September 15, 2017

Of course there is a magic money tree

Theresa May mocks calls for more government spending by saying there is no magic money tree.

As usual, she's wrong. Of course there is a magic money tree. The problem is that the government is stripping it and tossing the fruit straight into the bin.

For instance, why is it wasting its money and ours on green energy spending? First, there is little sign of sustained global warming; and if there is indeed warming, it's hard to see how it could be due to human activity. Certainly the (tiny) concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has kept rising, but we had a global warming plateau for some 15 years. So maybe any temperature change is largely natural. And anyway the developing world doesn't seem over concerned. On a conservative estimate 621 new coal fired generators are being built, now, 299 of them in China, 132 in India. What difference will it make to the atmosphere if our small economy goes green? None. We will just be poorer, through state spending and through our energy bills.

We are also paying through the nose for HS2. The assumptions of the original business case had to be flawed in order for the outcome to be positive. And the projected cost continues to rise. Yet government ploughs stupidly on with what is a turkey or a white elephant. A huge one at that. Still on the subject of railways, government spent £50m on electrification projects that have now been abandoned. Carelessly tossing over its shoulder money that we do not have in any case.

Imagine how much money could be saved if we stopped spending in these areas. And how much support is there for spending 0.7% of our GDP on overseas aid? Priti Patel has failed to get the spending under control, is clearly over-promoted, and should go in the next reshuffle. We can't even use this ridiculous spending pot towards getting our overseas territories in Caribbean back on their feet.

Of course there is a magic money tree. Trouble is, it's in the hands of a dull, dumb, stupid, stubborn government.

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