated clap-trap with 24 carat gold bells attached, the most usual cause of children with special needs are medical, not parents on the make from the social…… I need to stop now, otherwise I might say something that our host has to waste time editing out…..

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        Kids have always had ADHD, Jerry.

        They used to have to be disciplined to make them pay attention in class. Now we’re not allowed to.

        • Hope
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

          Well said Ian. In a time where discipline could be instilled in schools the number of alleged special needs children were very much low in number and then there were schools specifically provided for them. The ludicrous all inclusive policy was non existent. It allowed children to be educated based in their need, including grammar schools open for all! Every type of bad behaviour has been given this label to provide an excuse for poor parenting and poor discipline in society.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            @Anonymous; “Kids have always had ADHD”

            There is more to needing a SEN than ADHD, stop showing utter ignorance.

            @Hope; “In a time where discipline could be instilled in schools the number of alleged special needs children were very much low in number and then there were schools specifically provided for them.”

            Yeah those were the times OK, when teachers if they couldn’t beat the education into these simply lazy kids they must then be mentally and/or physically handicapped and thus need to be shut away in “special schools”.

            Both your comments say far more about you as individuals than it does about kids with SEN’s – and if you two are typical of the average right wing voters understanding of special educational needs in the UK then pray we have a Labour government in six weeks…

          • Anonymous
            Posted March 13, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            Jerry – Most likely we will have a Labour government in six weeks and shortly after that goverment will run out of other people’s money – as they usually do.

            And if you think that’s OK then it’s my turn to be disgusted with you and your ignorance.

            I note that you went straight for the ad hominem to close down debate. A tiresome Lefty tactic that I’m utterly sick of.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous; “And if you think that’s OK then it’s my turn to be disgusted with you and your ignorance.”

            No I do not want a Labour government, but I would happily put up with the repercussions of having one if it means that your sort of ignorant opinion about children with SENs do not get listened to – some times one has to make personal sacrifices for the over all good…

            “I note that you went straight for the ad hominem to close down debate. A tiresome Lefty tactic that I’m utterly sick of.”

            Whilst you went straight into attacking the defenceless (kids with special educational needs in this instance), how low can anyone get, a tiresome ultra-capitalist [1] tactic that I’m utterly sick of. Oh and yes, it’s that sort of tactic that could well likely do for the Tory party/government, how ever much back-pedalling the DWP have done since their half-formed “Bedroom Tax” was first thrust upon the nation, how ever correct their other policies have been.

            [1] I won’t suggest that you have a hard right-wing tendency as you probably don’t, rather, you are just unthinking in your wish to rationalise why you should pay as little tax as possible

  10. agricola
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    With Red Ed in charge they are desperate for something to say that does not draw attention to the results of the last time they were in charge. His particular contribution then was the climate change act for which everyone pays a heavy premium on their fuel bills. The energy companies might be a devious bunch of operators who need sorting by someone who understands the business, however Red Ed’s ironic price freeze bucks the market whichever way it goes, so will not work.

  11. DaveM
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t even worry about that election strapline. Not many people really remember the 1930s!

    As with everything, good, solid policies relating to today and the next few years, and broadcast effectively, are far more effective (when trying to secure votes) than silly tit-for-tat insults.

    On that note, the behaviour of MPs at PMQs yesterday was mildly amusing but would have disgraced the monkeys at London Zoo. Imagine someone like Putin watching that – he must be quaking in his boots.

    • fedupsouthener
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I watched this too and thought what a bunch of overgrown schoolboys! No wonder Carswell doesn’t want to stand up and say much – all the rest of parliament did was make stupid crass noises directed at him. What warrants that kind of behaviour from so called gentlemen?

    • Jerry
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      @DaveM; “I wouldn’t even worry about that election strapline. Not many people really remember the 1930s!”

      You might be surprised just how many people in their 80s and older are still living, but also don’t forget all the baby-boomer generation who will have undoubtedly been raised on stories about how hard it was for their parents and grandparents during the 1930 whilst being the first full generation to benefit from the NHS and the welfare state with its cradle to the grave ethos.

