Health spending, tax and that Brexit dividend

There has been a long running argument within government over health spending and how to pay for future increases. That is why I wrote about efficiency and quality last week, and set out the case against a hypothecated health tax sometime ago on this site.

I am pleased to report that the idea for a hypothecated new Health Tax seems to have been dropped. I explained how such a tax  would not  be enough on its own, how there would still be plenty of arguments about how much extra money the NHS needed as well as the hypothecated tax, and how you cannot throttle back health care simply because one particular tax has fallen short.

I am also pleased to report that those of us who argued a substantial part of the Brexit dividend should be used to meet increased future health costs have also been  persuasive. There will be an extra £12bn a year available for spending and tax cuts once we have terminated our payments., I am in favour of doing this immediately  after March 29 next year, unless the EU suddenly comes up with a good deal which is worth letting them have a bit more of our money after we have left.

There is still work to  be done on whether there is any need for extra borrowing. That will depend on how fast the economy grows and how quickly the revenue increases. Lowering tax rates would help raise more revenue in several cases, which would be a welcome boost to the economy with beneficial consequences for future spending. When the US is going for a top Income Tax rate of 37% and  Italy for a top rate of 20% the UK needs to stay competitive to ensure enough well paid and successful business people stay here and pay their taxes here to help our public services. The UK economy needs a fiscal boost to offset the monetary tightening administered by the authorities since March 2017.

It is also important to grant increased spending for the NHS on the basis of something for something for something. Just granting a blanket increase could result in wasteful spending, as we saw in the big increases in the middle Labour years before they had to slash public spending generally after the crash.

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  1. Peter
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Brexit dividend?

    Depends how much she gives away to the EU and for how long.

    • Rob Drummond
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      The potential ongoing contributions to The EU will stop at some point – thereafter CLEARLY those contributions WILL STOP.

      Why do people have so much difficulty in understanding that we will NOT be sending subscriptions To The EU?

      ”How Long” and ”How Much” are answered thus:
      NOT LONG
      LESS than the £20bn a year gross EU payments (as we will LOOSE our rebate in 2021)

      • bigneil
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        “Why don’t people understand” – because we have been lied to for so long by so many politicians. It is NOT a case of understanding, it is a case of not trusting. I would rather trust a politician who told me something bad but was being honest, than a continual liar who will lose all support and trust.

      • JoolsB
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        LESS than the £20bn a year gross EU payments (as we will LOOSE our rebate in 2021)”

        Even so a £39 BILLION divorce EU bill is way too much and could be spent on the NHS instead of finding more ways to tax us but then socialist May and Hammond are clueless when it comes to saving us money.

    • Hope
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      JR, even if the U.K. Leaves next year your figures are wrong, if not deceptive. There is apunishment extension where the U.K. Will still pay the contribution and add on costs. At the moment, unless you forget, there is an extension to the extension where the UK pays as a vassal state!

      Explain your claims please why the alleged contribution money becomes available next next year when the U.K. leaves in name only. Where the hundred billion comes from, as we are told it will now be paid in advance of any alleged trade deal, what sums continue to be paid for what and how long i.e. European Development Fund three point seven five billion each year for nothingin return for the U.K. Please explain.

    • Peter
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      On the other hand, Grieve has said he could collapse the government. He might not mean this. It could be an empty threat.

      It would be a blessing in disguise if he did though. A chance for a clear out out of intransigent Remain Tories. Grieve knows he is probably on limited time himself. No blame then attaches to the candidates with an eye on becoming PM.

      The impasse disappears (if the constituencies do a good job on vetting/removing candidates).

      • Hope
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Where has it been justified that the NHS needs more money? Secondly, where is the justification for that sum announced? Is it based on continued projected mass immigration figures, under funding, World Health Service Tourism and treatment? Presumably after we leave the EU it might cut the. Miners of EU citizens receiving treatment, how much will this save?

  2. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    The NHS needs sorting out before throwing more money at it. Instead of tax rises to pay some of it I think the government should reduce foreign aid and spend more at home. This might look more attractive on the manifesto as it looks as though some rats in your government are intent on bringing down the government. I was under the impression our payments would be going on for a further 4 years? Mrs May needs to bring on more popular and sensible policies if she is going to stand any chance of being reelected in the case of the rebels defeating the government. Personally I think a new leader would be preferable and someone who believes in Brexit.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      FUS – Agreed on all points…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      ‘The NHS needs sorting out before throwing more money at it.’

      Exactly right, but no politician dares to do this. They just continue the waste, the deaths, the endless delays, the litigation claims ….. with a system that can never work efficiently. This while muttering about it being the “envy of the World” and paying for pathetic, propaganda pantomimes about it at the Olympic opening ceremony.

      Free at the point of death, endless delays, incompetence, starvation, dehydration, pain, lying in corridors, dishonesty, catching infections, being sent home in an unfit state to survive …..

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        L/L Agree, I have recently suffered personally from quite a few things you have listed recently. The attention to detail sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. My medication was wrong when I left hospital and I suffered a blood clot because of it and the woman in the next bed to me was given the wrong medication too while on the ward. One doctor tells you one thing and another says something completely different leaving the patient confused and not able to make a considered decision. The amount of money paid for simple things like loo rolls, bandages etc are astronomical. God knows who they use as buyers but they need replacing with someone with common sense. Half the things could be bought at the local supermarket for less money.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        On the other hand, in my opinion and experience, excellent medical care on tap when you need it and free at the point of delivery. I know it’s not perfect but nothing is. I’d rather improve what we have than throw the baby out with the bath water.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Often free at the pount of non delivery, total incompetence and very serious mistakes and incompetence.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Mike, improving the service is all I am saying. Not getting rid of it. We are lucky to have a health service and I think everyone knows that but it could be improved. Money is not the only answer. If things go well then it’s great but when it goes wrong as often it does it can go very wrong and then it’s sometimes too late for that person. Medical staff are under pressure and that needs attention but there is a lot of waste.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

          Only if you are lucky, very hit and miss

          Plenty of people left to die who would live decades longer in other developed countries

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        I have been censored in attempting to add to your list of critisisms LL. I mentioned the other day that censorship was everywhere and we must fight for our freedoms, and here I was commenting on a matter of public interest. JR could well be part of the problem and not the solution. I only summed up how deaths might have been brought about and would thus require police action.

        Maybe I will now be binned for good for attempting that fight.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted June 19, 2018 at 5:03 am | Permalink

        Lifelogic, for once in total agreement. The national death service is a disgrace.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink


      Agreed, take some of it out of foreign Aid which has been discredited so many times, I wonder why we continue to run it in its present form.

      This extra money must not just be spent on simply increasing wages without any efficiency improvements, and reductions in wasteful spending.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Foreign Aid should be used (in part) for financing our own NHS – simply because we are helping ‘foreigners’ with our ‘free’ NHS. It is so obvious that one wonders how on earth the powers-that-be can continue to ignore the fact that we are helping the rest of the world with OUR NHS which should therefore be reimbursed for use by (visitors from abroad ed).
        What’s not to get?

      • APL
        Posted June 20, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        “This extra money must not just be spent on simply increasing wages without any efficiency improvements,”

        How about the option to see your GP at night?

