Should the OBR independently cost and risk assess UK political manifestos? John Gelmini

English: The City of London skyline as viewed ...

English: The City of London skyline as viewed toward the north-west from the top floor viewing platform of London City Hall on the southern side of the Thames. In the foreground: Dixie Queen and Millennium Time at Tower Millennium Pier. This is a 5 segment panoramic image taken by myself with a Canon 5D and 24-105mm f/4L IS lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thank Dr Alf for reblogging Simon Wren-Lewis’s blog article entitled “Labour’s OBR Proposal – Simon Wren-Lewis – Mainly Macro”.

There is very little difference between the endgame of policy between the Coalition and those of Ed Miliband.

Only yesterday, Willie Walsh, the CEO of British Airways, writing in the Daily Mail, lambasted Cameron and Osborne for showing “Very little economic vision and having no real plan for growth jobs, airports and making it easier for Chinese tourists and business-people to get here without having to obtain 2 visas. He also made the point about the UK needing more Mandarin speakers in shops and elsewhere to make these people welcome and at home.

Tourism employs 1 person in 13 in this country, yet we get 1/7th the number that the Schengen countries get and are still dithering about increased airport capacity to the point where one might be forgiven for thinking that a group composed of NIMBIES,environmentalists, Druids and other enemies of progress wanted us to revert back to the Dark Ages.

Neither political party/grouping has anything to say about these matters but they argue about planning regulations and HS2.

Dr Alf’s point about manifestos being independently costed and risk assessed is a good one but we are not in possession of all the figures that would be needed to make such an assessment.

For example, the UK has had a balance of payments deficit since 1982 yet we only lost our triple A credit rating a year ago.

Precisely what have we been living on for all these 31 years?

In my schooldays, we were told that the “magic ingredient ” was “invisible exports” but since last year the City of London was relegated to 2nd place behind New York with Hong Kong and Singapore taking an increasing share of these “invisibles” to the point where the City of London will be 4th in the rankings by 2016.

A look at what was collected in taxes over the past 50 years and what is being collected now shows that there is a vast disconnect between what has been collected and the roads,schools,hospitals,airports and infrastructure that these amounts of money should have bought.

We know that under successive Governments of different political persuasions that we are 17th in the world when it comes to value per taxpayer pound with Singapore producing three times the value as we do.

This difference cannot in my view just be explained away by waste,incompetence on the part of Ministers and civil servants and other causes must be looked at rigorously, if necessary by the police and forensic accountants.

An OBR comparison of manifestos is a helpful step but Dr Alf’s excellent proposal needs to be supplemented by a much more searching review of the nation’s finances over many years before we can really say accurately which political party has wasted the most money.

John Gelmini

Enhanced by Zemanta

Beyond Polly Toynbee’s narrow view on the Labour Party – John Gelmini

Labour logo.

Labour logo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the narrow point that Polly Toynbee makes I have to agree with Dr Alf.

This does not mean that I think the Labour Party has coherent and strategically sound economic policies or that I agree with the efficacy of Coalition policies under the “Undynamic duo”,Messrs Cameron and Osborne.

The Coalition’s policies represent one club golfing in that there is:

— No real effort to cut public sector costs or effect reform

— No action on the UK‘s lack of productivity, now 20th in the world

— No concerted action on corporation tax and competitiveness

— Insufficient action on export led growth

—  Insufficient money for R and D

— A failure to improve State Education fast enough

— No real attempt to bring in Sovereign wealth

— A failure to act to secure:

  • Energy Supplies
  • Food self-sufficiency
  • Our Defence
  • Our Borders

The opposition’s policies fail to address these problems as well and both fail to address the biggest question of all which is how is the UK going to pay its way in the future unless we start to make and sell enough of the things that people want.

Secondly , what is the UK’s role in the world to be?

A member of the EU?

  1. A member of the EU with repatriated powers?
  2. A member of EFTA?
  3. An independent offshore tax haven modeled on the best aspects of Switzerland and Singapore and with public expenditure dramatically reduced,lower population and a total and unremitting focus on prosperity,, jobs, growth and minding our own business?

This last scenario given the rundown of our armed forces our low productivity, our imbalanced economy and our inability to even afford a coastal protection vessel makes the most sense but under Miliband, Cameron and Osborne (the UK version of the “Three Stooges“)it is always going to be Option 1 plus a tendency to publicly lecture others and engage in foreign military intervention when we have neither the military power,money or public appetite to do so.

John Gelmini 

Enhanced by Zemanta