Three Small Points About Big Things

NHS Reports of using spare capacity in the private health sector to help deal with backlogs in the NHS make sense. In the short term this is the obvious route to improvement, as it does not require massive reorganisation of the NHS. To be effective it needs to be disciplined and working to a programme, rather than ad hoc here and there. The situation demands something like 70% of private sector capacity being used to treat NHS patients. The other positive in the headlines is talk of diagnostic centres separate to hospitals.

NEW OIL DIG LICENCES Net zero campaigners are justifiably outraged by such a retrograde proposal. There is however some logic in this, although the government has as usual been cack-handed in its messaging. Even if we proceed with renewable energy development at pace, including power lines to distribute it, we will need a run off of fossil fuels, currently mostly imported. If we can reverse that, use only home dug and get it into the national grid, not only will we be reducing our carbon footprint by avoiding imports, but we will be creating real new money as well. For a financial model addicted to relying on borrowing and printing this is good news.

INTEREST RATESĀ Up again, but softly with an 0.25 rise rather than the bolder 0.5. The trouble with this steady as we go approach, now in its 14th attempt, is that it puts off the moment of recovery so far into the future, that flatlining for not just months, but years, is seen as a good outcome. This is very not so. At the moment it is beginning to look as if the fifteen years it took to deal with the last bout of inflation illness maybe what we are in for this time. Meanwhile all the other major economies appear to be doing much better, with the US where the latest figure is under 3%, very much better.

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