From the BBC
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland ahead of her speech to the Constitution Unit research centre at University College London, Ms Sturgeon said the SNP would support a "modest" increase in public spending of about 0.5% in real terms.
She said: "Debt and deficit would still be falling as a percentage of GDP over these years but we would free up something in the region of £180bn over the UK to invest in infrastructure, in innovation, in growing the economy."
I don't think this country really needs any more infrastructure. Our problems with health aren't with a lack of hospitals, or even beds to patients to sleep in, it's the money for, and management of drugs, nurses and doctors, and that's mostly just spending. You could maybe count investment in health if people can't work because of illness, but in general, it's the old people who consume the health bill, not working people, and that's not going to pay off (which doesn't mean it isn't spending we shouldn't do, but it's not money-making investment).
We've got clean water, pretty good roads (and the potholes could be fixed for down-the-back-of-the-governments-sofa-money), billions being spent each year improving rail. School buildings seem to be pretty good. Electricity and drainage seems to work. We could do with more reservoirs, but the problem there isn't money, it's NIMBYs blocking development. Broadband speeds are getting faster to the point where most people are satisfied. There's a falling demand for libraries, plenty of lottery-funded sports centres around the place.
I'm not saying there aren't places we could spend more money, and some of that would even count as an investment, but I'm struggling to think of any infrastructure that we need to spend more money on. Anyone?
MW adds, PC156 has gone off piste a bit: "Whilst you say that in general health spending is consumed by old people this doesn't appear to be born out by the data."
From the FT: "NHS England’s calculations break down how much the NHS spends on patients across 18 age categories. These show that those aged 60 to 64 cost the NHS twice as much as those aged 40 to 44, while those aged 85 and above cost about 10 times as much."
At least one-third of NHS spending is on people over retirement age, that much seems uncontroversial. I vaguely remember reading that it was half, but maybe that includes non-NHS 'social care' costs and subsidies for long term care?
Wednesday, 11 February 2015
From the BBC