  3. margaret
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Huge amounts are spent on obesity related diseases. I saw a programme a few days ago named ‘Diabetes Fix’ . It demonstrated how a few people on a strict monitored 800 calorie diet , lost weight and their glucose levels and liver fat was markedly reduced. It may be an improved idea if there could be these places of referral where patients could stay and lose weight and then followed up until they became self disciplined.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      The “Healthy Living” dividend dwarfs the “Brexit” dividend.
      More healthcare = More indulgence.
      Improvements into UK attitude to healthy living is what is needed. Unwind after a day at work by going for a walk, not slumping into a sofa and eating pizza.

      • bigneil
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        Dave, I’m not having a go at you, but I spent 40 years doing a VERY hard physical job. Stood up for 12 hours a day, on a concrete floor, being controlled by the production line machinery, day shifts, night shifts, weekends, bank holidays, xmas day etc. At the end of some shifts I had to sit in the locker room for 20 minutes before even getting into the shower because I was so tired. The last thing I wanted after that was to “go for a walk” due to having to be back at work 12 hours later for yet more of the same. Now retired I have a hernia and back problems, along with a small pension for my decades of contribution, while being able to walk about 50 yards before my back gives out and i’d be on the floor in agony.

        • alan jutson
          Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink


          Agree, those who have worked in offices all their life do not have a clue as to how the skeleton of the human body is absolutely knackered by the time someone is 60 if they have done hard physical work for most of their life.
          For many it is just after 50 years of age or even lower.

      • eeyore
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Just one lifestyle condition, type 2 diabetes, costs the NHS £8bn a year (£200 per taxpayer). I could find a better use for my £200 than subsidising someone else to be overweight and ill.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Indeed. There could be measures to prevent waste and encourage better behaviours. Either fines, fees or a withdrawal of treatment for:

      – failing to turn up to appointments

      – drunkenness in A&E

      – failing to follow doctor’s advice on obesity/smoking/drinking, though at least smoking and drinking generates a lot of NHS revenue.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Indeed of course if the hospitals, GPs and NHS charged something then people might have less money to spend on too much food, alcoholic drink, drugs and the likes. It might also make them thing twice before taking them? Some moral hazard is needed in life.

      If the drunk at A&E had to pay say £300 then he might not be able to get so drunk again for a while!

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        L/L You are spot on as usual.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Indeed if they paid for medical insurance they would have to pay higher premiums if too fat and this might deter them from eating so much which is good for everyone.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that low-calorie, low-carb 8-week diet (with some exercise) really does roll back diabetes mellitus (Type 2). But GPs are quite generously funded per diabetic patient, and if those patients reverse their diabetes, that corresponding funding is lost. So you won’t find many GPs enthusiastically recommending the diet to patients.

      It’s a tiny example of energy that should be focused on patient self-responsibility and prophylaxis being squandered on nannying and routine drug prescription.
      The NHS is like that old WWI song, that went to the tune of Auld Lang Syne: ‘We’re ‘ere becos we’re ‘ere, becos we’re ‘ere, becos we’re ‘ere…’

      • eeyore
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        In other words, doctors are being paid to keep people ill and they lose money if they cure them. Mr Redwood sir, this is not good enough. Something must be done.

      • margaret
        Posted June 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        Mancunias ; this is my job. We are not paid to keep a person suffering from Type 2 DM with high glucose levels at all. In fact the targets are the opposite; we are paid on performance which encompasses keeping blood pressures, weight, lipid levels and glucose levels down per capita. QOF measurements ensures the more improvements made to a persons life means the more we get paid.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Why should people be subsidised to ”become self-disciplined”? This is quite outrageous – that people who are doing their best to stay healthy should subsidise the treatment for others who choose not to be ”self-disciplined”.

    • Al
      Posted June 19, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      What is really amusing is that when we asked the NHS about the exact same diet two years ago for a relative’s diabetes, we were told it was not advised. We ignored them and followed it anyway. A year later the doctors were amazed that without losing any weight he had managed to reverse his diabetes completely. We’re still on it.

      The alternative the NHS suggested was from the 70’s and debunked over a decade ago. I would suggest updating training and guidelines may do a great deal to reduce costs.

  4. MIke Stallard
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    “Just granting a blanket increase could result in wasteful spending, as we saw in the big increases in the middle Labour years before they had to slash public spending generally after the crash.”

    Alleluia! At last an MP who has it right!
    Well said, Mr Redwood!

  5. Bob Dixon
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Here in St. Ives when control of Hinchingbrook Hospital was being discussed several Quangos had to be involved. It was unclear who they were and what their involvement was.
    Would the running of this excellent hospital be improved and monies put to better use if the Quangos were terminated?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Yes, almost certainly, and the people employed at the quango’s might then get a real and productive job instead – another benefit to the economy.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Would the running of this excellent hospital be improved and monies put to better use if the Quangos were terminated?

      I find that hard to believe. I’m fairly sure David Cameron had a ‘bonfire of the QUANGOs’. Didn’t he?

      • L Jones
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        No – he SAID he would have such a bonfire.

  6. oldtimer
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    The BBC, who else, is reporting the latest Project Fear doom and gloom from the Oliver Wyman consultancy, namely that every family “could” be up to £1000 a year worse off under the most pessimistic assumptions and that supermarkets and restaurant chains will go bust because of supply disruption. No thought, apparently, has been given to the likelihood that such businesses would seek alternative supply sources if EU sources dried up or became bogged down in red tape.

    I have to say I am now totally confused about the government’s current negotiating position re Brexit. Am I alone in this confusion?

    • NickC
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Oldtimer, Are you alone in this confusion? No. The government is a lot more confused than we are. Their biggest confusion is to trade away some of our independence for a putative trade deal. 46 years hasn’t taught them yet that the EU cannot be trusted.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      I’m just as confused – has the government even got one?

  7. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    I see your colleague Sarah Wollaston says the Brexit dividend is “tosh” and doesn’t exist and bewails again, using her favourite phrase, the lack of “evidence-based policy making”, the “evidence” she means is whatever Project fear projections the discredited Treasury forecasters have come up with recently. Odd to have a Conservative so keen to undermine her own leader so publically.

  8. Richard1
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    The early signs are that Trumps tax cuts are working and the Laffer Curve is acting as we should expect. There was a $200bn surplus in April (which did move back into deficit in May). This may be yet another example in a very long line of the sense of cutting high & uncompetitive rates of tax. But will it be evidence enough for leftists?

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Plus fracking.

    • oldwulf
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      For the leftists, tax is a political tool rather than an economic tool.

  9. Iain Moore
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    The EU supporters having said that it is only right we pay a membership fee to be part of the EU club, have spotted the danger of Mrs May linking more NHS spending with the Brexit dividend , and are now claiming there is no club membership to be gained from leaving, for they don’t want to be blamed for cutting money going to the NHS by blocking Brexit.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      “The EU supporters having said that it is only right we pay a membership fee to be part of the EU club,”

      Not when we buy from them more than we sell to them. You don’t pay an entrance fee to get into Tesco.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        Oh, well said, Anonymous!
        That analogy is priceless (excuse the pun).

