Thursday, 23 February 2017

The National Health Service

Dear LabourList,

There seems to be widespread concern about the collapse of the National Health Service around here (Banbury). It is important that the country should know the Labour party line on the NHS? I trust the Labour Party done the research and got the answers? 

Should there be more Government money spent, to match the fraction of GDP spent (per head) by Germany and France?

What do we say if the Government retorts that they are spending more now than ever before? That it is still not enough? That the population has risen? That our spend is a lower fraction of GDP than in comparable first-world countries? Can we defend our figures? 

What do we say if the Tories say that Tony Blair started the sell-off and Private-Public-Partnership concept? That we now regard that as a mistake?

Do we subscribe to the idea that we must squeeze out inefficiency and waste? Or do we point to the global efficiency of our NHS compared with USA or Germany?  Is our NHS more efficient or less efficient than USA or Germany/France? On what metric. Can we defend these figures in Parliament. 

Do we think there is Mission Creep in the NHS, with an ever- increasing list of treatments, procedures and medicines?

Would Labour advocate 1p/£ increase in income tax specifically to fund the increased demands on geriatric care, rather than see closures and sell-offs? Say, 20% 'basic rate' rising to 21%; as advocated here some 4 years ago. 

(Trying to help! ) Best wishes, Cawstein

Friday, 3 February 2017

Bank of England mis-estimates spending buoyancy

(Yesterday   tweeted misestimated the buoyancy of consumer spending. Perhaps they overestimated the amount of gloom caused by Brexit vote. Ha ha.)

Yesterday (2017/2/2) the Monetary Policy Committee revised its estimates for both monetary growth and wage inflation downward, admitting that its November estimates misread the future in two (compensating) ways: Wages were not rising as fast as expected, and consumer spending had not fallen as expected [1]. 
Mark Carney, at his press conference, made several suggestions as to wages: perhaps increased population, or changes to taxes.
I make here one suggestion as to buoyant spending. The Monetary Policy Committee probably thought everyone in Britain would all be as shocked as it was at the vote to leave the European Union. But they overlooked that fact that a majority of the country actually welcomed the idea of "taking back our sovereignty", and doubtless found in Brexit a harbinger of good times ahead.  
(Haha ! They keep catching us out.)

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35493474

Live Chat with The Times (London)

(I am quite in favour of the new “Live-Chat” method of providing immediate help. Not, however, on the following occasion. But at least they gave me a transcript of the conversation!)

Chat Started: Friday, March 18, 2016, 15:40:30 (+0000) Chat Origin: TNL-SERVICE Agent Martha C ( 1m 41s )

Martha C: Hello, you’re chatting with The Times Live Chat Team. How can we help? ( 3m 7s )
Cawstein: Thanks. I submitted a Letter to the Time 14th March. It is of course exclusive to the Times, unless they do not use it. How can I tell? Or how long should I wait. ( 4m 36s )
Martha C: What do you mean ? ( 5m 32s )
Cawstein: I shall send the letter elsewhere if the Times does not publish it. Have They published it? ( 6m 14s )
Martha C: What letter Ian ? ( 6m 50s )
Cawstein: Er?? A Letter to the Editor of The Times (London) ( 8m 5s )
Martha C: We would not have received this letter as they are a different department. ( 9m 41s )
Cawstein: I can look in the times of today 18th March. But I do not have access to the Times of 15, 16, 17th March. Where can I get access to check? ( 11m 18s )
Martha C: To check what Ian ? ( 13m 21s )
Cawstein: For goodness sake Martha!!!! What is the use of having a person like you answering queries? Incidentally, it is not THEY who are a different department it is YOU !!! I am sorry to have wasted both your time and MY TIME