Monday, 22 May 2017

Fun Online Polls: NHS charges for queue-jumping; Rhyme and Reason

The results to last week's Fun Online Poll were as follows:

Is it acceptable for the NHS to allow patients to pay extra to jump the queue?

Yes - 31%
No - 46%
Depends on how the extra money is spent - 23%

It seems like a fine idea to me. That extra payment (way in excess of actual cost) is "rent" and so to the extent we can't eliminate it, it might as well be the government that collects it.

DP came to exactly the opposite conclusion and thought the rent should only be collected privately. As we know, many NHS surgeons do private operations on the side, if the NHS won't let rich people pay to queue jump, NHS surgeons will just take a day off and do the operation privately. So the normal NHS waiting list stays as long as ever. If the surgeon uses an NHS operating theatre, the NHS could claim a fair chunk of the rent as, er, rent, I suppose.

The last option was a trick answer, it is nigh irrelevant because it is a futile exercise trying to match up sources of government income with particular items of expenditure. It's pretty futile for most people, as a matter of fact.

But clearly I'm in a small minority on this. Thanks to all 71 who took part.
This week's Fun Online Poll is hair splitting (and I don't know whether there is a right or wrong answer).

"The word "seam" rhymes with...
Seam (the word itself)."

Vote here or use the widget in the sidebar.


Frank said...

It rhymes with beam and it rhymes with seem but I don't think a word can rhyme with itself. If it could then the old saying that there isn't any word that rhymes with orange would be wrong, wouldn't it?

Mark Wadsworth said...

F, my thoughts exactly.

DP said...

Dear Mr Wadsworth

I suggest that the payment for queue jumping is not rent, but the premium paid for convenience and saving time.

Would you classify the premium paid for supersonic travel as 'rent'? Or the taxi fare versus the bus fare plus a walk at both ends for the same journey?

Anything collected by government is tax.


Mark Wadsworth said...

DP, nope. Rent is rent, tax is tax, payment for services at cost = payment for services.