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      They are right for as long as we continue to pay in as before. That is being described as the “divorce bill”, the “exit fee”, the “price of leaving”, but of course it is really just a small continuing part of the price of having joined in the first place. Would it cost us less, or more, if we had voted to stay in? Once again the government has chosen not to rebut any of the anti-Brexit nonsense about this, it’s almost as if Theresa May is hoping that public opinion will swing against Brexit so she will have an excuse to try to wriggle out of it.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        So what punishment/reward does our PM (if indeed she does think this way, Denis) think that the EU’s masters might inflict upon us should we decide to ‘stay’, as she obviously wishes? Open arms and glasses of champagne (paid for by us, of course), kissing and back-slapping, and much rejoicing?

        I don’t think so.

  10. Sakara Gold
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I suspect that Mr Hammond will follow Osborne and Brown’s example and print the money. Mrs May is desperate to pull a Brexit off that satisfies all the party – and win the next election to boot. Locking in the resulting higher inflation for a future Chancellor to deal with may be an acceptable price to pay.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Why not? Brown printed nearly half a trillion pounds to keep the banks afloat and there was no inflation because the money did not reach the public, it stayed in the banks causing low interest on savings, but that’s another story. Printing for the NHS would be the easiest solution and as the money would be spent by the NHS rather than Joe Public, inflation is not likely and in any case would be a merest fraction of the Brown printing.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        The Brown-Osborne money printing caused asset price inflation.So the price of your cornflakes may not have gone up too much but if your grand/children are trying to buy a house…..

      • Sakara Gold
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        You can’t print money indefinately. Brown’s QE inflated asset prices, the stock market, property, gold etc. Remember Weimar? Zimbabwe? Argentina? and now Venezuela – printing money destroys the value of savings and impoverishes the prudent.

        When governments print money to win the next election, its time to buy gold and silver.

        • A different Simon
          Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          Those countries were forced to print excessively because they borrowed foreign currency .

          UK debts are primarily denominated in sterling .

          Browne’s printing only caused asset price inflation because the money was paid to the banks , not spent into the real economy where it might have circulated and done some good .

          Never forget that the product of banks is debt .

          Consequently it is banks o0bjective to blow bubbles and the money they extract in interest is more or less lost to the real economy .

          The answer is to shift taxation from labour and industry onto land so the economic rent of the land portion is captured for the benefit of society , not the banks and the 1% .

          Essentially freeholders would pay an annual fee for exclusive use of the location from society and banks would only be lending to purchase the development on the land .

          Adam Smith realised this over 200 years ago and that the answer was AGR (annual ground rent) .

        • Dennis
          Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          “…its time to buy gold and silver.”

          But VAT is payable in buying silver which you don’t get back when you sell so it’s not a good deal.

        • Stred
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

          The money going to staff and suppliers will recirculate into the general economy and cause normal inflation if printed.

        • graham1946
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          The asset price increase has helped the pensions industry which Brown virtually killed off. Gold in now way lower than it was at its peak – its what happens. 20 billion printing is not going to affect the economy. 20 billion taxes will – less to spend in the economy.

          Stred, 20 billion is not going to affect inflation and the money people earn is re-circulated boosting the economy. Printing is not normally advisable, but 20 billion is peanuts in a 2.6 trillion economy.

  11. Mark B
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    But how much, as a percentage, will actually go to patient treatment ?

    What concerns me is that for some this will be new cash to spend and waste on unnecessary departments, projects etc.

    As Scotland has its own healthcare am I to take it that this £12bn figure is for England only ? If not, what percentage will go on England. I ask this because the Scottish Parliament has tax raising powers and have always been able to spend more on their NHS.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      The Scottish government already has more money per head of population compared with England due to the Barnett Formula. Scots already enjoy a lot of freebies that the English can only dream of and even though more money will be given to the Scottish NHS Nicola Sturgeon and her band of merry men with Patrick Harvie at the helm (Green party) are already taxing the Scots more and there are more taxes in the pipeline to come. The SNP will be the death of Scotland.

  12. Peter Divey
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I no longer understand Conservatism. Big Government, increasing tax and spend. Everything moves in the opposite direction of what is expected and anticipated. HoL reform? Promised reduction in size of HoC? How we should live, what we should eat, what we can say. Everything is increasingly proscribed. We are on the verge of policing thought…

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      You are so right Peter. Even down to trying to tell us what car to drive.

      • Peter Divey
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        …and getting that wrong. We meant petrol, not diesel!

  13. Adam
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Spending a Brexit dividend on NHS services is apt, both for the NHS & Brexit. The Referendum bus campaign message invigorated Remainers’ claim that it was a lie. Now they are not only proved wrong but anti-NHS if they remain opposed to Brexit. Further, Remainers’ prevarication to delay Brexit becomes a sign of cruelly delaying treatment for patients awaiting operations.

    Perhaps Mrs May had long-planned this way as her subtle strategy to stimulate compound support for leaving the EU & the earlier the better. ‘The NHS crisis’ might itself become the Brexit dividend for Brexiteers.

  14. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    As you say, extra spending like this is usually wasted. Until more effort is made to collect dues from those patients who should be paying, I’d be against throwing more money at it.

  15. Nig l
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I do not understand the difference between a health tax and freezing personal allowances which seems to be the way it is going to be achieved apart from the latter enabling the government to spin that it hasn’t put taxes up.

    Equally if efficiency savings are part of the ‘package’ let’s have them first. We all know that once the big money is handed over they will be quietly forgotten. Indeed the cynics amongst us might argue that it is just bs to ‘sell’ another vast amount going to an unreformed monolith.

    I keep hearing about having/aiming for a world class service, an admirable ambition, can we have a date and some measurables please, then we might believe real progress is being made because I seem to have heard it all before.

  16. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    A net Brexit dividend of minus £460 per household after the minus £900 per household already published by the Bank of England, must surely be good news and worth waiting for a few more years. 🙂

    • Edward2
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      You don’t still believe that project fear report predicting 15 years into the future do you Peter?
      From people who produced several previous predictions which turned out to be overly pessimistic.
      Did you know the data fed into their computer models shows little or no increase in non EU trade as well as little or no rise in UK trade with the EU and no govt stimulus over those 15 years.
      Even after all those negative predictions they could only get a tiny potential reduction in what growth there might have been.
      So still an increase but not as much as it might have been.

      In industry the board of directors would have laughed at the report and binned it.
      But here in the UK the media and Remainers made gave it headline news as if it were the truth.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Any lie will do, won’t it.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: Just quoting the BOE.
        I’m genuinly surprised in the break-down of trust in your institutions, the BOE, the civil service, industrial bodies, the national media like the BBC, and such.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          So are we.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Just dishonestly repeating what you must know to be a lie, Peter, and not for the first time.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 19, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

            @Denis: I cannot spend as much time on Brexit as you, so sorry if you think I’m repeating lies. However, the BOE is not a remainer institution and also not a one man show. My superficial impression is that you tend to crucify anybody and any institution, which doesn’t allign to your own opinion. A bit of a sorry sight to watch from across the Northsea. You have to learn and respect people who do not share your opinion Denis. I have the impression that the BOE sincerely tries to navigate the UK safely and successfully through its Brexit proces.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 19, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

            Of course the Bank of England was and is against Brexit.

