Wednesday, 24 September 2014
How can Labour or the Tories fight an election on the NHS?
- Current annual deficit - £75 billion, stable and not falling due to a low rise in income taxes
- Total UK debt - £1.225 trillion and rising rapidly
- NHS shortfall in 2014 - £2 billion
- Predicted NHS Shortfall by 2020 - £30 billion.
- Total Government spend 2014 - predicted £636.6 billion versus £720 billion spending (OBR)
In addition, Mr Milliband yesterday said that he would save our NHS , budget this year £108 billion, from the evil Tories.
And, worse than this, Mr Balls and Mr Osborne are agreed that by 2018/19 the deficit will be eliminated and therefore in real terms we need to have a further £50 billion of cuts over the next four years from 2015. To this we can add the £30 billion of NHS spending.
This £80 billlion is 12.5 of current spending - equivalent to the whole of education and defence spending.
There is simply no way of raising revenues from the economy anywhere near enough to cover this predicted hole in the NHS alone. This is before we add in social care and sweets for all that parties must promise to get elected.
The entire 2015 election according to Labour will be fought on non-economic criteria as they are so far behind on this. But the truth is, even the Tories do not want to fight on the real economic criteria becuase they too know there is no answer apart from drastic cuts to spening. Let's say, end housing benefit and tax credits, plus raise top rate of income tax and a mansion tax, with capital gains at 40% - this would just about get you to the point where the hole would be filled.
There is a solution of course, end the NHS as it is, focus on people's basic needs and grow and insurance industry out of the nascent one that we have. Make people realise the true cost of care.
To me the NHS, wonderful that it is in so many ways, is the epitomy of the magic money tree theory - worse because we and our loved ones are all mortal in the end. As we have it, it is totally unsustainable without in short order sacrificing much of the national resources into it - but people may vote for that anyway, unaware of the reality for which they are voting.