A better Treasury orthodoxy

I have looked at how the Treasury needs to take inflation- and deflation – more seriously by considering changes in money and credit in my Telegraph article today which I will publish later. The Treasury  also needs to reconsider how to get deficits down. On the revenue side there needs to be much more understanding of the depressing effects of higher and more taxes on activity, and of the growth boosting effects of lowering or removing taxes. In technical language the Treasury and OBR need to include behavioural effects of lower and higher taxes in their models, as many taxes are easily and legally avoidable. They need to create a dynamic picture of deficits, not a static one based on telling us how much a certain tax rate currently raises.

Whenever the UK has cut the higher rates of Income tax better off people have paid more tax and paid a bigger proportion of the whole, as more rich people come and invest here, do more work and set out more businesses here, and undertake more transactions here. When a country as in Ireland cuts corporation tax to low levels it is inundated with companies wishing to set up their headquarters there and book business there. The way to tax the rich and business more is to set rates of tax they will stay to pay. When the U.K. set an 83% Income tax rate and a 98% rate on dividends we had a brain drain from the UK and the country was a lot poorer. We didn’t even keep our pop groups who grew famous with UK fans.

On the spending side there needs to be reappraisal of what the public sector needs to do and what can be left to private sector activity or private capital to provide.  Benefits and pensions to individuals account for a large budget. The incentives and support for more people to be in work at a time of many vacancies offers scope for reduced spending and better lives for those who take these opportunities up.   The pension age should reflect longevity, balancing the number of years you have to contribute with the number of years you are likely to draw down.

Where we want and vote for important public services as with the NHS and education proper financial provision needs to be mirrored by management leadership that puts quality and value for money in central position. The Treasury argues they do that, but the  numbers show there has been no overall public sector productivity gains since 1997, despite the application of large amount of investment in areas like digital processing and on line service. I find it bizarre that the DWP with a large workforce to assess and distribute benefits should have lower productivity today than in 1997, when it must have been a big beneficiary of many switching to digital forms and transfers. I have heard many accounts of the NHS buying badly, wasting stocks, and not controlling spending on external contractors.

I raised the issue of why the NHS paid to take over most private sector hospital capacity during covid but failed to send enough patients to use it, adding to waiting lists. There is the refusal to take back reusable equipment, the waste of stocks through ageing or the overpayment for items and service delivered. There is reported  failure to charge some  foreign users of the service even though it says it is the NHS, not the World Health Service.

The government says it wants a productivity revolution. It needs to start with its own services. Existing management need to negotiate more stretching targets or give way to those who can deliver.

 

159 Comments

  1. Mark B
    September 17, 2022

    Good morning.

    he Treasury also needs to reconsider how to get deficits down.

    And.

    On the spending side there needs to be reappraisal of what the public sector needs to do . . .

    We need to not just reform, but revolutionise our tax system. We need to reduce central government tax raising and spending and move it to local authority side. That way people will be paying directly into the services that are provided. We also need to cap the City Mayor’s spending to 2%. Local authorities are and I see no reason why this cannot be extended.

    As we edge ever closer to a General Election the government is going to have to tread very carefully. The wasted opportunities due to poor management of the previous PM and Cabinet has left little room for manoeuvre. The only way to deliver tax cuts is to remove certain areas of spending which will not affect the electorate such as overseas aid and to he UN’s WHO. We also need to stop splashing around money we do not have all for the sake of a little bit of virtue signalling.

    We are not blind and will give the current PM a chance. But it your last chance. Don’t waste it !

    Reply
    1. graham1946
      September 17, 2022

      Mrs. Thatcher had the idea of localising taxes and spending with the aim of making things more transparent and letting the voters decide what they wanted. Like many seemingly good ideas, what we got was rather different – CEO’s and boards of ‘Directors’ thinking they are running multi national companies with high salaries and bigger empires and top notch pensions for employees which most tax payers cannot afford for themselves even now. Services were cut as Council Tax went through the roof. We used to have low cost water rates included in the ‘ rates’ as they were then called, but that was split off and privatised resulting in ever higher prices again for the benefit mostly of overseas shareholders and companies. Then of course came the voting part, which of course made no difference whatsoever to any of it. Be careful what you wish for – the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Most of what governments do does not work out well.

      Reply
      1. Hope
        September 17, 2022

        Community charge and councils need radically reducing in size and cost. No value for money whatsoever. Get rid of mayors not asked for, not wanted and could reduce cost. Stop them having computer snooping powers- introduced by vile May. Bristol mayor instigated and allowed snooping on those who criticised its education policy!! That should never be allowed under any circumstance.

        Reply
        1. a-tracy
          September 17, 2022

          We could start with Wales they are massively over represented per person.

          Reply
      2. Know-Dice
        September 17, 2022

        We used to have our water included with building service charge, until OffWat got involved and this was changed to Thames Water billing everyone individually our bill went up from £220 to well over £400.
        Another useless quango involvement…

        Reply
        1. graham1946
          September 18, 2022

          ‘Well over £400’ seems a bargain to me. We have two water companies involved now, instead of the local authority, one to sell us water and one to take away sewage. The result is a cost well in excess of £700. Another fine mess as Laurel and Hardy used to say, and they may have made a better job of it anyway.

          Reply
          1. Hope
            September 18, 2022

            They do not take away water, look how many times they enter raw sewerage into rivers! It is disgusting especially after we were told the 9% year on year increases were to prevent this all those years ago!

      1. Peter2
        September 17, 2022

        Interesting but…it is just a prediction into the future not historic data and it seems to assume no behavioural changes by people faced with altered tax rates.

        Reply
        1. acorn
          September 17, 2022

          It is based on historic data and how the economy reacted, particularly when other taxes were changed at the same time.

          Reply
      2. Narrow Shoulders
        September 17, 2022

        Unless otherwise stated, the costs of the effects are estimated using standard HMRC models and methodologies.

        Isn’t that the point of the article?

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          September 17, 2022

          Indeed NS
          Many of the recent predictions have been wrong

          Reply
          1. Lifelogic
            September 17, 2022

            The types of fools who joined the ERM and wanted to join the EURO and thing net zero amd HS2, road blocking and a state monopoly NHS, the Covid lockdown are/were just great?

    2. Nottingham Lad Himself
      September 17, 2022

      Productivity will never be much good in a country where the ruling elite – Tories, that is – believe fervently that work per se should be demeaning, low-paid, and onerous, in order to teach the ordinary person To Know Their Place.

      Reply the opposite of what want. Why tell such silly lies?

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        September 17, 2022

        I reckon you would be really happy in Cuba NHL

        Reply
        1. Bill Brown
          September 17, 2022

          Peter 2

          When you write make sure it’s relevant

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            September 18, 2022

            Thanks for this very useful tip billy.
            Looking forward to you making use of this idea soon.

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        September 17, 2022

        NLH. I didn’t see anything different with a Labour government. You need to get out more.

        Reply
      3. Lifelogic
        September 17, 2022

        +1 we have had appalling PMs and Chancellors all of my life Heath, Wilson, Major through to Boris with the partial exception of Thatcher. May was indeed vile but then so was Cast Iron/abandon ship Cameron. Heath & Blair surely did the most damage. I reserve judgement on Truss but she has retained Alok Sharma & net zero, wants a law against wolf whistling, the structure of her energy rescue plan is misguided and not remotely free market, the online safety bill is an appalling restriction on free speech and she has not even cancelled the basket case HS2 as yet, plus she voted for May’s appalling EU bill three times. Hardly remotely encouraging. We shall see very soon what she is made of. Clearly she is better than Sunak or Starmer/Sturgeon but that does not say very much at all.

        Reply
        1. Hope
          September 18, 2022

          LL,
          Lawson was good. He made mistakes perhaps not supporting Thatcher but he acknowledged that.