        • NickC
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          PvL, You present a false paradigm of unity in the EU, and even in the Netherlands. We tend to wash our dirty linen in public, but you have dirty linen too – you just hide it. It’s a cultural thing.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Like the Treasury forecast of 500,000 job losses in the year immediately following a Leave vote ? And an immediate recession ? Evidence suggests we should believe the exact opposite of what they predict.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger:
        No trust in your own UK institutions?
        Or “experts”for that matter?

        • Stred
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

          Nope. They are all on your side.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      PVL. Well if that were true, which I very much doubt, there will be less money spend in the EU and on goods from the EU.. You’re yet another one on this site who love to think of us Brits suffering. Well, it just might go the other way when your beloved EU sinks. As you know, the Brits are capable of many things in the face of adversity.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        I have no interest in the UK suffering (much of my family lives there)
        When the UK prospers it will be good for the Netherlands as well (and vice versa). For the time being we grow much faster than you, but if you were to grow more there would be more export opportunities for The Netherlands, even after Brexit.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          PVL. Well try harder not to sound like you are gloating.

    • formula57
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      @ Peter VAN LEEUWEN – c.£1,500 is indeed a hefty price but is very much less of course than the c. Euro 7,800 stealthily taken from every Netherlands citizen (say Euro 31,200 per household) by the Evil Empire through the never to be settled Target 2 balances at the ECB. Had the UK participated in the Euro currency, our bill would have been at least comparable.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        @formula57: opinions and interpretations of Target 2 balances vary (e.g. FT 15-9-2017), yours is not the only one.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Peter vL

      Do keep up the £900 per household mentioned by Carney turned out to be a pile of horse dung. He arrived at the figure by taking his own forecast ( that never materialised) and extrapolating it forward and saying the GAINS expected wouldn’t cover his forecast and would therefore costs us all £900 . The most manipulative use of made up stats I’ve seen

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Have a look at tradingeconomics . com (American?) and compare your UK.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          Er trading economics just gives an overview of the current state of each country, it certainly doesn’t forecast 15 years out as Carney tried to do

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Shut up and concentrate on the Italian threat to EU stability. Or better still, start lecturing the CDU on their anti immigrant policies.
      I’m sure over there in Brussels you have bigger fish to fry.

    • NickC
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      PvL, Basing your case on the falsified predictions of the BoE seems rather inept. Actually, the only way of truly knowing is to look historically at say 25 years data after we have (properly) left. In the meantime Prof Minford’s predictions have more current merit than Mark Carney’s, or yours, because he has a better track record.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        As I have said, any lie will do for the Remoaners. Our membership of the EEC/EC/EU/USE was always based on lies, right from the very start, and it comes perfectly naturally for them to continue with lies now.

  17. JoolsB
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    You are a true Conservative John but unfortunately a rare breed nowadays. Socialists May and Hammond seem more intent on finding ever more ways to take money out of our pockets so a new health tax would be the perfect excuse for them.

    Also I hope any tax rise would apply to the whole UK and not just the hard pressed English because although it is only the English NHS the UK Government and it’s 650 UK MPs have any control over, we all know the Scots, Welsh and NI would also benefit from the usual over generous Barnett consequentials.

  18. agricola
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I would be surprised if your tax thoughts were found in our chancellors DNA. Though I agree with you in principal, I would want to see a hard audit of the way the NHS operates and is managed, or put another way , what it does with the money it already receives. Otherwise the NHS just becomes an emotive plughole down which endless streams of money are poured, which is labours way of playing it. Even after the legitimising of the Brexit bus their shadow health was screaming for more.

  19. Old Albion
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    This £12 billion/yr. available for the NHS ?
    Is it for England’s NHS or is it for the whole of the (dis)UK’s NHS. In which case, some of it will have to be given in the ‘block grants’ to Scotland and Wales. If so how much?

    Reply Yes, £12bn is available for NHS UK. The devolved Admins get their share under the formula.

    • Beecee
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      So yet again England, without a Parliament, and the English Taxpayers, without a say in the matter, will subsidise the Scottish HS to the tune of an extra £2 Bn or so!

      Given how the SNP spend their living hours complaining about England, the English and Westminster this further use of the tax on my hard earned income sticks in my craw!

      • JoolsB
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        The Scots are already paying a lower starter rate of tax than England and don’t start paying 41% until £43,431 as opposed to 40% on much lower earnings in England (£34,501) but no doubt May and Hammond will only put taxes up in England to benefit the whole of the UK as usual. Just as English taxes pay for free or heavily subsidised tuition fees and free prescriptions in the rest of the UK denied to England. Like you say without a parliament and without anyone anyone to stand up for England against this discrimination, the rotten anti-English Con/Lab/Lib parties will continue to stick their two fingers up at the English tax payer.

    • acorn
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      In 2016/17 the UK spent £144.3 bn on “Health” (as described by COFOG7). England £120 bn. Scotland £12.5 bn. Wales £6.9 bn. N Ireland £4.2 bn. These numbers do not include contributions to pensions and benefits.

      Twenty billion REAL TERMS boost! There is nothing to stop Mrs May going to the magic money tree (the National Loans Fund at the Treasury, where all government FIAT currency spending is created and eventually destroyed); and “Deficit Spending” that £20 bn. That would be a significant share of the fiscal stimulus the UK desperately needs now, and most definitely post Brexit. The UK is increasingly becoming short of household spending power.

  20. Caterpillar
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    1. Perhaps consideration should be given to an up front contribution to treatment. (I think) many healthier countries have this system.
    2. Perhaps health campaigns should be allowed to run with less political correctness. Pulling the recent obesity link to cancer campaign was a great shame given UK’s performance.

  21. BCL
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    There has been talk of a brexit dividend since before the vote. Now we are being told there’s no such thing. I think those who say that would do well to remember “project fear”. Their problem now is that I, and many like me, simply do not believe any of their anti-brexit statements. They have been proved so wrong about most of their predictions that they’ve lost all credibility. That’s a shame because there may, occasionally, be a grain of truth in some of what they say but I dismiss it all as anti-brexit propoganda and lies.

    • Newmania
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      That is not true . Those people for who Brexit is a holy cause have created that impression by claiming that remain campaigners predicted the sheer fear of Brexit would cause the economy to implode.
      For most, this was an additional short term and relatively minor concern, exclusion form the single market and customs union is obviously the main issue .
      Nonetheless the B of E had to take emergency measures to create a consumer boom by cancelling interest rate rises and borrowing was allowed to drift upwards to float the country through the difficulties of a dropping currency sand staling investment .

      The economic harm Brexit will cause is not seriously disputed amongst exporters economists and every authoritative body on whom we rely . Given that reaming is not a great Nationalist cause so much as a sensible plan for us all to propser there is no reason for you to imagine that misleading advice is being given

      • Edward2
        Posted June 19, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        “Created the impression”….the most concerted campaign for decades by the establishment with their project fear propaganda during the run up to the referendum.
        Desperately trying to rewrite history now Newmania.
        Well it won’t work.
        It’s all on record.

