UKIP will soon be electing a new leader. Will it be someone with a vision to take the party forward with practical policies for the electorate in addition to ensuring a clean break from the EU? Already we have seen the Head of the Bank of England reducing interest rates instead of raising them.
We have already seen the result of this action that the pound has fallen again on international markets making imports of food, fuel, ready made goods and manufacturing materials more expensive. This in turn will make the final price of products we manufacture in the UK more expensive for foreigners to buy and hence defeat the object of increasing exports.
Growth was expected to be as much as 3% prior to the vote but has now been downgraded to 2% by those with a fairly opaque crystal ball who are not experts in the future but mere fortune tellers. This has given the new Chancellor of the Exchequer a ‘get out of jail free’ card by claiming the vote to leave has made it now impossible to clear the deficit by 2020.
According to my calculations the Tory Government never had ‘a hope in hell’ of achieving that anyway. One reason is that the Baby Boom generation are still working their way through the system and will be increasing the pensioners by 5% per annum until about 2020 after which the increase will slow. Don’t blame us for that though, please blame our parents who after the Second World War did an awful lot of breeding for about 10 years.
Another major reason that the economy is in trouble is because of the ramping up of public expenditure by Alistair Darling during the financial crash of 2007-2008. What this meant was that an extra £120b was poured into healthcare and welfare and that became the new expenditure on those departments.
Since then any attempt to reign back either has resulted in howls of protest by everyone. Of course the extra poured into the NHS only resulted in a minor improvement in services with the rest of the money going into recruiting more administrative staff to expand internal empires.
To my knowledge despite continual claims of Tory cuts to health the budget has increased by at least as much as inflation each year since 2010. Indeed the NHS is swallowing up an ever-increasing proportion of government income to the detriment of all other departments. From 1997 to 2002 it received 15% of Gross National Income (GNI). Then from 2003 to 2008 around 18% of GNI and since then 21% of GNI.
The NHS managers never have reigned back on their expenditure and keep increasing it beyond inflation so each year more and more Trusts run up ever increasing debts then leave the government no choice but to pay up. All the while the top managers increase their salaries and bonuses and have the revolving door scheme for getting golden handshake payouts then being re-employed.
So whether we wish it or not, pensions and healthcare consume about half the GNI and when welfare is added in there is now 66% of GNI used up already. Another thing we can’t get around is interest on the ever-increasing total debt, which by 2020 will require 11% of GNI to service it.
So when I read that candidates for leadership of UKIP are going to increase our armed forces and spend more on the NHS and massively increase our border forces and build fishery protection vessels, I begin to get the impression that they live in the same parallel universe as the other UK political parties.
Facing the facts
The hard truth is that pensions will peak and then the increase will slow but gold plated civil service pensions are unaffordable and must be trimmed. The private sector pensions were attacked by Gordon Brown by hiving off £5b per annum in premium tax. This has been continued by Alistair Darling and George Osborne so the resulting annuities are a disgrace.
The NHS is being eaten alive by the cancer of bureaucratic empires and overpaid managers and needs to be trimmed back to clinical and medical staff as the majority of employees. Being essentially untouchable by any of the major political parties it has become the gravy train for non-productive executives. In my opinion its income should be fixed at 18% of the previous years GNI. Let them start living within their budgets. Trusts that fail to do so should be stripped of the management team without bonus and no coming back to employment elsewhere within the NHS.
Welfare continues to require pruning but would require someone that can do so as fairly as possible, like Iain Duncan Smith. The single combined benefit that the government is working towards may well get this down and keep it there unless of course Labour ever gets back into power.
Apart from these major outgoings the government needs to keep itself small and not let departmental budgets increase year on year. Then hopefully increased trade with the rest of the world will increase our GDP and GNI proportionately and gradually reduce the deficit.