          Reply
    3. Gary Megson
      September 18, 2022

      Everything John Redwood writes is designed to hide the truth, which is that it is successive Conservative governments who have pursued bad policies and brought this country to its knees. “Treasury orthodoxy” – nonsense, it ‘s “Conservative politicians’ incompetence”!

      Reply The disastrous ERM was promoted by Bank and Treasury officials then supported by Labour, the CBI and TUC. The Great Depression following the banking crash in 2008 occurred under a Labour government, as did the U.K. visit to the IMF disaster of 1975

      Reply
      1. Gary Megson
        September 18, 2022

        Again, you try to hide the truth. ERM, a humiliation for this country, was a disaster created by a Conservative government which had been in power for over ten years, under Conservative PM Major and Conservative Chancellor Lamont. Nothing to do with Bank and Treasury officials, whose job was simply to do what the Conservative government instructed. And certainly nothing to do with Labour, who had not been in power for 13 years. As for the CBI and TUC, they are not political parties and have no political power. Conservative catastrophe

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          September 18, 2022

          Having Iived through disastrous Labour Governments like Wilson Callaghan and then the truly dreadful Blair and Brown period you need to open your eyes Gary

          Reply
  2. turboterrier
    September 17, 2022

    It is not just the NHS that has a dire waste problem it is every sector of civil and public services.
    CEO’s of these departments are paid enormous amounts of money and still the waste and debts to the taxpayer continue to rise.
    Only when there is real responsibility and accountability is implemented, failure not rewarded with promotion or golden hand retirement and pension packages will things change.
    One could or should apply the same principles to the members of Parliament. If nothing else the new younger modern type of politician has proved that there is no real substitute for real life knowledge, commercial and industrial experience and the real courage of their convictions to question all these woke policies that are slowly strangling this country to death.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      September 17, 2022

      They are spending other people’s money on other people. So they care not what they spend nor what value (if any) they deliver. They are just as happy blocking the roads with islands, bus lanes, 20mph limits, low traffic areas as they are building new ones or pointless train lines like HS2.

      Reply
      1. Fedupsoutherner
        September 17, 2022

        Shropshire is the latest county to go begging for 20mph speed limits in urban areas. I could scream. Having lived with it in Scotland I can safely say it’s a nightmare.

        Reply
        1. Know-Dice
          September 17, 2022

          The “raison d’être” by all these safety bods is at you are less likely to kill someone at 20mph rather than 30mph, but that doesn’t take in to account pedestrian behaviour in that they WILL take less notice of what’s going on around them and with the latest Highway Code changes just chance it…

          Reply
          1. No Longer Anonymous
            September 17, 2022

            They are working on the basis that people will do 30mph in a 20 instead of 40mph in a 30… which is FAR more dangerous.

            There are 20mph speed restrictions near me and no-one has been done for driving at the unofficially accepted 30.

            It is a pain in the arse when someone adheres to the speed limit literally though.

          2. Fedupsoutherner
            September 17, 2022

            Ha ha. When none of us are driving they will be happy and just think, no pedestrian road deaths. You couldn’t make it up.

          3. Mickey Taking
            September 17, 2022

            and some foolish people will get used to 20mph and think I can dash across because the cars are going slow.

          4. Lifelogic
            September 17, 2022

            No the real rational is “we can make a killing with motorist mugging cameras and use it to pay our wages and pensions”. The lower the speed the more we can mug.

        2. Lifelogic
          September 17, 2022

          +1 it is all about cash cow cameras so they make the speed so low so that many people will not stick to it and get caught.

          Makes overtaking more dangerous too and distracts drivers from other safely issues. It is to fund state sector wage bills and gold plated pensions!

          Reply
        3. Clough
          September 18, 2022

          Shrophire county council has a Conservative majority, FedupS.

          As if that made any difference.

          Reply
    2. Narrow Shoulders
      September 17, 2022

      Courage of their convictions? Will no one rid us of these troublesome politicians?

      Fewer! Better!

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        September 17, 2022

        Fewer ? yes please. Better – maybe !

        Reply
  3. Javelin
    September 17, 2022

    The Treasury needs to publish a very clear report on the effect of mass migration on inflation.

    They need to say how house prices have been pushed up due to demand, how demand for Government services and tax have been pushed up and wages have been pushed down etc. This inflates our biggest cost and reduces our wages and spending. How has our disposable income been effected by mass migration. I suggest this report is not written by migrants.

    The report needs to say where mass migration is taking the country economically. Are we to allow millions of low wage migrants and their spouses and children. Or should the country only allow highly skilled migrants. Are we aiming at using mass migration to reduce our disposable income or increase the standard of living.

    I suggest the cost of living crisis we are experiencing is the economy returning to its NATURAL state after a decade of QE. Low interest rates have masked the economic reality of an increase in cost of housing and taxes and the reduction in wages brought about by mass migration. If I am correct, (and I have 30+ years experience working in investment banks), then your suggestions are secondary and the cost of living crisis has been baked-in as a permanent feature of our economy due to badly controlled mass migration of low skilled labour.

    Reply
    1. Mike Stallard
      September 17, 2022

      Thanks to uncontrolled migration to a Welfare State, the Swedes have got huge areas of Stockholm where the Police are not welcomed. This has led to a Neo Nazi movement which is anti immigrant and they obtained a very large amount of votes in the recent elections too. Apparently gangs roam the streets in Stockholm and nearby cities looking for trouble.

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        September 17, 2022

        Mike, when Trump mentioned that a few years ago and warned it was a growing problem he was panned by the press and called a liar.

        Reply
    2. Narrow Shoulders
      September 17, 2022

      And who spent the QE? Government

      5) You can spend made up money to be repaid by someone else on somebody else.

      1) You can spend your own money on yourself.
      If you spend your own money on yourself, you’re very careful on what you spend it on. You make sure you get the most for your dollar.

      2) You can spend your own money on someone else.
      When you spend your own money on someone else, you’re careful on not spending too much. You don’t worry as much about the gifts you buy for other people as the things you buy for yourself.

      3) You can spend somebody else’s money on yourself.
      You’re careful to get good things for the money. But you’re not very worried about getting the best bang for your buck. You’re happier to spend more of somebody else’s money within reason.

      4) You can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else.
      You become a “distributor of welfare funds.” You’re interested in making your own life as good as you can. But you’re not going to be anywhere near as careful as spending this money on other people.

      In an environment where we are accustomed to spending other people’s money on someone else, we end up not maximizing the value of the dollar. We also don’t end up appreciating money as much either.

      Reply
    3. Donna
      September 17, 2022

      Oh dear…. you’ve committed the cardinal sin of not celebrating the fact that our population has been inflated by 10 million or so people over the past two decades and asking “embarrassing” questions about the negative impacts it may have had.

      Haven’t you learned yet …. the anti-British Establishment is deliberately changing the population of these islands. They aren’t interested in knowing about the negative consequences for the natives.

      Reply
      1. Hope
        September 17, 2022

        Donna, you are spot on. Tory mass immigration is about changing our society and way of life. It is a deliberate policy with a deliberate sub policy t lie and deceive the public with sham legislation, czars, task forces etc etc. all to deceive. I have changed my view as I got older, if those who come here do not like our way of life, do not come here or clear off.

        Charles wants to be head of all faiths. Totally wrong. Left wing jibber jabber to hide his own personal and political failings. If he wants to practice different faiths and be political he has a choice like his great uncle, hand over the crown to William. He should be promoting British Christian values and those who come here need to respect that. Other faiths should be tolerated but not promoted ahead of our own which is the basis for laws and our way of life.

        Reply
        1. Fedupsoutherner
          September 17, 2022

          Absolutely correct Hope.

          Reply
        2. Bill B.
          September 18, 2022

          What makes you think, Hope, that William would be different?

          Reply
    4. Cuibono
      September 17, 2022

      +1
      I wonder if there are those who WANT to collapse the system?
      And the Right Wing element just isn’t strong enough or dedicated enough to resist.
      Everything that is happening is very much like the Cloward-Piven strategy.
      A US political idea supposed to relieve poverty.
      It is being followed very closely.
      EVERYTHING that has happened.