  22. Newmania
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    “Tosh”. As economists are lining up to remind us, there is no question or a Brexit dividend. The government’s own optimistic figures are that a £15bn shortfall will have to be accommodated.
    The country has over shot Osbourne`s borrowing target by £200 billion or so and taken a free ride by debauching monetary Policy and increasing borrowing thus far. This means dangerous borrowing and harmful taxes
    A new a disgraceful low to see fake news announced by the PM to the country . Deeply worrying

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Perhaps you could provide an official source for “The government’s own optimistic figures” that you mention, so that we can check whether they actually exist and if so how they would lead to “a £15bn shortfall”.

    • NickC
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Tosh. There are plenty of economists lining up to explain how big the Leave dividend is, provided only that we leave fully.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Debt accrued whilst in the EU, most before the vote to leave it.

  23. Andy
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I welcome the extra spending. As one of those who contributes the most I am happy to more than pay my share.

    What I object to is the blatant ‘Brexit dividend’ lies. There is no Brexit dividend. Brexit is costing us billions and makes us poorer – as the IFS makes clear.

    When the PM goes on TV and simply lies all it does is demonstrate the shabbiness of this government and, further, it destroys faith in politics.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      No Brexit dividend.
      I say you are right, but nothing to do with the Remain camp predictions.
      A dividend of any kind will be squandered by inept government.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      We do not know the final deal. In principle at least there should be a saving of up to £12bn pa once these various transition and buffer periods are over. Of course it is possible the Govt will agree to hand it all back again, but hopefully MPs will wish to stop that or at least be shamed into doing so.

    • NickC
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Andy, It is a fact, whether you like it or not, that the UK is a net contributor to the coffers of the EU empire to the tune of £10bn-£12bn every year (currently). That is plainly a dividend when we Leave – real cash that we don’t have to hand over any more.

      You presumably contend that the UK will be poorer out of the EU due to possible loss of trade. That is a prediction. And it is certainly not supported by many economists. So, just two opposing opinions about the future, and not any Brexit dividend “lies” after all.

      If you carry on as you are, Andy, you will vent, but you won’t persuade. In fact you will be laughed at.

      • Andy
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        We are a net contributor – on that you are correct. But you fail to understand the key point.

        Our EU contribution is not a bill, it is an investment. Investments grow.

        The rich do not get richer by hoarding their cash. They get rich by investing.

        Our investment in the EU makes us ALL richer. Yes, you and your children too.

        Sure by stopping it you get a few billion back – but, as a result, we have already missed out on more growth than we contribute.

        Your Brexit has cost us money.

        Very few economists disagree with my assessment. Patrick Minford’s methods are discredited – he has been proven wrong. Another pensioner making my children poorer.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          That is current Labour meme…all state spending is an investment.
          A recipe for a bigger state with more taxes,more borrowing and more waste.
          Investments grow…some do some don’t.
          Hinkley Point?
          Channel Tunnel?

    • Edward2
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      There is a saving in leaving the EU.
      We pay many billions to the EU every year and this will stop.

      The IFS report is just a pessimistic prediction.

    • Prigger
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      “As one of those who contributes the most I am happy to more than pay my share.”
      Why? Don’t you believe in equality?

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      In the top 1% and you don’t use an accountant ?

  24. DUNCAN
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    It is not the function of the taxpayer to finance politically convenient state spending. Politicians like May and Corbyn will bankrupt the UK

  25. WhataboutSchmidt
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    You say “unless the EU suddenly comes up with a good deal” – we can dream on but the EU is not going to suddenly come up with any kind of a deal to suit our red lines situation- they have said repeatedly that we cannot be as well off outside as inside – they have further said that there will be no cherry picking or having our cake and eating fact they are not even in the business of negotiating anything as long as the red lines are in place..they are just sitting there with their ECJ laws and rule book.. so how on earth are we going to square that one.. good deals? bad deals? or any kind of deals are now all totally out of the question.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Simple – just walk out and let them pick the bones out of that. No exit fee, no ongoing costs. They will deal or go without and have the Germans jumping up and down because it is they who will make up the shortfall.

      • WalterP
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        There will be no shortfall they will just tighten belts and make necessary adjustments..the agricultural CAP grants will be the first to be cut

        • graham1946
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

          But they have already announced the EU budget will be bigger. Tightening belts is an unknown concept in Brussels. Stinging the members is their answer to everything.

    • miami.mode
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      …….they have said repeatedly that we cannot be as well off outside as inside……..

      WaS, absolutely astounding the arrogance of these people. It’s almost as though the hardline Remainers are suffering a bad case of Stockholm syndrome.

  26. Peter Parsons
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Of this £12 billion a year, how much of it has already been committed to retaining existing farming subsidies? How much of it is committed for payments for existing programs that the UK might like to continue to participate in e.g. Erasmus. How much of it is committed to replacing funding for things like the social funding and infrastructure projects in places like Cornwall and South Wales? How much of it is already committed elsewhere?

    After all those other spending commitments have been deducted, what is the shortfall to the promised £20 billion and, of that shortfall, how much will come from additional taxes and how much from additional borrowing?

    • graham1946
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      The 12 billion is the net figure. We actually give the EU 20 billion or so plus 3 billion in Customs Duties, so this money is more than adequate to look after the things you suggest. The Brexit Dividend is actually the whole thing, but we promised to look after the farmers etc for a period after Brexit so it nets down to the 12 billion we are actually out of pocket by. How much will be taxed or borrowed or printed has not yet been announced.

    • stred
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      The £12bn is net after allowing for CAP and EU bungs, presumably. The farming subsidies would be paid from the overall payment to the EU. Could you clarify this please JR?

      We could also withdraw our unconditional offer of support of the new EU armed forces, which now has an increased budget, as the EU no longer considers us as a reliable partner and a security risk if we are allowed to use the satllelites that we largely designed, made and part paid for. This would save many billions. It seems that Pres Trump is tired of paying for EU security against a Russian invasion when they contribute little and complain when he says he wants even sided tariffs. If he decides to reduce US spending on Nato, we could offer to put some UK made satellites up using American Spacex rockets and share them with the US, while being the aircraft base for the US in the Atlantic area. Perhaps he could be persuaded to put US F35s on our largely aircraftless new carriers and provide protection for them, as we don’t seem to have enough boats.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted June 19, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        It’s a gross figure. Net for 2017 was £8.9 billion which, after adding on the OBR’s calculation of a loss of revenue of £9.9 billion gives a Brexit dividend of -£1 billion (yes, that’s a minus). See the calculation on Sky News from last night.

        So, the country will be a £billion out of pocket as a consequence of Brexit and then needs to find an additional £20 billion. The Metro newspaper’s headline of “Magic Money Theresa” seems to have had it about right.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          It’s all just remainer propaganda predictions.
          Like the failed ones from before the referendum.

  27. Chris S
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Mrs May has fallen into a carefully laid trap over NHS funding.

    We all know that the NHS is a bottomless pit and however much it is given it will always demand more. One only has to look at what happened when Blair allowed Brown to pour in billions of extra funds without it being tied firmly to efficiency savings : Labour ineptly negotiated a contract which resulted in Doctors pay rocketing and the cost of out of hours services went through the roof. NHS efficiency actually fell through the Labour years.

    I would have preferred that Mrs May’s government separate NHS funding from all other Government spending. I disagree with our host on this point, although the NHS is the only sector in which I would support hypothecated taxation.