      • libertarian
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 11:01 pm | Permalink


        For someone who pompously told me to go and read history from the early 20th century, I suggest you take your own advice. The health provision in the 1920’s and 30’s was perfectly fine in this country. The NHS wasn’t formed to provide “free” healthcare it was formed to take state control. There were MORE hospitals ( especially cottage hospitals and infirmaries) in the 1930s than we have now.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; “The health provision in the 1920’s and 30’s was perfectly fine in this country.”

          Yes, if you had either money or the good fortune to live close enough to a charitable GP/hospital, and even then it was no means certain that you would be entitled to treatment.

          “The NHS wasn’t formed to provide “free” healthcare it was formed to take state control.”

          Utter tosh! You seem to be getting confused by what was in the Beveridge proposals and what the Labour party had hoped it would contain, in the end (as far as the NHS is concerned) they too adopted and implemented it. If Beveridge was proposing state control why would the Tory party and press be so enthusiastic towards the report.

          From the 1945 Conservative manifesto;
          The health services of the country will be made available to all citizens. Everyone will contribute to the cost, and no one will be denied the attention, the treatment or the appliances he requires because he cannot afford them.

          We propose to create a comprehensive health service covering the whole range of medical treatment from the general practitioner to the specialist, and from the hospital to convalescence and rehabilitation; and to introduce legislation for this purpose in the new Parliament. [..//..]

      • Ian wragg
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        Once again you rubbish my comment. Perhaps you should speak to my son in law who is head of maths in a local comp
        Anyone who is a bit slow or what would historically been said to be naughty can be labelled add or dyslexic. The money follows. If you identify a demand then someone will oblige. Britain has more so called special needs children than any other country
        Same goes for disability. It’s only tax payers money.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          @Ian wragg; If your comment is that of your son-in-law then it says more about him than it does kids with SENs. 🙁

          • APL
            Posted March 15, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

            Jerry: “it says more about him than it does kids with SENs.”

            As previously noted by anon on March 13, at 7:08 pm you use insults and innuendo to try to win your argument. It’s tiresome and transparent.

            The question is; do people respond to economic stimuli?

            The evidence, provided anecdotally by Mr Wragg’s son who seems to be in a position to know a bit more about it than you. Is yes.

            Now, no one here seems to be suggesting that there aren’t educationally subnormal children in the system who could benefit from some extra funding.

            The point being made is that children in the normal distribution of educational abilities; that is not at the lower extreme of the intelligence distribution, are being labelled as educationally sub normal because there are government subsidies to be mined.

            Illustrating that you get what you pay for, and secondly the adverse impact of government subsidies.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 15, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            @APL; “The evidence, provided anecdotally by Mr Wragg’s son who seems to be in a position to know a bit more about it than you. Is yes.”

            How do you know that I have no knowledge, perhaps greater than Mr Wragg’s Son-in-law, never mind your own?

            “Illustrating that you get what you pay for, and secondly the adverse impact of government subsidies.”

            Or the lengths that some parents will go -no- need to go, fighting to get their child a SEN statement, so to make the school/LEA provide necessary facilities for their child that are no longer routinely available due to government funding cut-backs…

          • APL
            Posted March 16, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “are no longer routinely available due to government funding cut-backs…”

            What is the UK government education budget today, and what was it, say ten years ago?

          • Jerry
            Posted March 16, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

            @APL; “What is the UK government education budget today”

            Please feel free to read what I actually said. 🙁
            The education budget could be 100,000 times higher but if it’s all being spent on funding new buildings and not services within those building…

          • APL
            Posted March 16, 2015 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “Please feel free to read what I actually said.”

            What you actually wrote was quoted and I replied to it in my post.

            So do you want to establish the veracity of your claim that there have been government education spending cuts or not?

            If not, then continue your rants and wild unfounded assertions.

            Otherwise, let’s have the education budget today so we can compare it with the education budget some time ( a decade will do ) ago, and establish your claim that the government has been cutting back education funding – to be true or false.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 17, 2015 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            @APL; Once again please try reading what I said, only you are mentioning over all education budgets, I’m more interested in what those budgets are being spent on, such as which services and/or facilities – hence why I use such words.