      Reply
    5. Lifelogic
      September 17, 2022

      Much truth in this. Low skilled mass migration (especially when there is a high proportion of criminal activity too) is a huge burden on UK taxpayers, put pressure on housing, the police, roads, legal aid, schools, the NHS, GPs, social services… even more so when they bring over extended families later – as they so often do.

      Much talk on the radio about why parliament is not sitting for so long during a time of nation crisis. The counter argument is that this is that national crisis (inflation, debased currency and vast energy costs) was caused almost entirely by the governments & MPs love of excessive taxation, regulation, the extended and pointless lockdown, that vast government waste, May & Carrie’s net zero religion and Sunak’s currency debasement…

      Reply
      1. No Longer Anonymous
        September 17, 2022

        It also brings *modern* slavery. A word used, in this instance, for Government to say “Well. We weren’t expecting that as a consequence of our open borders. This new fangled slavery thing that we couldn’t possibly have envisaged.”

        Yet we TOLD them time and again it would happen – and the breakdown in law and order. There is nothing *modern* about slavery so why were you inviting it ?

        Tories also apply *modern* to lower pay, harder work and no pensions. Well ! There is nothing *modern* about about that idea whilst they release the cap on their banker chums’ bonuses telling us it isn’t inflationary whereas ordinary wage rises are.

        *Modern* is a Blairist word. It was used to attack the Queen. Now the Tories use it to attack the people who voted for them.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          September 17, 2022

          +1

          Reply
  4. Lifelogic
    September 17, 2022

    “I raised the issue of why the NHS paid to take over most private sector hospital capacity during covid but failed to send enough patients to use it, adding to waiting lists.” Well the very many socialist in government including Tory MPs hate private healthcare or any free and fare competition in this area. Why to did they build the temporary Covid hospitals when they had no staff for them. Just a sick joke PR stunt. Why did they push ineffective and often dangerous vaccines into the arms of young people who were never at any risk. Why did they lie about their 80-90% effectiveness?

    Reply
    1. Mike Stallard
      September 17, 2022

      My brother is a retired Colonel and he told me the reason for the Nightingale Hospitals. It is grim. They were mortuaries for the many dead and dying to be warehoused in. Covid was really frightening – and it was suspected that it might well be like the “flu of a century ago when mortuaries were needed by the score. The government did right.

      Reply
      1. Fishknife
        September 17, 2022

        That’s a very interesting slant and one that makes perfect sense.

        Reply
      2. Donna
        September 17, 2022

        They knew pre-lockdown/pre-Nightingale Hospitals that Covid was not likely to result in mass casualties. The Government downgraded Covid to a Low Consequence Infections Disease with low mortality rates about a week BEFORE the first lockdown.

        Large, temporary, mortuaries don’t require hospital beds and associated equipment. They require refrigerated units.

        Reply
        1. Shirley M
          September 17, 2022

          Agreed. Why all the space, beds and equipment to sustain the dead? Temporary mortuaries would take up far less space and far less money.

          Nightingales were just another expensive political stunt meant to silence the critics.

          Reply
          1. Lifelogic
            September 17, 2022

            +1

          2. beresford
            September 17, 2022

            Or perhaps help to panic people into accepting regular State-controlled injections.

      3. Lifelogic
        September 17, 2022

        Not at all. I looked at the deaths on the Diamond Princess early in the crisis and adjusting for age I came to the conclusion that we could expect about 80,000 deaths in the UK actually caused by Covid (not merely deaths within 28 days of catching it) and that these would be nearly all rather or very elderly people. The current official UK deaths within 28 days is about 180,000 (many/most of these deaths had little or nothing to do with Covid). So the 80,000 was about right. Rather more are dying in total now from the lock down, NHS delays/negligence/non treatment/lack of GPs and vaccine side effects.

        Worse still many of these deaths are of young people who should have had many years ahead of them.

        The Nightingale hospital were not really suitable to store dead bodies. Mortuaries are refrigerated and usually kept at about a degree or two above freezing point. If you look at the pictures they are laid out with hospital bed, oxygen and similar. But almost no patients.

        Reply
        1. Narrow Shoulders
          September 17, 2022

          So the 80,00 was about right

          Your certainty is a joy @LL

          Reply
          1. Lifelogic
            September 17, 2022

            Never said I was certain, just an estimate that turned out about right!

          2. Narrow Shoulders
            September 18, 2022

            I am interested how you extrapolate from 180K down to 80K and say it was about right? There were no workings, just self proclaimed affirmation @LL.

        2. rose
          September 17, 2022

          80,000 is the rough estimate for deaths in 1968 from the unpoliticised Hong Kong flu. Smaller population then, far fewer old people, less obesity, very little diabetes.

          Reply
          1. Lifelogic
            September 17, 2022

            +1

        3. Hat man
          September 18, 2022

          Some months ago, LL, a FOI request revealed that of deaths with Covid on the death certificate, only about 17,000 had no other cause of death shown. So even your 80,000 figure was far too high.

          The Diamond Princess medical report, in English on the Web, was certainly very revealing. That is why the media and officialdom didn’t want to look at it. The SAGE narrative would not have held up if they had.

          Reply
      4. Mickey Taking
        September 17, 2022

        but they weren’t !!

        Reply
    2. Cuibono
      September 17, 2022

      +many
      Their actions remain inexplicable.
      One thing we now know for certain though.
      NOTHING they do is for the good of the country.
      Or the health and wealth of its inhabitants.

      Reply
    3. Lifelogic
      September 17, 2022

      So over 250 flights cancelled & no compensation as the airlines will say it is beyond their control. Still what does the government care about these 25,000+ passengers disrupted. Only plebs after all to their way of thinking one assumes. Then the football matches, sporting fixtures, operations and NHS procedures cancelled (which will result in the deaths of circa 50 probably… still mainly all plebs. Must all do wonders for damaging UK productivity and deterring UK investment.

      May, Boris and Truss’s bonkers net zero expensive unreliable energy by design agenda not only destroys many companies profits and the tax take it destroys whole industries making them unable to compete with countries with cheap energy policies. Thus exporting jobs and wrecking the economy and investment even further. Well done the “Conservatives”!

      Reply
    4. Fedupsoutherner
      September 17, 2022

      They will now push the latest vaccines on us. Why? I haven’t been vaccinated for nearly a year. We are told immunity is now severely diminished. I am mixing in large crowds as many are at the moment. I’m not wearing a mask. Why do I suddenly have to have a ‘necessary’ vaccine? Is it because the big pharmaceutical companies have to make their money?

      Reply
      1. Donna
        September 17, 2022

        I’m not a lab rat; I haven’t had any Covid jabs. I’m pretty certain I had Covid in mid-Nov 2019, before the panic started (and there is increasing evidence that it was circulating long before it was “announced” in Jan 2020). I’ve lived life as close to normal as possible ever since and I’ve not had (another) infection.

        If you don’t want the jab, just say no.

        Reply
      2. Lifelogic
        September 17, 2022

        We now know fairly clearly from the statistics the vaccines are fairly ineffective (nothing like the 80% that was promised) and are often dangerous too. For the young they almost certainly did much net harm.

        I know of one young lass about 20 who now has occasional rapid heat beats brought on by the booster. Has had spend well over £1500 on scans & tests (the NHS waiting list was far too long to wait). This a lass who had already had Covid before vaccination (without issue) and anyway was at never at any real risk at age 20 and in good health anyway.

        Insanity to coerce her to take these three jabs for zero benefit and with real risks. We do not even know the long terms risks! We do know we have many such issue and sig. lower birth rates.

        Reply
      3. Hope
        September 17, 2022

        Suggest you read articles in Con woman, the vaccines are causing more harm than good. Time for them to be cancelled.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          September 17, 2022

          +1 see the German study of the stats.