    It is profoundly wrong that the true cost of their healthcare is hidden from voters. They are paying for it through their taxes so they should know exactly how much they are paying for it. The figures would be quite a shock !

    Now is the ideal time to do it : the extra taxation required would be exactly the same as under the government’s current plan. Sufficient existing tax resources would be designated for the NHS plus whatever extra Mrs May intends to provide.

    We would end up with a proper, state-funded insurance system. Admin costs would be minimal because contributions would be collected via employers and administered by HMRC just as they are now, although I would prefer everyone to have to pay an equal amount for their healthcare. Some benefits would have to be adjusted upwards to accommodate this.

    The result would be a true “National Insurance” fund.

    It is also about time that the NHS ceased to be a political football.

    I would remove the management of the NHS fund from political control and place it in the hands of an independent commission. The commission would negotiate with the NHS and set the level of payments on a three year rolling basis. The Health Secretary would just have a watching brief but government would still decide overall policy but not hospital closures, for example.

    If everyone has to pay specifically for health care, they will become more demanding of the system, not of politicians. When payments are increased, the public will demand efficiency savings and the NHS would no longer be able to relentlessly demand ever higher funding, no matter how much extra it is given.

    Labour would not, of course, support the idea because they think they gain an advantage from NHS being a political football.

  28. hans christian ivers
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink


    Very interesting perspective but unfortunately factually wrong

    1) There is not Brexit Saving (according to OBS and Institute of Fiscal Studies)
    2) The Italian tax cut is still in planning and might not be implemented.
    3) The American tax cut according Irwin Stelzer (Sunday Times Economist) will not work in the long term for more growth but will most likely lead to higher debt.

    So, yes we do have our doubt about your proposed solutions on the Budget

    • libertarian
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink


      Which of your points is actually a fact and not just opinion? You have a strange view of what constitutes a fact

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Arrogance again

        • NickC
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

          Hans, Arrogance again . . . Instead produce a rational argument based on verifiable facts then you might do better.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 19, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

            I just did but you missed it again

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink


        Please, do kindly just disprove my facts and figures, thank you

      • hefner
        Posted June 19, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        Funny comment Lib. HCI at least has references to the sources of his comments. What are your sources for saying he is “unfortunately wrong”. Logics does not seem to be your forte.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      So we stop paying many billions a year and yet no savings.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        no because we have lower growth due to uncertainty to Brexit so less money

        • Edward2
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          You missed out the important word “might”
          We might have marginly lower growth in the next 15 years than we might have had in the next fifteen years according to a few economists.
          Others disagree.
          Just as we were told by the same experts before the referendum that there would be disaster with huge rises in unemployment and a recession.
          Wrong then wrong now.

        • NickC
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          Hans, We don’t have “lower growth due to uncertainty to Brexit”. That is your speculation, not a fact.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 19, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            you obviously do not talk to businesses every day

          • Edward2
            Posted June 19, 2018 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

            I do and business is going well.
            Exports up
            Sales up
            Employment up.
            Investment up.

    • Prigger
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      “Sunday Times Economist” ? At one time that title may have carried some weight. But now it is as worthless as a Momentum Workshop Marx Teach-In merit badge

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        so what about the rest of the proof and where is yours?

    • NickC
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Hans, On the contrary there is a £39bn windfall Brexit Dividend when we leave with the WTO deal, since we won’t have to bribe the EU for their trade deal. Then there is the annual net payment saving of £10bn – £12bn cash which we no longer have to give to your EU empire. Plenty of Brexit saving.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink


        Please kindly show me where this £ 39 billion comes from ?

        thank you

        • NickC
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          Hans, Our assets in, and liabilities to, the EU are about in balance, so I wish I knew. Isn’t that for you to explain, since you side with the EU on all matters?

  29. old salt
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Paul Johnson of the IFS, seen as a Government body, all over the news again sternly saying there will be no Brexit dividend and we will all be worse off. So who do we believe?

    The International Health Service needs to become what it says on the tin i.e.the NHS.

    Now I hear there will be funds for those affected by Gaming? Is this a good investment in the mental health of those so affected? As with obesity some would appear to be as a result of lifestyle. Meanwhile the waiting lists for op’s and surgeries grow ever longer.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      I suppose you could believe Michel Barnier when he said in 2012:

      “EU27 GDP in 2008 was 2.13% or €233 billion higher than it would have been in the single market had not been launched in 1992.”

      Or these German authors, who reckon that for Germany the GDP gain has been a bit above that EU average but for the UK it has been more like 1%:

      Or you could believe any of the other EU Commissioners who have made a lot of noise about the economic benefits of the EU Single Market, apparently without recognising that really they have not amounted to much. For example:

      “Between 1992 and 2008, the free movement of people, goods and services helped create almost 3 million new jobs.”

      Which is fine, except 3 million new jobs are only 1.3% of the total number across the EU, and that marginal increase has been spread over 16 years.

      From October 2016:

      “I realise that it’s going to be difficult for the government to do what is necessary and throw Project Fear into reverse, especially when some unreconstructed Remainer members of the government are fighting for control of the gear stick to stop that being done, but otherwise we’ll have more and more of this kind of nonsense … ”

      And so we have had, an endless stream of nonsense going unchallenged.

    • Andy
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      You can always argue about what is a good use of NHS resource.

      Gaming addiction is a mental health problem which tends to affect younger people.

      Yet a large chunk of NHS money – more than 40% – goes on over 65s

      Is our resource better spent helping a younger person who may have several more decades of active life ahead – or is it better spent keeping a comatose bed-ridden granny alive for a few extra weeks?

      I think we prioritise the wrong choices.

      Sure, make the granny comfortable but focus resources where it really helps. Harsh but for too long we have prioritised the wrong people.

      • NickC
        Posted June 19, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Andy, That’s down to younger persons being over-indulged by their parents, often because they are solo children. It has resulted in a couple of generations who are self-obsessed, and unable to cope with a setback such as losing their EU comfort blanket.

  30. Rien Huizer
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Where else would those successful business people go? Take their business with them? In the US, federal income tax may be lower (but smart, rich people did not have a problem with tax anyway) but for those silly enough to have substantial income tax liabilities, the lower rate will come with something potentially quite expensive: no more state/city tax deductions. Also keep in mind that in the US mortgage interest is deductible for federal income tax, which means that deduction will be worth less now too.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Very rich people when settled in the UK pay a disproportionate amount of income tax and other taxes.
      The top 1% pay over 25% of all income tax.
      There are many countries available with low rates if they fancy moving.
      Leave their companies where they are and go “offshore”

  31. Rien Huizer
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    An ageing population like the UK’s indigenous one (ie not counting non-citizens) will see at least twice the rate of inflation in terms of health cost increases (leaving out social care). The only way to maintain or reduc the share of health expebditure of national income is to make healt care more efficient, for instance by streamlining procedures. Not much scope for that in the UK. More efficient premises: that would result in a short trem increase in spending. Lower wage component? NHS doctors and nurses are clearly not overpaid compared ot other skilled trades.
    What then? large scale outsourcing to the private sector which can borrow to invest, has lower pension costs and may attract risk neutral investors.
    What else? Take more risks, move to slight but not probably lethal under treatment (waiting lists are a form of this but sneaky). For the rest, good luck with this socialist relic. Conservatives..