          • APL
            Posted March 17, 2015 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “I’m more interested in what those budgets are being spent on, ”

            That’s all fine and dandy, Jerry.

            But before you can claim there have been “government funding cut-backs…” we need to establish how much has been spent on education, then we can look into how it has been allocated.

            But first, as a fellow seeker after truth, lets find out if there has been education funding cut backs. Because that was your original and quoted claim.

            If you are at all interested in the truth, we can then look into the allocation of the education budget.

            But perhaps you are only interested in a rant, in which case, you’ll fail (as usual) to produce a single figure to establish your so far unfounded claim.

          • APL
            Posted March 18, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: “hence why I use such words”

            Clearly Jerry. You use such words to avoid answering a perfectly reasonable question.

            I am quite happy to look into the allocation of the education budged, but first, I’d like to know if it has been increased in the last decade.

            A question you are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid awnsering.

    • David Price
      Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      I caught part of a parliamentary debate on defence at Thursday lunchtime, the demeanour of that debate was strikingly different from the PMQ zoo. It was also striking how few MPs were in the room as part of the democratic debate compared to the packed audience at the PMQ entertainment.

      With such a reversed appreciation or priorities is it any wonder people hold government and politicians in such low esteem.

      Reply I attended for part of the debate. The reasons there were not more there include the wish of many to be in their constituencies on a Thursday close to an election, the fact that the vote was not binding on the government as it was a backbench motion and the fact that there was no time for any more MPs to make a speech than were present. Other MPs would know the views of the main speakers in the debate as there has been an active set of discussions on the 2% target for several weeks in meetings and conversations at Westminster.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Ah, but the main question is whether the 2 UKIP MPs were there for the debate, or they were elsewhere doing whatever the other 600-odd MPs were doing outside the chamber … not so, JR?

        Reply I merely pointed out that we at last had 2 important EU debates this week and Mr Carswell came to neither, Mr Reckless came to one at the very end and the other half way through, and made a speech in neither. I have no idea what they thought more important, but clearly Mr Reckless was available at Westminster around the time of these debates.Some might think that the 2 reps of a party which majors on free movement and the EU relationship might have wanted to put their point of view, as presumably it now differs in some way from a Eurosceptic Conservative view which was well on display.

      • David Price
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for your comment. I take your point but it looks very bad that few attend and so appear disinterested in sober debates but turn out for PMQs when they have even less chance of constructive contribution.

        I am concerned to hear what steps are being taken, and the background rationale, for support for servicemen, for example, but really don’t need to hear the PM asked multiple times why he won’t be in a TV debate.

        Perhaps many of us don’t understand how parliamentary business actually works but that means our perceptions are set by what we observe and it is the sober debates that inform my judgement of people and atcivities rather than the boisterous playground of PMQ.

        One thing that disgusted me about the Blair government was how he had sidelined parliament and the low turnout to debates that resulted, and we have increasingly seen the same with this government.

  12. alan jutson
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    So, if its so absolutely simple to show up the Labour statement as absolute nonsense.

    Why has your Party not published exactly what you have done with a simple poster, to show it is all a complete nonsense and lies, instead of messing about with weird complicated non factual statements.

    The Conservative PR machine seems to be costing a huge amount of money, for very little effect.
    Rather like Government with its ineffective spending.

    We all know Government spending has got completely out of control, that is why we have a deficit and are in a huge amount of debt.

    The Conservatives lost the chance to govern by themselves the last time with a poor information campaign, looks like they are going to repeat the mistake.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Alan I was just about to type “Yes John, but how rubbish are conservative message deliverers that this simple message can’t be explained as simply and easily as their sound-bites” when I read your message. Too many people try to complicate the message and rebuttals.

    • Qubus
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Quite right. What is the Conservative PR department playing at? They should be shouting this from the rooftops.

  13. DaveM
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    While we’re on the subject of election straplines, it might be worth mentioning to the PM (or whichever SpAd came up with it) that as a response to questions relating to excessive immigration,

    “it’s because we’ve created more jobs than the rest of the EU” doesn’t cut it.