          Reply
  5. DOM
    September 17, 2022

    One can almost hear Tory MPs tiptoeing around when they try and find a way of criticising Labour’s unionised NHS. It’s the same issue at work when referencing racial issues, unlawful migration, cultural issues, religion and woke fascism. It’s evidence of a Tory party that is now utterly hollowed out from the inside and a mere extension of Labour’s political construct. The Tories have become managers of Labour’s Socialist, progressive, immoral cesspit and most who vote Tory simply don’t understand that. It’s tragic to watch the car crash unfold right before your eyes

    Please, I don’t see the purpose of such articles that seek to embed efficiencies into State spending if the will doesn’t exist to see them through to a final conclusion otherwise it’s simply verbiage, mere waffle

    I do readily admit though that the party and its MPs have been exposed to appalling intimidation from extremist left activists who share the same ideological bed with the unions and Labour

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      September 17, 2022

      Indeed, the Tories under Cameron, May and Boris were clearly a socialist partly little better than the Blair, Brown era. In many ways such as overall tax levels, tax complexity, borrowing, the deliberate currency debasing/inflation and their vast waste levels with poor and still declining public services they are clearly even worse.

      Can Truss turn it round? She has retained the deluded Alok Sharma, has not cancelled HS2 & sticks to net zero religion all very bad moves indeed.

      Reply
      1. forthurst
        September 17, 2022

        COP26’s Presidency runs until COP27 later this year when Sharma will be hand of the Earth’s climate to Egypt.

        Reply
    2. No Longer Anonymous
      September 17, 2022

      FFS

      Unionised NHS.

      Do you know how shit doctors’ pay can be ???

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        September 17, 2022

        Junior doctors start on circa £29k at the dire NHS after 6 year training and with circa £150k of student debt and interest on it of circa £10k so net pay after this, tax ni pensions cont. and commuting costs is about £1000 PCM rent so on a bedsit in London. So you are fine unless you want to eat, heat the bedsit or anything else! So 50% go on to work elsewhere. Pay in the US about 6 times this and taxes are lower too.

        Reply
  6. Lifelogic
    September 17, 2022

    “The pension age should reflect longevity” But this would be in effect yet another tax and state pension promises ratted on. People have paid for these pensions and were told (when they paid in) to expect to get them at 60 and 65. In the last couple of years life expectancy has fallen by over a year and is still falling ( due to covid, the very poor, failing and still declining NHS and vaccine adverse side effects. Also the increases before that were largely due to fewer deaths in child birth when very young so not really relevant to pension costs. So not 65+ year olds being able to work for many more years. This is especially difficult for manual workers anyway.

    Also if our daft MPs (and Truss continue) with the net zero religion & war on plant, tree & crop food then the state pension will nearly all go in heating and lighting anyway! We have also seen appalling tax attacks on private pensions with frozen allowances and other attacks from the dire Brown, Osborne, Hammond & Sunak

    Reply
  7. Pat
    September 17, 2022

    Sir John,

    Those of us of a certain vintage remember the benefits of the privatisation of British Gas and the UK telecoms revolution, with massive improvements in productivity and customer service through inward investment at no cost to the taxpayer.

    There must be a guiding principle that public services are privatised wherever possible. Rather than speaking in generalities, we should look closely at each public sector institution and work our way through a very long list.

    To start with three mundane examples:

    Job Centres
    Why can’t private job agencies carry out this work?

    Driving Test Centers
    Why can’t these be privatised?

    Channel 4
    Will this privatisation actually be realised?

    Reply
    1. forthurst
      September 17, 2022

      The major beneficial advance in gas was the switch to natural gas from town gas. This involved a massive investment in infrastructure which the private sector would not have undertaken which is why no reservoirs have been built since privatisation despite the massive importation of unassimilable aliens. In fact there was no improvement in British Gas after privatisation except from removing the requirement to attach overpriced obsolescent appliances supplied by GEC which contributed generously to Tory funds.

      Reply
  8. Christine
    September 17, 2022

    It’s time to reform the Inheritance Tax rules. More and more middle-income families are being pulled into paying this hideous tax as the nil band allowance hasn’t increased for 13 years. Of course, the rich can avoid paying anything because of their trust funds, non-dom status, or being exempt. The burden is being increasingly borne by those who are asset rich, i.e. homeowners in the southeast, but who are cash poor. It is morally wrong to tax wealth when income tax has already been paid.

    Reply
  9. Mike Stallard
    September 17, 2022

    This is what it is like North of Watford.

    My next door neighbour mends heavy goods vehicles on the road. Every morning he is long gone at 6 a.m. and he gets back late at night too. He often gets up in the middle of the night, he tells me. Ex army, he is a disciplined hard worker.
    He told me that he pays a huge amount of tax which discourages him a lot.

    We had our passports destroyed in a fire while on holiday in May. My wife is delaying application because she knows that there is little chance of getting them at the moment. Our local MP (Steve Barclay) was excellent at getting us home.

    During covid, my operation (hernia) was cancelled the day before. I went private, paying over the counter. Excellent service. No problems. Politeness all round. A friend had knee problems. £16,000 which he had not got. He simply went to pieces. Now seeing the doctor is slightly better but nothing like it was pre covid.

    Reply
  10. ukretired123
    September 17, 2022

    Sir John it is pitiful that you have to teach them how to do what they are paid for so handsomely, truly pitiful indeed. Keep it going as you are the treasure unlike their grand title.

    Reply
  11. Narrow Shoulders
    September 17, 2022

    Your article today omits one area that screws the whole system Sir John – politics.

    The civil service is given instructions by the government of the day (however the parties wish to deflect blame the government sets the tiller and can send models back for revision).

    Politics determines that tax should look to be redistributive rather than revenue raising. Politics determines that nonsensical spending decisions are taken and continued. Politics determines that we welcome cheap immigration rather than using the benefits system to force our own people to work.

    Your article in the Telegraph and here raises sensible points but your 80 seat majority government is the master of its own destiny. To misquote Colonel Jessop “You f***in’ people. You have no idea how to run a nation. All you did was weaken a country today, MPs. That’s all you did. You made people’s lives harder. Sweet dreams, son.”

    Reply
  12. Donna
    September 17, 2022

    One small example of “make work for administrators” in the NHS:

    Yesterday I received, by mail, a letter from the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. The letter told me to expect a screening kit in 2 weeks.

    The rest of the letter just provided information about the operation of the screening programme. No response was required; there was no opt out /opt in choice. Since the information it gave could easily be included with the kit I will receive in 2 weeks (whether I want it or not) it was a completely pointless letter.

    But it’s helping to keep Sally Benton, Director of the Southern Programme Hub, and no doubt her small army of Managers and Administrators, employed and I guess that’s the real purpose of a sending out a completely pointless letter to tens of thousands of people, costing 95p postage each – and goodness knows how much in administrative time.

    Reply
  13. Cuibono
    September 17, 2022

    It is odd that the tories, always so keen for power, choose to obtain it by mimicking or even exceeding the policies of Labour.
    When will they understand that they get votes because so many voters are terrified of the left?
    Didn’t they learn anything from Johnson’s huge and largely wasted victory?
    Stop with all the “nudging” and psyops, lies and U turns.
    Stop with the crawling around global edicts.
    Do what is good for the country.
    BE Conservatives!
    Please.

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      September 17, 2022

      I agree wholeheartedly. Just be what we voted for and don’t prop up the policies of the minority and those of other parties.

      Reply
  14. Dave Andrews
    September 17, 2022

    If HS2 is such a good idea, let its executive put forward a business case for it and raise the funds privately. Let it not be paid for out of borrowing, for future generations to be saddled with the cost.
    As to investment, I don’t care about policies to attract it from outside, especially when those policies involve sweeteners not offered to UK entrepreneurs. It’s UK people that should be encouraged with attractive tax rates, as they are the ones continually developing business, employing people and nurturing the skills that may take decades to develop.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      September 17, 2022

      +1 it would never have gone forwards without huge state subsidies – rather like the net zero renewables fiasco!