    • Edward2
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      It is all being blamed on old people.
      No mention of the extra demand caused by the biggest increase in UK population since 2000 in our history.
      Several million new arrivals also need health care.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted June 19, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        I was looking forward. The EU immigration component will go home, largely (say appr 2 million) Students are an economic plus for the country (fees, spending, low helath care needs)) . But ageing (no spring chicken myself) is the most expensive thing that can happen to a society, especially ageing with bad lifestyles. People consume over 20% of their lifetime care in their final three years if over 70. As to that 7 million: less than a third from EU and most of those are relatively young and healthy. And what is your source?

        • Edward2
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

          Why will they go home?
          Currently despite project fear predictions EU migration into the UK continues with a low level of returnees.
          Net migration has been several hundred thousands per year since 2000.
          That’s several million in less than 20 years.
          To blame extra demand on the NHS only on older people is ridiculous.

        • NickC
          Posted June 19, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          Rien, You don’t know that the “EU immigration component will go home, largely”. None of them need to. There is no reason to believe that the (official) number of EU born nationals in the UK will reduce significantly (~2m) below the current 3.7m (MigrationWatch) any time soon.

          The purpose of health care is to allow the body to heal itself. There is no known cure for aging. Therefore the majority of “care” that old people receive is akin to the care that the very young receive: ie, not medical.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Start by just treating the sick. No gastric bands for the gut buckets, no free A&E for drunks, no boob jobs except reconstruction after cancer etc., no tattoo removals, no orthodontics to make people look pretty – the list is probably endless.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      NHS doctors ARE overpaid compared with the rest of Europe.

    • stred
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      According to the OECD, British self employed GPs have the second highest earnings in Europe relative to general earnings, just below Germany and way above France and others. Specialist have a lower ratio but does any other country in the world allow consultants to award each other merit payments of up to £77k and work in private practice as well as for the hospital trust which employs them? These payments are one of the largest avoidable costs in the NHS, according to the DM today.

  32. Edward2
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    It is good politics and a vote winner.
    It shuts up all those going on about that slogan on the side of the bus and it shuts up Labour who were endlessly calling for more funding for the NHS
    Labour said it wasn’t enough, despite it being more than they promised in their recent election manifesto.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Andy, by granny I take it you mean those who have funded the NHS for over 40 years? Sometimes you are disgusting in what you say and your views. I would hate to be your parents.

  33. miami.mode
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    ………There will be an extra £12bn a year available for spending……….

    During the year 2016/17 we sent approximately £2.7bn to the EU as the 80% share of import customs duties applied to goods from outside the EU. It has been mentioned many times that we will be able to cut prices after Brexit by reducing the rates of customs duties, but you can’t have it both ways – it’s one or the other.

  34. Bob
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    How about charging for IVF and abortions.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Cosmetic surgery, gastric bands, bypasses for those who continue to smoke, gender reassignment, HIV vaccines, deposits for appointments.

  35. stred
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Watching Mrs May giving the good news to Mr Marr yesterday, I am still unable to decide whether she is genuinely pleased to tell us that the extra money will come from the Brexit, which she has carefully made impossible and with massive amounts of taxpayer’s money given away to the EU for years to come, or whether she is the biggest con-woman ever to take high office in the YK. Is it severe problems with numeracy and logic or is she working for the other side? Possibly it could be both.

    It is also very difficult to understand why the head of HMRC has told us that WTO will be very difficult, take years to implement and cost £32bn or some completely made up number when on the other hand the head of the customs operation has told MPs that they have systems in place which will be ready byleaving date and that these will make border posts in Ireland unnecessary. Could some honest MPs get the second official back and ask him whether these systems will be ready at Channel ports by leaving day and, if not, who has instructed customs not to have this EU based system ready. Also, are we putting in the same for the French customs at Dover to use?

    If Mrs May is pulling a fast one again, she must be cornered and put on the road that she had originally promised. Otherwise, Bino will mean a large rise in taxation, borrowing or printing and inflation.

  36. majorfrustration
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Typical political solution – throw money at the problem rather than taking the difficult decisions which they all tell us they like taking – but seldom do. The NHS is a money pit and will remain so unless the structure/delivery is addressed. As a first step waste and health tourism should be attached.

    • walter
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      If a health tourist didn’t get their free treatment they would get a lawyer to sue the NHS. They win both ways. If they get compensation, they would also get an order for the NHS to treat them. Double win. We, on the other hand, are only here to pay for it all.

  37. John S
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Depressingly, it looks as if Parliament is going to make us stay in the single market and the customs union which means annual payments to Brussels plus the £40b promised.

    So there will be no Brexit dividend. How stupid does the PM think we are?

  38. John Probert
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Dear John
    What happens if the vote on Wednesday does not go the governments way ?
    Will it be represented ?

  39. mancunius
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Yes, that’s what the devotees of an implacably trundling temple juggernaut like the NHS feel compelled to do – throw themselves (and the rest of us) fervently under its massive wheels, with the aid of that other implacable juggernaut, the tax-hungry Treasury, and its sly marginal-rate and NIC elephant traps.

    This is apparently May’s vision for winning an election – make the Tories look as socialist as Corbyn/McDonnell.

  40. Original Richard
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    The real “Brexit dividend” will be the ability to know how many people are in the UK and to be able to control how many more people come to the UK.

    No government or organisation can possibly predict just how much money the “free-at-the-point-of-use-to-all-comers” NHS will need if we have uncontrolled immigration as a member of the EU.

  41. Narrow shoulders
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Why should we be expected to pay more tax?

    Can we not spend the money you already take from us better before seeking more?

    Thank you

  42. John E
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    The Royal Berkshire Hospital Trust has identified staff recruitment and retention as it’s number one challenge. The Trust is spending £13.3m per annum, or six percent of it’s total budget on temporary staff.

  43. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    My heart sank when I learned about the extra money promised; I didn’t think this fake Conservative government could become more preposterous but then I underestimated Mrs Blay again. It’s insanity. The ‘black hole’ which is the NHS continues to drain the country’s wealth and will bankrupt us soon. The private sector and individuals will be constrained again by higher taxes.

    The idea that the present management and culture can change its wasteful ways is a fantasy – only wholesale personell change at the top could hope to make a difference. And that won’t happen.

    And your government won’t get the credit it is attempting to buy. The same people will carp on no matter how much money you throw at it. No present politicians and leaders dare attempt real reform.

    • WalterP
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry the talk about extra money is all fake news..mrs may won’t even be around after christmas

  44. JoolsB
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Your party has obviously got a death wish John keeping May as PM, what with her shambles over Brexit and now promising to put up income tax. It will do for your party the same as her proposed dementia tax.

    Before going for the easy option May could find numerous ways to save money but then she would have to be a true Conservative to do that. She could start by sorting out all the inefficiencies that exist in the NHS, she could cut the ludicrous arbitrary foreign aid budget or sort out the bloated public sector and their pensions, or how about cutting the cost of Parliament including the House of Lords or there’s welfare which is still making benefits a lifestyle choice for some. Or here’s another one, how about getting some our money back from RBS who are using hard earned taxpayers’ money to buy back their own debt and prop us their generous pension pots?

