Two media stories took my eye yesterday.
The first was a report in The Times on the latest long term outlook issued by the Office for Budget Responsibility. [I would have wished to ‘link’ my readers directly to it, but I refuse no principle to pay the subscription in order to be able to do this].
This demonstrated that even if the Tories achieve every penny of their intended cuts during the current Parliament, this will not be enough to return the national debt to 40% (the level it was in 2008) by 2065. The OBR estimates that, in order to maintain the NHS as its current level, will cost another £1.8 trillion in fifty years’ time.
The first reason, of course, is our ageing population.
The second is that tax revenue from North Sea oil will decline between 2020 and 2040 is estimate to be just £2.1 billion, compared to the OBR’s forecast of £37 billion is 2014’s Fiscal Sustainability Report and the actual £129 billion reported in 2011.
The conclusion gained by any reader who, like me, was passing by on the Clapham omnibus, would have been that basically the UK is up a creek and missing a paddle, that is unless a considerable dose of radical policy changes and belt-tightening is implemented urgently.
Easier to present to my subscribers at the Rust is a brilliant piece on the political/bureaucratic aspects of UK overseas aid policy written by Fraser Nelson of The Spectator, as was published in the Daily Telegraph.
A cracking dissection of Sir Humphrey/type madness, it had my indignation hackles rising to their full 5mm glory and can be found here – DAILY TELEGRAPH