      Reply
    2. a-tracy
      September 17, 2022

      HS1 30 year lease was owned by a Canadian Pension Fund? It cost taxpayers £5.8 billion to build and opened on 14 November 2007. Hammond thought he‘d done well selling it for £2.1bn? Seems a bad deal to me! “In November 2010 a thirty year concession for its operation was sold for £2.1 billion. It is therefore likely to take in excess of 60 years to recover the original investment, assuming that further concessions are sold.“ It was then sold on in 2017 14 Jul 2017 — Britain’s only high-speed railway, HS1, has been sold for an enterprise value of roughly £3bn by its Canadian pension fund owners, making a near sweet £1bn by this Canadian Pension Fund someone is taking the Mickey out of the British Public. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmpubacc/464/464we05.htm

      So the UK pays, sells up cheap and I guess we‘ll be left with the upgrade cost bill at the end.

      Reply
  15. Bloke
    September 17, 2022

    ‘Price of Supply’ and ‘Need’ set the near-perfect balance mechanism in commerce. Ancient man used it in ages before Govt was conceived. Govt came about to protect its people, so tax adds to their Price pan on the scale.

    People and business want many things. They need essentials to carry on in life but reject the weight of unnecessary taxes. When tax is too hard and fast it jolts the Need side so rapidly: much of it is jettisoned in a pan-European direction or further overseas.

    Reply
  16. Original Richard
    September 17, 2022

    The whole of our ruling class – Government, Parliament, Civil Service and Institutions – not just the Treasury is socialist and empirical proof of Robert Conquest’s second and third laws of politics.

    Not only are they socialists but as Kate Bingham pointed out in her Romanes lecture they suffer from “a notable lack of scientific, industrial, commercial and manufacturing skills”.

    It seems every time I look up a politician or Civil Servant pontificating or worse still, making decisions, on CAGW and Net Zero I find they are graduates of ancient or modern history/languages or PPE. Or even theatre studies.

    As a result we have :

    – The unscientific nonsense of CAGW and the irrational, economy destroying attempt to zero our 1% contribution to global CO2 emissions whilst China and India carry on burning coal regardless.

    – Unlimited legal and illegal immigration with the Cabinet Office and Home Office funding the organisations taking it to court over their fake Rwanda scheme.

    – Wasteful spending on HS2 and all through the Civil Service, including the NHS.

    – Malign wokery designed to curb free speech and end our age of enlightenment free from illogical and religious dogma.

    Uncontrolled socialism only ever ends up with poverty and an authoritarian state.

    Reply
    1. Dave Andrews
      September 17, 2022

      Even someone with a PPE degree ought to be able to realise an installed capacity of 25.5GW wind turbines, that sometimes generates <1GW, with no storage capacity to speak of, was a poor solution to the UK's energy needs.
      That kind of stupidity could only come from someone without the ability to pass a degree of any kind.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        September 17, 2022

        +1.

        Reply
  17. a-tracy
    September 17, 2022

    John, I‘m surprised when you write pension age should be in line with longevity! Whose longevity people like Major Tom and other public servants (like the police sergeant I know who died aged 95 after spending four decades on final salary pension) on decent guaranteed defined benefit pensions. Or those people like builders I know that died before they even got their basic state pension at 65 years, I know three men this year who died within three years of getting their state pension and none of that money transferred to their widow their state pension died with them even though two of their widows are now surviving on £9500 per year, I‘ve been helping them to get pension credits, they wouldn‘t need it if some of their husbands State pension transferred to them, if they hadn‘t been forced into the national insurance state pension they would have had some transfer allowed, but instead their husbands contributed to State Pension for 50 years gets paid out to all newcomers and people who never worked in pension credits who didn‘t contribute a penny.

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      September 17, 2022

      Great post A-Tracy

      Reply
  18. The Prangwizard
    September 17, 2022

    Identifying public sector waste requires full determination and belief and it is an enormous task. Any leader and team will need great strength and the ability to stand against the smearing tactics which will be used against them.

    I would make my observation on the NHS. Whenever I see tv reports showing hospital interiors I am struck by the vast quantity of equipment seen in wards and corridors, almost always not being used.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      September 17, 2022

      Ask private hospital nursing staff and they will tell you that equipment is far better in the NHS.

      Reply
    2. Mickey Taking
      September 17, 2022

      and when it is, usually 9 to 5 and just 5 days per week.

      Reply
    3. graham1946
      September 18, 2022

      Probably a lot of it is broken and not being repaired. A simple case- I have been attending my big General hospital lately for tests. The first time I went, in the gents the urinals were out of use, ‘awaiting repair’. Two weeks later I went for results and those same urinals had buckets under them but were in use. Is that the standard of care and hygiene we expect? I guess it’s pretty endemic.

      Reply
  19. acorn
    September 17, 2022

    The UK like the USA has followed, since 1980, the free market, supply side neoliberal model. Both have suffered the same slow decline in economic performance. The UK lacking the productivity of the USA, has been particularly hard hit. US economic research is far more enlightening than anything the UK produces. “The relationship between taxation and U.S. economic growth by Corey Husak” is an excellent up to date read for any would be Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    “Supply side and neoclassical models rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, promising faster economic growth. Unlike the Keynesian model used in the mid-20th century, which had very little to say about taxes, supply-side economics and other neoclassical models champion a “free market”-centered view that frames taxes as the enemy of economic growth.

    In the 1980s, policymakers followed these models and drastically lowered the top individual marginal income tax rate, from about 70 percent down to 28 percent, and lowered the top corporate rate from 46 percent down to 34 percent. But instead of booming, income growth slowed. As the government reduced statutory tax rates, especially for those at the top, inequality exploded, and income growth rates went down.”

    Reply Wrong. Over the last decade the U.K. had to follow the highly regulated state intervention model of the EU. That is why we are short of domestic energy, lost much of our fishing and farming industry, lost high energy using industries and welcomed in large numbers of lower paid people to keep wages down.

    Reply
    1. acorn
      September 17, 2022

      Nothing to do with four decades of deindustrialisation and privatisation of the nation’s resources, to fund tax cuts then. And, when you ran out of things to sell, you used a decade of austerity to fund tax cuts.

      Meanwhile, you could do the nation a favour and get ONS and the Treasury to use the same accounting methodology. Particularly what is, and is not, a tax connected to net-zero!
      https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/net-zero-tax.pdf

      reply Tax as a percentage of GDP has risen!

      Reply
      1. Dave Andrews
        September 17, 2022

        There has been no austerity. Austerity is tightening your belt to pay down your debts, not carrying on borrowing and spending even more.

        Reply
        1. acorn
          September 17, 2022

          Dave. That applies to the currency USERS, that is the non-government sector. It does not apply to the government sector (Treasury) that ISSUES the currency. There is nothing the government sector can’t afford, that is for sale in its own unique monopoly currency, that you can’t get from anywhere else.

          The Osborne austerity plan was to keep REAL spending increases at 0%. The government kept telling you they were increasing spending; in cash terms it was, in real terms it wasn’t. Then there was Covid; that exposed just how little resilience the economy had left in the cupboard after ten years of austerity.

          The bottom line is, when the non-government sector (households particularly) stop spending out of fear of the future; or, as now, has its available spending diverted by an external shock, like energy bills; The government has to deficit spend to replace what the non-government sector is not spending. Otherwise the economy goes into the toilet; like now.

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            September 17, 2022

            Keep on printing eh acorn
            No limits?
            No consequences?