    Most people (who are concerned about immigration and huge levels of wasteful public spending) would respond thus:

    1. That doesn’t alter the fact that there are too many too soon, putting massive strains on public services which are paid for by us, and:

    2. Why aren’t those jobs going to British people? And if the unemployed brits don’t want to do said jobs, they should have benefits taken away or at least severely reduced.

  14. Bert Young
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Fiddling with the figures is no surprise at this stage of the election game . Most of the public are not fools and are capable of reading between the lines . It is always refreshing when something is said amongst the morass of political words that strikes a chord of common sense ; today I took heart from the statement Nigel Farage made on the rights and wrongs of employers . Of course the employer must have the right to choose whether he wants one person rather than another in his organisation ; the day to day chemistry of how an organisation co-exists and moves forwards is in his hands and not in the hands of the Government .

    Those of us who have created and run successful organisations do not need to take lessons from political individuals who have limited life experience outside of Westminster . The life-blood of this country depends on success breeding success ; time wasters who want to wallow in whether one set of figures is more meaningful than another are simply a waste of time ; those who can produce significant policies and and thoughts and put it over to the public in a way they recognise as relevant and truthful are the winners .

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Basic arithmetic is not really Labour’s forte. Jealousy, envy, hatred of the hard working or better off and raw, irrational appeals to childish emotion are Labours strengths.

    Mind you HS2 and non of the green grants nonsense would exist – if anyone honest & in power did some basic arithmetic.

  16. REPay
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Why doesn’t someone from Central Office point out that the real problem comes not from a putative reduction in spending (0.4% real cut since 2010?) but from the distinct possibility of going bust if we get the great balance sheet manipulator (Ed Balls) back in power. If you really under spend you can always increase spending. If the IMF is running your country then you can’t.

  17. English Pensioner
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to compare some other figures from the past.
    How many civil servants were employed in the thirties? How many staff did local councils employ in offices? How does the numbers of staff in the MoD compare with those in the equivalent ministries in, say, 1945? How did the defence budget in, say, 1935 compare with that now?
    I suspect that if these figures were studied, we would find some areas have expanded out of all recognition when in practice the only major government activity we have now that didn’t exist in the thirties was the NHS.

  18. Colin Hart
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Most of these statistics are meaningless to most people.

    It is equally irrelevant what percentage of GDP goes on overseas aid or defence. What we should really be asking ourselves (and telling our international ‘partners’) is what do we need to spend and how can it best be spent to achieve our objectives?

    As for Cromwell’s New Model Army, I seem to recall that it was pretty effective.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    You don’t have to go back as far as the 1930’s to find public spending as a proportion of GDP within a few percentage points of that now being projected, it was that low for some years in the late 1950’s. In any case it may well be that the projected reductions will not be fully achieved, irrespective of the party or parties in power at the time.

  20. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    How’s the creative accounting for the defence budget going?

  21. eeyore
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    This sort of thing from the Labour party is not easy to distinguish, in my own mind at least, from conscious dishonesty. Another example I find particularly distasteful is Mr Miliband’s oft-repeated claim that “millionaires” have had a “£40,000 a year tax break”. What about one man I know, a sheep farmer with 100 acres? At £6,000 an acre, plus a farmhouse, sheds, livestock and machinery, he is worth a million quid. This plutocrat’s income, after costs but before tax, for a minimum 60 hour week of relentless manual drudgery is £5,000 a year. He is still waiting for his £40,000 tax break.

    Of course, Mr Miliband disingenuously conflates those who EARN £1m a year with those who OWN £1m. He desires, presumably, to inflame the thoughtless, the mindless, the envious and the bigoted (though why whipping up class hate should be more acceptable than whipping up race hate is also not easy to discern). etc ed

  22. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I see that UK borrowing rates are about 1.70%. This rate exceeds that of France by more than 1% and those of Italy, Spain and Portugal. We are meant to have a successful economy so why should this be – would it be that there are those who doubt our ability to service the debt compared to others? Maybe they will feel better when Cameron has cut the Army and the Defence budget, that’ll show ’em he knows what he is doing.