    What we need is a leader with courage and vision John and May is not that person. If you don’t get rid of her, your party will be toast come the next election.

  45. ian
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    The people have lots of money, it just being misapplied or misappropriate and one of biggest ones is R&D, 34 billion pounds a year to private companies which the treasury wants and putting up by 2.2 billion a year for the next 10 years to a total of over 57 billion a year of public going to private companies and the public having nothing much to show for the money and worst it free money, no interest, no loyalties, no stake in the businesses no anything.
    It the bank’s job to lend money to businesses and people, as they work as the government agents instead of the government doing it itself.

  46. Ron Olden
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    £20 Billion more for the NHS.

    So the Brexit ‘dividend’ (assuming it ever arrives), is now spent..and yet more on top.

    Mrs May and Hunt have already confessed that tax increases will be necessary to pay for this spending splurge.

    It was only announced this morning and we’re already on the back foot.

    Labour and the unions is complaining that the amount isn’t even higher. And there’s no guarantee that the public will get any better service for this money. It’ll most likely go into the cesspit of waste that is the NHS.

    The Welsh Labour Government won’t even promise to spend any of its’ £1.2 Billion share of the £20 Billion on the NHS at all.

    They’re going to have a Welsh cabinet meeting to decide what to do with it. Which isn’t surprising because they refused to spend the extra money they were allocated to match the recent NHS pay deal on a pay rise for NHS staff in Wales either.

    Welsh Labour prefers to spend the money on election winning gimmicks and leave its’ ill citizens to travel or migrate over the border to sponge off the English NHS and blame the Tories.

    Come the next election we’ll all be told that the Tories are starving the NHS of cash and we’ll be stuck with the vote losing tax rises as well.

    Well done Mrs May. She should look back to the days of Ted Heath. YOU CANNNOT OUTSPEND A LABOUR OPPOSITION.

    They can always promise more, and all you do, is lose your own supporters without winning over single one of theirs.

  47. Carry on not doctor
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    The best quality foods we have ever produced. The best standard of dentistry we have ever experienced. The most dietary calorie controlled drinks and food ever in existence. If you work and dine with many you will know these diet meals are used extensively and regularly.
    A look to your local park will see people exercising in numbers never ever seen before. In my day you never saw one single jogger along the pavements and around fields. Now they are a regular sight.!!!!
    C’mon NHS , your theories on overweightedness, dental decay, use of sugar, obesity and diabetes do not dovetail with reality at all!!!!!
    Further payment for NHS research and procedures for combatting obesity should cease immediately. They are obviously off their ward trolleys.

  48. Cheers!
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    LIVE NHS Long Term Statement in the House with questions taken by Mr RT Hon Mr Hunt Health and Social Care Secretary 18th June 2018 as seen on BBC Parliament.

    You made a valid contribution JR, as always.

    The SNP were thin on the ground. I think there were just four of them present at any one moment. They should have a good breakfast and they might not fall asleep at 17.45pm, present time. Low energy people!

  49. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    I read today there has been a threat by the EU to our future participation in the Open Skies initiative in the event of no deal.

    I do not know if this is accurate but if the negotiators are aware of this tactic we must conclude there is no deal as soon as possible in order to best make arrangements.

    If our walk away option can be held to ransom the closer we get to March 19 we need to use the option before it becomes an albatross.

    • agricola
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely correct NS.

      The EU is not negotiating, just making continuous threats, This nonsense, based possibly on the actions of the fifth column in the Lords and HoC must be terminated. First Galileo, then the refusal to allow the CAA and EASA to discuss airline operation post Brexit, and now none cooperation on security if we choose to leave the ECHR. They are threatening the operation of a sovereign state. It is time for May and Davis to get brutal with them. A free trade deal on goods and services or reversion to WTO rules. You choose Barnier. I have lost patience with this one sided so called negotiation. It is long overdue that we read of what we demand of the EU, then this reincarnation of Charles de Gaulle can answer to his nation states.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      “And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
      But we’ve proved it again and again,
      That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
      You never get rid of the Dane…

      We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
      No matter how trifling the cost;
      For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
      And the nation that plays it is lost!”

      Rudyard Kipling

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Well done, Theresa May; it became obvious soon after the referendum that the unelected legislators-for-life in the House of Lords would try to thwart Brexit, so why didn’t you do something about it? Why didn’t you start a Bill to reduce their power of delay to just one month for all Bills, as it is for Money Bills?

    “There are at least half a dozen wildly divergent ideas on how to reform the House of Lords, of which only one actually makes some kind of sense. Really we’re no further forward now than in 1911 when the government decided that the best thing was to leave it unreformed for the time being but drastically reduce its powers … ”

    “… in the absence of any consolidated view of how to reform the chamber it would now be expedient to make a further restriction and only allow a delay of one month.”

    And this is from September 22nd 2016:

    “If you want the government to promote a Bill immediately then I would suggest that it should be a Bill to amend the Parliament Acts and reduce the period for which the Lords are permitted to delay any Bill to just a month.

    That would send the unelected legislators-for-life in the Lords a crystal clear message that defiance of the will of the electors as directly expressed in the referendum will have consequences for their chamber, not abolition but neutralisation.”

    So was anything done to address this glaringly obvious problem in good time?

    Of course not, it’s another completely avoidable Theresa May cock up. or perhaps it is just another deliberate act of sabotage by a Prime Minister who did not believe in Brexit before we voted for it and who still does not believe in it now.

  51. hans christian ivers
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink


    Why do you keep talking about the £12 billion dividend from the EU, when we all know it will cost more to leave?

    • NickC
      Posted June 19, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Hans, The £12bn is a Brexit dividend irrespective of other costs and benefits of leaving. Please stop insisting your opinions are facts. Thank you.

  52. Chris
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Raising taxes to fund the NHS further because the Brexit dividend will not go far enough?
    No surprising as so many other payments to the EU have already been promised by May. This would be a farce, if not issues at stake were not so serious.

    • Chris
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Raising taxes to fund the NHS further because the Brexit dividend will not go far enough?
      Not surprising as so many other payments to the EU have already been promised by May. This would be a farce, if the issues at stake were not so serious.

  53. Prigger
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    The Lords is now a major obstacle and preventor of democracy and is more than a threat to our country and its well-being.
    Their role is to examine and if they feel necessary send back items for re-consideration to the Commons. They are the self-declared enemy of our country now. That is our re-consideration

  54. Simon Coleman
    Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Would you care to tell us how you calculate a £12bn Brexit dividend…given that we don’t know how long we’ll continue to pay into the EU? And when will this dividend arrive? And what about Brexit-related costs? There aren’t any of course! Your ability to find new ways of insulting people’s intelligence is truly remarkable.

  55. backofanenvelope
    Posted June 19, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    What happened to your idea Mr Redwood, that all tax payers should get a bonus? Never mind all these clever ways of spending money, just give it back to us!

  56. Richard
    Posted June 20, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Page 8 of this report by David Smith:
    “More intriguing are the results of the two tax reduction scenarios which suggest that the UK may now be on the wrong side of the aggregate Laffer curve.”

    This means that higher tax rates will actually decrease HM Treasury’s tax received .

  • 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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