        2. IanT
          September 17, 2022

          Absolutely Dave – and perhaps reducing government’s ever increasing involvement in our lives. They’ve had social & educational policies that encourage dependancy rather then independance. Unemployment benefits were originally envisaged as a safety net for the most deprived, not to become a way of life for so many. We had an education system that was able to deliver the skills we needed, not fantasy qualifications that just make some young people deeply indebted and probably unemployable.
          I was chatting to a friend’s young Grandson this afternoon (who I’ve known since he was a sprat). For a young guy, he’s got a well paid electrical apprenticeship (on the railways) and is very happy with his lot. It’s very hands on (in all weathers) and he loves it. He will eventually be fully qualified, employable by other companies or able to work for himself. What a pity we decided that we didn’t need a lot more young apprentices like him and rather foolishly converted all our Polys and Technical Schools into “Universities” rather than investing in a range of basic, useful key skills.
          Where did Mr Blair think our plumbers, nurses, heating engineers, electricians, mechanics, builders etc were going to come from? The other half of the 50%?
          Ah! Of course, we’d just import them from Eastern Europe. Simples.

          Reply
    2. Peter2
      September 17, 2022

      If you look at Europe, UK and USA it has followed the opposite of free market neo liberal economics.
      All have seen bigger States growing over the decades, employing more staff with higher state spending and higher taxation on us.
      The growth of the NGO, the Agencies, the Quangos and the charity sector all funded partly or wholly by the State.
      And a tidal wave of legislation with a huge number of new rules regulations and directives.

      Reply
    3. Mark B
      September 17, 2022

      acorn

      The Soviet Union followed the opposite model. Do please remind us what happened to it ?

      Like democracy, no system is perfect. But to criticize the least imperfect and not the worst is a little disingenuous.

      Reply
      1. acorn
        September 17, 2022

        Are you competing with Peter2 for Strawman replies on this site?

        Reply
        1. Peter2
          September 17, 2022

          Tru answering a simple question acorn
          Is it beyond you?

          Reply
          1. Bill Brown
            September 17, 2022

            Peter 2

            This is a bit steep coming from you

          2. Peter2
            September 18, 2022

            Another of your incisive comments billy

          3. acorn
            September 18, 2022

            Try asking a relevant question to my comment. Not answering a comment I didn’t make.

          4. Peter2
            September 18, 2022

            So still not answering Mark Bs question then acorn.
            Actually I didn’t ask a question I just pointed out that your claim of decades of free market neo liberalism in America and UK is the most ridiculous comment I’ve read on here in years.

          5. hefner
            September 18, 2022

            You’re soooo right P2. There has not been any move towards free markets, there has not been any financialisation of the economy, and no diversion from government ownership. Globalisation and UK companies moving outside the country have not been a feature of the economy of these last 40-50 years. There have not been changes in government spending to stimulate the private sector. Mrs T never was PM, nor Major, Blair, Brown, etc … In fact it is a well known fact that Friedman, the Austrian and the Chicago Schools of economists never existed. And that P2 is the cleverest person on this blog.

            We are so lucky to have you P2 among us to put us on the right track.

          6. Peter2
            September 18, 2022

            Oh hello heffy
            Joining in all sarky with your lefty pals billy and acorn?
            Globalisation isn’t free markets heffy its crony capitalism.
            Check state spending over the decades.
            Check state employment too.
            You really think the State is smaller and spends less and taxes us less now?
            Truly hilarious.

          7. hefner
            September 18, 2022

            Only some people consider the reduction of the size of the state as a proof of neoliberal policies, eg LL in his infinite (but repetitive) wisdom.
            I hope P2 would have noted the fact I didn’t refer to that characteristic in the above comment. How to call someone who would now put the emphasis on only this particular point?

            Also ‘hilarious’ is that not so long ago other contributors on here had condemned the EU for pushing neoliberal policies (in particular wrt privatisation of railways). And the good P2 had not intervened: So what is it? A very recent Damascene conversion? Or what is the EU doing, succumbing to neolib policies or not? The world would want to know from the mouth of an expert.

          8. Peter2
            September 18, 2022

            You are suddenly on a roll heffy with more trivial red herrings.
            No real rebuttal to the points I made.
            Give up heffy you know I’m right

          9. hefner
            September 18, 2022

            Rebuttal? Moi!? Give me a proper intelligent rebuttal (instead of simply calling ‘red herrings’ every time you fail to understand something I write) and I’ll see what I can do …

          10. Peter2
            September 19, 2022

            Keep on with your irrelevant and rude posts heffy
            I rather like having you as my my personal troll.

    4. Bill Brown
      September 17, 2022

      Reply to sir JR
      We lost our heavy industry because it was not productive enough and the same goes for agriculture.
      We are short of domestic energy because both Conservative and Labour governments have postponed large energy projects
      We still don’t have enough well trained people to increase productivity.
      So your answer to Acorn is wrong

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        September 17, 2022

        Tax as a relation to gdp has risen is a straightforward fact bill
        And so that fact torpedoes acorns ridiculous claim that America Europe and UK have followed a path of free market neo liberalism.
        If only they had.

        Reply
        1. Bill Brown
          September 18, 2022

          Peter 2
          On a number of points Sir JR was wrong which I was trying to point out.
          That tax rises does not contradict what Acorn and Hef are saying.
          Talking about globalization as crony capitalism, does not explain anything but it does underline your superficial way of arguing your points of view

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            September 18, 2022

            Tell us what those points are billy.
            If you think that the last few decades were decades of free market neo liberalism then prove it.
            What I’ve seen is the rise of globalism and a rapid increase in the size and scope of the state.
            Especially in your beloved EU

          2. Bill Brown
            September 19, 2022

            Larger public sector doesn’t imply less liberalism in a country as you are pointing out as a rule of thumb

          3. Peter2
            September 19, 2022

            Liberalism is more a political idea and neo liberal is more an economic idea.
            Subtle difference but still a difference bill.
            If a nation has a huge state sector employing the majority of its people it is difficult to call it a free market neo liberal economy.
            PS
            I was originally talking about acorn’s ridiculous claim that the UK USA (and Europe) had seen decades of free market neo liberal economic policies.

  20. a-tracy
    September 17, 2022

    I read an interesting tweet yesterday about a private company that gets all the public sector work without the same levels of scrutiny that a public sector operation would get. I don‘t know if that is correct or not? The claim is that they are dabbling in our lives in everything from Health including covid to Leisure from Education to Electronic tagging and housing for immigrants. Are your government in control of this, does this company report back to Ministers?

    The public sector organisations like the NHS are responsible for this sort of private sector interference because they are unwilling to act like a business would have to and recharge the world healthcare aspect of their care provisions, it is not difficult and they should just do it to increase their spending power instead of coming to UK sitting ducks the PAYE workforce and expecting people on 70% of their basic earnings to pay in more and more every year many of whom can‘t even get an appointment right now. A&E is a perfect place to start, in the States and Europe they take credit card payment and visitors are obliged to take out travel insurance to visit those places to cover emergencies or have the European Health card and their hospitals re-bill the UK. Please just start there the epicentre of the problems.

    Reply The NHS and other public sector bodies run by independent CEOs on behalf of taxpayers contract out a lot of the work to private sector operators, believing it to be cheaper and better. Those CEOs and the Ministers who ultimately appoint them are responsible for the results.

    Reply
    1. Fishknife
      September 17, 2022

      Reply to Reply: And therein lies the problem. CEOs and the Ministers are not held to their responsability or private sector operators would not be cheaper and better.

      Reply
    2. Lifelogic
      September 17, 2022

      The problem is not only are the state sector very poor indeed at providing decent public services of any real value they are also very poor at arranging for these to be contracted out efficiently. Look at defence procurement, prisons, Sturgeon’s ferries, the Millenium Dome, energy, water and so many other things. See the book The Blunders of Our Governments by Anthony King (Author) Ivor Crewe (Author)
      which need a new edition to include HS2, test and trace, the nightingale hospitals, the Millenium Dome, the ineffective and dangerous vaccines especially for the young, the lock down, the net zero fiasco…

      Reply
  21. Stephen Reay
    September 17, 2022

    I wonder if Sir John is advocating increasing the state pension age again with his comment ” The pension age should reflect longevity, balancing the number of years you have to contribute with the number of years you are likely to draw down”.
    Easier to work longer as a mp , not as easier if you work in a manual job.
    If anything the pension age needs to come down.