    A Spanish bank is today able to offer going on for £2bn for the TSB – where does it get the money from, if as we are told they are in more trouble than us? Forgive some of us for our doubts about that. Another one of our assets may be going. And I believe your gov. has sold Eurostar. And I believe you are selling parts of our National Parks. And the HoC is even selling off the silver cutlery. I think someone in your party said sell the Palace of Westminster and let someone turn it into a museum.

    Good idea this selling stuff don’t you think Mr Redwood? Inward investment I think you call it. Whose nation will it be when you’ve let most of our assets go to foreign buyers? Are we expected to believe they will have no influence outside these businesses? Why do other countries buy and we sell? I think Cameron was praising all that lovely Russian money a few years ago. Do you think he was right?

    So, the cash flow, profits and dividends of these and all the hundreds of major and minor businesses which have been sold to foreign buyers over the last ten or twenty years go off abroad. Is that good for UK PLC?

    If this is indeed so good, it must have been bad when we had big overseas investments and the dividends we received from them helped our balance of payments figures. How could this be so? Maybe you could explain sometime.

  23. libertarian
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Yes well most government spending is pork barrel politics and state control.

    No one ever asks what happened BEFORE the NHS, you know the time that all our still current great teaching hospitals like Guys, Barts, St Thomas etc were actually founded WITHOUT state intervention.

    I found this report which is interesting

    “Healthcare in Britain was very substantial and impressive prior to 1948. Even the Labour Party pamphlet, which recommended a “National Service for Health” in 1943, could find little to criticise. There is mention of only one waiting list, for “rheumatic diseases”. There were no waiting lists for all the other specialties and no waiting lists to see consultants. There was no mention of any shortage of doctors or, indeed, of nurses. There was no complaint either, about the quality of care.

    Most consultants worked for free in charitable hospitals and earned their money by seeing wealthy private patients who paid. There were more hospitals in the UK prior to the NHS than there are now, especially cottage hospitals and infirmaries. Most hospitals were charities of run by local councils.

    Throughout its history, the NHS has been dominated by the hospital services, in particular by the high-status university hospitals. The bulk of expenditure on the NHS (over 70%) goes on hospitals. General practice, though it deals with the vast majority of reported illness – probably over 95% – accounts for less than 10% of spending, and of course General Practice always has been and still is run as private businesses.”

    I’m not against a public funded health provision ( although it should be broken up into smaller units) but that funding MUST be derived from a hypothecated tax or publicly run health insurance scheme, that way we know what we’re paying for and if we want to spend more on health we can tolerate the associated tac rises.

    Government waste of taxpayers money is at epic levels and its utterly disgraceful that the people of all political parties continue to allow the public sector to grossly financial mismanage the countries affairs.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      A fine post

    • Bazman
      Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Read the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists to see what Britain was like without a NHS. The health service is the biggest gift to the population by the state. Your romantic cottage hospital nonsense is just that. Fortunately none believes it in particular those that remember.
      Tax cuts for the rich and nothing for the workers except a days pay in your world.
      How do you propose that modern Britain deals with a third world peasant lifestyle for many?

      • libertarian
        Posted March 12, 2015 at 11:05 pm | Permalink


        My post was the facts of history.

        There where MORE hospitals in 1930’s than there are now

        There were NO shortages of Doctors and Nurses

        Read the Labour party report from 1943 into health provision then come back and tell me your propaganda nonsense again.

        As usual with the drivel you post your last two made up paragraphs are your ideas none else’s and both are completely irrelevant to the post.

        etc ed

        • Bazman
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          You are saying the NHS has done nothing and healthcare for the vast majority was fine before the NHS?
          Britain’s health care system, pre-1948, did not work well. It was a patchwork of institutions which were not accessible according to need. The two primary deficiencies were lack of access to hospital care and lack of access to health care for dependants – the families of working men. Many of these had no formal health cover and had to use self-medication or medicines bought over the counter from the local pharmacist. As a result, an illness, or paying for medical attendance at a birth, could cause major financial problems for families across the country.
          Your posts just get more deluded.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          @libertarian: “My post was the facts of history.”

