Forum Message

Topic: Common sense about NHS costs
Posted by: David McLoughlin
Date/Time: 05/05/15 15:39:00

Can we have some common sense about the NHS? Politics is about choices, the financial health of the NHS is not, fortunately, dependent on short-term economic growth rates. It's dependent on relatively small increases in the taxes we are prepared to pay, as I will show.

Since it was founded it has had up, until 2010, a real terms increase of 4% a year, according to the King's Fund spokesman on World at One. That's because new treatments are expensive and people are living longer.  It is now 8% of GDP. About another 1.1% is privately funded, totalling 9.1%. See http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/past_spending andhttp://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.XPD.TOTL.ZS.
Now no one thinks that the economy is going to expand at 4% a year. So the proportion relative to GDP will rise. This is of itself, not a problem: the USA spent 17.1%  of GDP in 2013.
UK GDP was £1.51 trillion in 2013. 1% of that is £15 billion. We are told that the minimum the NHS needs on top of its £115 billion expenditure is £8 billion.  So we need to spend  1/2 % extra of GDP on the NHS.  Taxes constitute 39% of GDP. To meet that need, with zero economic growth, would mean that taxes would have to rise to 39.5% of GDP, an increase in total taxes of 1.25%. A tax increase of that nature would not bring the country to its knees.

I don't want to enter into pointless debates with Sam Hearn about differential rates of economic growth under Labour and Conservative governments as this doesn't meet the fundamental point: the costs of healthcare are expanding faster than the economy.

However, if the USA is any guide, it will be a long time before those costs are unsupportable (at zero economic growth 2030, at 2% 2046, at 2.5% 2057). And a lot can happen in 30 years!
 
We have to make a choice in the here and now about where our money goes. As shrouds don't have pockets I think the choice is obvious.

N.B. Overall we have better health outcomes than the USA because, a) the US system is wasteful, b) money goes to the pockets of insurance companies and c) 20% of their population don't get proper cover and treatment.


Entire Thread
TopicDate PostedPosted By
Two days to go, but we still not know who our Government is04/05/15 22:42:00 R Atterwill
   Re:Two days to go, but we still not know who our Government is04/05/15 22:45:00 Pete Mayes
   Re:Two days to go, but we still not know who our Government is04/05/15 22:48:00 Michael Brown
      Re:Re:Two days to go, but we still not know who our Government is05/05/15 08:43:00 R Atterwill
      Re:MCB News05/05/15 10:49:00 Richard Greenhough
         Re:Re:MCB News05/05/15 11:56:00 John Connelly
            Re:Re:Re:MCB News05/05/15 12:12:00 Will Watson
               Re:Re:Re:Re:Keeping on taking the tablets05/05/15 12:41:00 Sam Hearn
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Keeping on taking the tablets05/05/15 12:46:00 David Roberts
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Keeping on taking the tablets05/05/15 12:55:00 Richard Greenhough
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Keeping on taking the tablets05/05/15 14:04:00 Steve Taylor
                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Keeping on taking the tablets05/05/15 14:08:00 Pete Mayes
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Keeping on taking the tablets05/05/15 13:19:00 Steve Taylor
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Keeping on taking the tablets05/05/15 14:28:00 Vanessa Smith
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Keeping on taking the tablets05/05/15 15:35:00 Steve Taylor
   And?05/05/15 13:13:00 Thomas Barry
      Re:And?05/05/15 13:37:00 Oliver Gibb
         Common sense about NHS costs05/05/15 15:39:00 David McLoughlin
            Re:Common sense about NHS costs05/05/15 15:58:00 R Atterwill
               Re:Re:Common sense about NHS costs05/05/15 16:09:00 Richard Greenhough
                  Re:Re:Re:Common sense about NHS costs05/05/15 16:40:00 R Atterwill
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Common sense about NHS costs05/05/15 18:07:00 Steve Taylor
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Common sense about NHS costs05/05/15 18:17:00 Vanessa Smith
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Common sense about NHS costs05/05/15 18:23:00 R Atterwill
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Common sense about NHS costs06/05/15 10:08:00 Richard Greenhough
   Re:Two days to go, but we still not know who our Government is05/05/15 14:32:00 R Atterwill
      Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight05/05/15 20:03:00 R Atterwill
         Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight05/05/15 21:19:00 Russell Pearson
         Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight05/05/15 22:23:00 Steve Taylor
            Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight05/05/15 22:35:00 R Atterwill
            Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight05/05/15 22:37:00 Julian Pavey
               Re:Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight05/05/15 23:27:00 Rima Jones
                  Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight05/05/15 23:40:00 Steve Taylor
                     Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight05/05/15 23:44:00 Julian Pavey
                        Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight06/05/15 07:53:00 R Atterwill
                           Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight06/05/15 10:15:00 Pete Mayes
                              Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight06/05/15 10:18:00 Pete Mayes
                                 Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight06/05/15 10:31:00 Stuart Kerr
                                    Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight06/05/15 10:43:00 R Atterwill
                                       Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight06/05/15 12:49:00 Pete Mayes
                                          Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight06/05/15 12:57:00 Pete Mayes
                                             Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Re: The last day of canvassing for the General Election has arrived with No clear winners in sight06/05/15 14:04:00 Steve Taylor

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