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      September 17, 2022

      Stephen. Yes my sister who is 60 now and a widow has arthritis and general poor health. She is a carer for the elderly with dementia. She works 4 nights a week to pay her bills. She is dreading working until she is 67.

      Reply
      1. graham1946
        September 18, 2022

        A dear friend of mine was a WASPI woman (i.e. a woman who was fiddled out of her pension at age 60 as promised all her life by politicians) and died before ever getting it. Her contributions over 40 years count for nothing, no refund to her estate for her relatives. If a private company acted criminally like this instead of MP’s sitting on their high salaries and pensions, the directors would be in clink. It is the scandal of our age.

        Reply
    2. a-tracy
      September 17, 2022

      Stephen, we have the worst retirement ages in Europe, France have concessions for people who started work very young 15-16 years of age as lots of Brits in their 60s did in the UK! Romania has concessions for people in arduous manual occupations or those that worked in what is now considered risky jobs shortening their longevity. Ours will be 68 by 2046 thanks to Blair and Osborne. Doesn‘t matter who is in power in the UK. They only protect their own who are still allowed to retire at 55.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        September 17, 2022

        Not only that but when you do finally get it it will hardly pay the energy bills and council tax. Thanks to the net zero lunacy.

        Reply
      2. graham1946
        September 18, 2022

        Our politicians don’t seem to have a retirement age. If they make a big enough mess of their job, they end up in the Lords on £300 a day tax free for as long as they fancy a nice kip in the warm.

        Reply
        1. a-tracy
          September 18, 2022

          Graham, I wonder if the Lords should be elected like the MEPs were elected on PR the lists drawn up would then have each parties favourites in each region and each region would select their champions based on what they tell us about themselves and their specialities, training and point of view on key topics are prior to election. When Lords step away from their duties in the House of Lords are they still called Lords for the rest of their lives?

          Reply
  22. Ian B
    September 17, 2022

    Just a snapshot of an article from Tony Lodge in today’s Daily Telegraph that sums up the situation

    It highlights how poorly managed the UK Government and Economy is. Shaby management and thinking in reality trickles down into every corner of of taxpayer expenditure, it also reinforces the phrase ‘Go Woke Go Broke’

    It is alright to change direction and implement new ideas but first you need to have a replacement in place, and insure a resilient and sustainable economy to fund it.

    “Grave errors by a range of past energy ministers range from: Patricia Hewitt’s opposition to nuclear power in 2001; Ed Miliband’s refusal to back new clean coal plants in 2009; Chris Huhne renewing opposition to new nuclear in 2012; Ed Davey supporting wood pellet plants over new gas in 2013; Amber Rudd overseeing the end of carbon capture funding in 2015; Greg Clark allowing the closure of the Rough gas storage site in 2017 and Andrea Leadsom banning fracking in 2019, to name just a few.”

    “Alongside a long list of former energy secretaries (17 since 1997), ex-premiers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson should also be called as they led governments which oversaw the running down of British energy security, diversity and resilience.”

    “Instead, ministers approved weather-dependent renewables and more interconnectors to import power from the Continent, thus offshoring British energy jobs, resilience and security. New nuclear is already twenty years late.”

    Reply
    1. forthurst
      September 17, 2022

      Carbon capture is nonsense.

      Reply
    2. turboterrier
      September 17, 2022

      Ian B
      Well done to you pal for getting that printed. I didn’t try with my post as I thought it would never get past moderation. It was a great article.

      Reply
    3. Mickey Taking
      September 18, 2022

      Well said Tony Lodge.

      Reply
  23. paul
    September 17, 2022

    If you know about money then you know what is happening now worldwide, could of used this as a quiz but i wouldnt of had any replies that make any sense. Anyway you have 2 to 3 year opportunity to think of plans and ideas to replace what you have now for 22 century, i think they call it route and branch reforms, if not done right no one will lend to you or invest in this country, this is a time when you do not defend your currency or bonds, it would be just wasting money that you need for the great reset, the worst thing they could do is panic like they ways do, i have target for pound at 90 to 100 pence to the dollar with euro below that. No pukka job on the new plans will lead to no investment in this country and no one willing to buy your currency or bonds and why, money will in short supply worldwide and as foot note, nobody going to invest in a country who will be relying on windmill and batteries because they have better sense.

    Reply
  24. Ian B
    September 17, 2022

    The NHS has some wonderful clinicians that are dedicated to their work. Unfortunately they are managed by the empire builders to intent on their protecting their status.

    If all the massive addition funds had found its way to serving customers(patients) we would have an impressive world class system. The focus on WOKE, Diversity and such like are nothing more than management expressing political opinions (highlighting the opinions). Taxpayer funding is for securing the best of the best not an individuals political belief.

    As with all things taxpayer funded, Governments have lost their way on oversight and accountability. In its purest sense the Taxpayer should not be funding anything that they can’t hold someone directly accountable for.

    Reply
    1. Shirley M
      September 17, 2022

      The NHS instructs the ‘wonderful’ clinicians, just as our GP’s instruct the rottweiler receptionists and admin staff.

      I suspect Sir john is fed up of my criticism of the NHS but it is based upon real life experience, but often doesn’t get past moderation. Sadly, I am not alone. There are thousands of us suffering NHS neglect. They may get handed more and more money, but it doesn’t appear to get to the front line to help Brits, or gets wasted on things they should NOT be doing, like getting involved in politics and woke and giving expensive treatment to visitors to our shores while our own are refused treatment.

      Reply
  25. Ian B
    September 17, 2022

    Today’s resounding response theme on these pages is ‘responsibility and accountability’.

    It is Government neglect if they take money from taxpayers then don’t own the responsibility for the results.

    It is Parliaments neglect if they don’t hold Government to account

    Reply
  26. Ian Pennell
    September 17, 2022

    Dear Sir John Redwood

    As one who reads the business section of The Daily Telegraph and other financial data, as I am sure you do, I am concerned that the Gilts Markets will not let our new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, borrow what is needed to get Britain out of its Unproductive, high-Tax, Stagflationary malaise. Traders are not only shunning Sterling but are also shunning Government Gilts as they are a) Not convinced the Bank of England will fight Inflation even in the face of Recession and b) Are worried that they would not get all their money back on Government bonds that they buy. Britain is in a precarious state with shortages, a growing NHS crisis, increased sickness and a poor-skilled country to compete against other advanced economies. There is a real danger of a Gilts strike so that the Prime Minister will not be able to fund her energy price freeze and Tax Cuts, ergo Britain heads into recession and Inflation worsens even more- leading to a real Sterling crisis.

    There’s only one sure-fire way to deal with this problem: A return to the Gold Standard with the Bank of England printing money only to buy Gold to back up Sterling. This puts liquidity into the economy whilst protecting Sterling. Government revenues will then increase, reducing the need for borrowing to find the Prime Minister’s Energy Price freeze and Tax Cuts, whilst ensuring more money is available to pay for more doctors and nurses (and better conditions for them) so that we dont have an NHS crisis. This would have to be done in tandem with finding £30 billion annually in savings across the Public Sector by cutting waste, reducing Quangoes, etc. All that is essential to stem the Economic rot and safeguard Conservative electoral fortunes.

    Failure to implement such policies risk leading to such Sterling and Gilts crisis within six months that the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng will need to beg the IMF and World Bank for a loan so that the currency does not collapse and so the British Government does not go bankrupt! Yes, that is where we are headed. They may only provide the money to invest in infrastructure, cut Taxes and keep the Energy Price freeze provided Britain’s Motorway Network and Railways are offered up as security for the special Secured Loan that will be needed. Perhaps then Liz Truss will realise that Britain needs to go back on the Gold Standard- fast!

    Please do get the new Prime Minister and new Chancellor to “Wake Up and Smell the Economic Coffee” – before such humiliation as needing to go to the IMF (for the second time in less than fifty years) is visited upon Britain.