          Indeed, the selected text from within that features on the dust jacket, chosen to promote the authors opinions and conclusions…

          “There where MORE hospitals in 1930’s than there are now

          If you mean one or two ward cottage hospitals indeed *that might or might not have such things as a resident surgeon or perhaps even proper operating theatre etc.), but many of those were simply because transport between towns (never mind villages) for the ill was not so developed.

          For example in my own town, a hospital was built (on charitable donations) because otherwise it was a 15 mile round trip to get to any of the neighbouring and larger hospitals, along roads that were still more suited to the horse and cart than omnibus, ambulance or the scarce private car. Going by rail was an even longer journey, with the likelihood of at least one change of train and perhaps a long wait on a cold station – shear numbers of hospitals do not tall us anything.

          “There were NO shortages of Doctors and Nurses”

          Assuming you lived close to were they worked, and were accessible to you…

          “Read the Labour party report from 1943 into health provision then come back and tell me your propaganda nonsense again.”

          Why not just read the Beveridge Report, links to the full text at the bottom of that page, I will spare John from having to check/host a URL he might not wish to.

          As I said to you before “libertarian”, you seem to be getting confused with what was actually stated in the Beveridge Report (published in late 1942), and supported by all parties by 1945, with what the Labour party wished had been in the report as stated in their own publication in reply from 1943.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        The point being made Baz is about who runs things best.

        There are nations where they have different arrangements and their health provision is both better for customers and cheaper than our beloved NHS.

        You forget the average tax payer is paying a few thousand a year for the NHS. Its not free.

        • Bazman
          Posted March 14, 2015 at 6:12 am | Permalink

          Which country has a better system edward? Cutomers? If they where ‘customers’ then more would be better. In any health serviced this is not the case competition may well work for takeaways but not health services. Stop pretending.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

            Yes customers.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 9:48 am | Permalink

            @Bazman; Indeed, next people like Edward2 will be suggesting that those who need the Fire & Rescue service etc. are “Customers”, when in reality and unlike any true commercial company, the health, fire and police etc. would dearly like there to be no need for their services, dearly like to have no work. Medical insurance, any insurance, only works as a commercial commodity because most people do not claim, or claims are refused – as soon as the number or cost of claims increase so do the premiums, just think what the NHS could be had NI increased at the same rate as medical and other insurance premiums, rather than the NHS and related services having to do ever more with proportionally less income.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

            Well they need a good service Jerry.
            Responsive to their needs and effective and of a good reliable quality.
            Not like Stafford Hospital where citizens were not treated like cutomers.
            Interesting to look at insurance premiums for excellent private health cover.
            Currently costing me a few hundred pounds compared with a few thousand pounds for the NHS

          • Jerry
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            Edward2; “Not like Stafford Hospital”

            As I said to “Hope” way up, have you ever noticed the number of medical litigation cases there are in the USA?… We can all pick out the minority of failings, no one ever mentions the exceptional life-saving care (or indeed the end of life care) that the NHS provides to the majority day-in, day-out, what ever the patients personal means.

            Interesting to look at insurance premiums for excellent private health cover. Currently costing me a few hundred pounds compared with a few thousand pounds for the NHS

            Except in the UK it isn’t full cover, if you get knocked down crossing the road, have an accident at work, it will be the NHS who arrives to mend your bones, stop you bleeding to death or what ever. Also private medical insurance might only be a few a few hundred pounds for as health 20 – 30 something year old but what about those of 55 plus with perhaps a moderate to serious pre-existing condition, how much will the premium be for them in your ultra-capitalist utopia, assuming that the insurer even bother quoting?

          • Bazman
            Posted March 17, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            With large numbers of private patients using NHS hospitals.

      • Mondeo Man
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        Bazman – As with welfare the NHS has become far bigger than it was meant to be and now it has become the industrial wing of the Labour Party.

        The state does not ‘gift’ anything to its population in a democracy. Only dictatorships do that.