    Reply Longer bond yields are still below US yields. Sterling fell this week owing to the weak economy pending the government’s financial statement. Inflation will fall next year after a peak with next months energy hike.

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      September 17, 2022

      Going back on the Gold Standard may prove to be a bit of a shock to the economy. As I stated above, we need to cut expenditure on non-essentials.

      Reply
      1. Ian Pennell
        September 17, 2022

        @ Mark B

        Why is it that mainstream Economic thinking is that a Gold Standard is disastrous? In the current circumstances it would be a godsend as it would protect Sterling from the capriciousness of the Currency Markets and, in so doing, protect against imported Inflation. Sure, the amount of money in circulation is fixed by the value of Gold and Gold-backed securities needed to back it up, but if you need more liquidity in the economy (to stave off a recession) you can still print more money, but it has to be used to buy the Gold to back up the extra currency, and it does not preclude a Government from borrowing in the short-term to stave off a down-turn. The Gold Standard served Britain well during the 19th Century when Inflation remained low yet the Economy steadily grew during the earlier stages of the Industrial Revolution.

        On the contrary, having a fiat Sterling has been disastrous,- it brought the UK 28% inflation in 1975 (and the subsequent need for a loan from the IMF to help support Sterling the following year). Our fiat British Pound Sterling it also bought the volatility that brought about Black Wednesday in 1992. Today, Sterling is 20% lower against the US Dollar than it was last summer. Sterling is totally at the mercy of Market sentiment- which can turn and short it very quickly!

        Reply
    2. Ian Pennell
      September 17, 2022

      Reply to Reply from Sir John Redwood

      I do hope that you are right about Government bonds and Sterling. Whilst it is necessary for extra Government support to keep energy bills down and to fund Tax cuts through borrowing to stave off a nasty recession I fear that the Markets are uneasy about the amount of extra borrowing needed, some £200 billion in the next 18 months to achieve the new Prime Minister’s objectives.

      A fall-back of spending restraint through efficiency savings may well be necessary to reassure said- Markets that the Government intends to pay back monies borrowed. That’s especially since other funds will- doubtless- need to be found to keep the NHS from collapse and to bolster Defence spending as the Prime Minister aims to do in the medium term. It would be really dangerous to go with Tax Cuts, more Defence spending, paying energy companies to freeze prices, more money for the NHS and for Infrastructure- can all be paid for by borrowing given that the National Debt is close to 100% GDP already and the Bank of England also plans to sell its Government bonds on the open market. Such policies would rapidly push up bond yields be they short-term or long-term.

      Reply
  27. Donna
    September 17, 2022

    I’m massively impressed with Ron de Santis flying 50 “people of colour” illegal immigrants up to Martha’s Vinyard, which had declared itself a Sanctuary for “refugees.” The Elite of Martha’s Vinyard aren’t so impressed ….. in fact they’re apoplectic at the influx into their immensely wealthy community.

    I do wish Natalie Elphick, CON MP in Dover would copy him and transfer a few consignments of our criminal migrants to Elitist/Affluent “liberal” areas in the UK. Sandringham village would be a good place to start.

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      September 17, 2022

      They, the residence, got the local government to call the National Guard and remove them to a military base on the US mainland. But it is not just Martha’s Vineyard that Ron de Santis is sending the illegals too. He is sending them to so called sanctuary cities like New York and Chicago.

      They’re not liking it the Dems.

      Reply
    2. Nigel B
      September 17, 2022

      I spent a couple of days at Martha’s Vineyard, good luck to the immigrants what a dump! The place is dry and you have to bring your own booze just about everywhere, talk about backwater living except for the elite.

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        September 17, 2022

        so did the vines all die?

        Reply
  28. Donna
    September 17, 2022

    We just paid Belgium 50 times the going rate to keep the lights on in London. When the Government and Establishment Media blame Putin for our energy crisis, they are being extremely economical with the actualite.

    The blame lies firmly with the EU; successive British Governments and Labour, Conservative and LibDem Ministers for deliberately destroying our energy-generating capacity and energy security.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/09/17/just-paid-belgium-50-times-going-rate-keep-londons-lights/

    Reply
  29. Mike Wilson
    September 17, 2022

    On the whole I think privatisation has been a disaster – with exceptions. The service from BT is vastly improved. Water, gas and electricity – not good.

    That said, government seems to be congenitally useless at most things.

    Rather than focusing on deciding how much less you want the state to do, I wish you would focus on getting what the states already does much better. Less waste. Less dossing around. More efficiency and more accountability.

    I think having a private sector volunteer sitting in and overseeing all spending decisions by public sector bodies would be a good idea.

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      September 17, 2022

      The reason why the service from BT has improved is because if BT did not provide the service, someone else will, so they had to up their game to compete with the COMPETITION. Now, look at what is missing from gas, electricity and, especially water ?

      Reply
      1. Mike Wilson
        September 17, 2022

        Not sensible to have competing reservoirs, sewage treatment works, sewers etc.

        Not sensible to duplicate the national grid.

        Not sensible to have more than one gas network.

        Saying people can compete to send water down pipes (owned and operated and maintained by whom?) as Mr. Redwood has suggested previous ly is, to put it politely, not sensible.

        Reply Common carrier networks work well for oil and gas

        Reply
    2. Ed M
      September 17, 2022

      So much of politics is dogmatic as opposed to objective.

      We nee to be objective about where to privatise and objective about where to use our own non-green and green energy (huge improvements need to be made in green energy until we can rely on it a lot more – buy tech is improving year on year – but not can we dismiss it either – that’s just dogmatism).

      The best entrepreneurs are OBJECTIVE. Politicians should be too.

      An we have to become 100% self-sufficient in power.

      Reply
  30. anon
    September 17, 2022

    You have built a fiat prison for most UK residents. This fiat enables exploitation by money changers. Doesn’t involve progressive tax codes (flawed & with ..erm gaps for tptb).

    Now inflation is embedded and BOE persists with negative real interest rates? The Gov continues with economic demand destruction.
    We will be taking a trip to the IMF whilst paying 15 bn pa in overseas, EU subsidies 10bn pa , other UN,WHO and probably loads of others where funds are not spent in the UK. Not to mention EU projects like HS2.

    Then ensure banks go to 100% reserve so they dont end up seizing other people debt money, when it goes pop.
    Money deposited in banks is not yours. It will be corralled. It will be inflated away.

    Meanwhile special rules will always apply to rich others and insiders.

    Reply
  31. Stephen Reay
    September 17, 2022

    Any Mp who endorses the state pension age to increase from what it is now , is only supporting modern slavery. I’ve read sir John’s statement a number of times that he has said “many Mp’s work to make people lives better”. Working to 66 and over is certainly not making people’s lives better.
    When will Mp’s get it. If you want a reasonable state pension retirement age best not vote the cons in.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      September 18, 2022

      Do MPs ever reflect on the difficulty raised when workers lose jobs at over 60? Indeed more and more people suffer that at over 50. It becomes a long long time to have to wait for the meagre State pension. More and more will go through unemployed status and then find themselves on Universal Credit or similar benefits.

      Reply
  32. Geoffrey Berg
    September 17, 2022

    I agree with most of this blog, especially that inefficient public spending should be eliminated.
    However we have seen Liz Truss has appointed just her own personal cronies and supporters to the Cabinet, especially avoiding people likely to resign on her (as happened to Boris Johnson), mainly people (Suella Braverman apart) with at best mediocre previous records in ministerial positions. I therefore don’t have much hope that John Redwood’s usually insightful advice will be much followed.

    Reply
  33. paul
    September 17, 2022

    I read today on this site alot about responsibility and accountability, i must remind you, is your job when putting your cross on the ballet paper to assess that and responibility for your own actions, by voting for a party that is doing a bad job you reinforce their commitment to carry on as they are doing, they say, look they still voting for us in large numbers so the voter must like what we are doing.

    Reply

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