        • Bazman
          Posted March 13, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          The Tories have spent the last four years running the NHS down and are no trying to pull the shortages and waiting lists back with hundreds of millions being spent on incompetent private contractors and they have form for previous incompetence waking away from problems. It’s privatisation via the back door that nobody in thsi country wants or believes in.
          Just remember that most people are one illness from the street and insurance will end up like America with millions facing bills or the street.
          It will be another utilities/railway fiasco for sure all you lying apologist fantasists with no means to provide your own healthcare/insurance.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

            NHS rated 18th in the world.
            Open your eyes.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            Your 1997 WHO survey is well out of date and countries like Oman are achieving these top ratings by improving mortality that the UK did years ago and do not include such things as cataract removal, for example, which greatly improve quality of life, without necessarily extending it.
            Heres something a bit more up to date for your ‘customers’.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2015 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

            What do you call people who use State provided services for which they pay for out of their taxes then Baz.
            Why is calling them customers so disturbing to you.
            Or should they just be grateful.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 17, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

            Are you a customer of the road or a school or the army? It’s called infrastructure and you are a user.

      • David Price
        Posted March 13, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Bazman, the NHS was not and is not a “gift” by the state, tax payers always have paid for it and continue to pay for it. There is no doubting the benefits to all from tackling disease as the NHS was first set up to do, but I don’t believe gastric bands, sex changes and the like fall in to that category, compared to treating cancer for example.

        I believe the NHS is not above improvement and that individual employees are not above censure where warranted, it must be held to account for it’s medical and administrative performance.

        • Bazman
          Posted March 17, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          We get rid of the NHS and have private healthcare/insurances. No payment you die or find charity? This would be an improvement for the majority of the population who are struggling to buy a house and other basic living needs? This is what you are saying.
          The medical reasons for gastric bands and sex changes are not for you to decide, each case has its merits or otherwise.

      • APL
        Posted March 15, 2015 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Bazman: “The health service is the biggest gift to the population by the state. ”

        The ‘state’ doesn’t have anything to give.
        It must first extort its resources before it can ‘give’ anything.

  24. Jon
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    In 1932 GDP was 4.6bn and the public sector cost 1.4bn which is 30% well below the level not far under 50%. Either they are deliberately lying or are too inept to be allowed to apply for the job.

    Whilst I’m not an advocate for regulation this area does need something. Inaccurate claims need to be retracted in public and a prospective chancellor should have to pass a basic math test. That level of incompetence would not be tolerated in the private sector and can be a criminal offence if negligence is shown.

    Just like many parliamentarians often demand better professional qualifications so they shoudl be subject to a minimum standard.

  25. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    (1) The inflation FACTOR since 1932 has been nearly 60. Just think how much people have been robbed of their wits by this process.
    (2) In 2001, public expenditure was 36% of GDP. Since then, by popular demand, NHS spending has risen from 5.5% to 8% of GDP. Is there any need, therefore, for public expenditure to be more than 38.5% of GDP? We are still above that figure, with an annual fiscal deficit that we all know about.

  26. Chris S
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    “That’s why we can afford the NHS”

    The fact is that we can’t afford the NHS at currently structured.

    Unless we keep pouring money into this unreformed bottomless pit it’s going to bankrupt the country. Drastic action is needed starting with people being told exactly what their operation or prescription actuaslly costs.

    Cameron has adopted the LibDem policy of taking huge numbers of people out of paying income tax. This is a fundamentally flawed strategy for the Conservatives.

    When you add up the increasing number of people in the UK who are entitled to vote yet contribute nothing in direct taxes it’s a recipe for disaster for a party wanting to keep public spending under control.

    Add to those all the public sector workers who depend on the state for their income and the number of voters who have a vested interest in keeping government spending under control is diminishing very fast. It’s rather like a Trojan Horse.

    I would re-introduce the 10p rate which everyone would pay on income of more than £5,000. Then I would announce that whenever public spending were to rise, the cost in percentage terms would be spread across all payers of income tax.

    No taxation without representation was once the battlecry of democracy.

    If we genuinely want to keep government expenditure under control we need the support of the majority of the population yet the Conservatives have enthusiastically adopted a policy designed to achieve the exact opposite.

    We need to reach a situation where we effectively have no representation without taxation.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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