GDP - GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT and the NATIONAL DEBT
A STICKY SITUATION
Where our agenda is to promote a sustainable lifestyle, the Government is having a tough time curbing spending. Some say spending that is out of control - and of course it must have been for decades to have reached the present crisis levels. The result of which is that our country is in debt to the tune of £1.337 trillion pounds as of December 2013.
That is 91% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the debt is increasing by £121 billion pounds every year. That is £2.3 billion pounds a week that we are getting deeper into the mire. Why do you suppose this has happened? If you spend more than you earn you will get into debt. It is actually rather simple. How then do educated ministers not see that what they are doing is unsustainable? Here are the facts:
FY 2014 £1.46 trillion*
2013 £1.33 trillion
When Parliament introduced planning legislation, it was well intentioned. What Parliament forgot was that giving any kind of control to local fiefdoms would be bound to lead to empire building and corruption. Anti-corruption measures were not built in and State directives were not monitored to ensure that Statute was carried into effect.
Cash was thus ladled out to local authorities without any form of value for money checks, such as was sufficient housing being built to allow people to live affordably. Was enforcement compatible with human rights, or a waste of the public purse. There was no method of controlling land value - which is a free for all, where land owners make millions without being taxed - and land is not being secured for sustainable development, even though councils have the power to compulsorily purchase land - they never do so for fear of upsetting their sponsors. In short there is no forward planning.
The salaries of local government officials is a scandal all of its own. Civil servants should be paid in proportion to productivity. There should be targets. Executives do not have to perform as in private enterprise, so are rewarded for failure. Where such a situation exists, salaries should be capped. Department heads should regularly be replaced by new blood that is cheaper. Zero hour contracts should find their way to the top of the tree. Imagine the savings that could mean. A spending review is long overdue for LAs.
Defence spending is no different. The same old contractors are awarded huge sums for building what amounts to more of the same: just bigger than before. Blokes with new ideas for saving money are kept away from the feeding trough of research slush funds, which should have been earmarked for competition designed to reduce operational costs or increase effectiveness.
The National Debt began when William III engaged a syndicate of City merchants to market an issue of government debt. The syndicate became the Bank of England, and HM government debt began a century-long climb, financing Marlborough’s wars, wars against the French, against the North American colonial rebels, and peaking in 1815 at the end of the Napoleonic Wars at over 200 percent of GDP. After that war the debt entered a century-long decline.
Government debt exploded again during World War I and World War II where it reached the level of 1815 at over 200 percent of GDP. The National Debt jerked above 150 percent in World War I and stayed high. Debt declined to 50 percent of GDP by the 1970s and dipped to 25 percent by 1990 - a time of relative peace. Debt declined below 50 percent of GDP by the 1970s. There us thus a link between fighting and expenditure, where peace will benefit all of mankind, if only to bring economic sustainability.
The health service is another sponge. Consultants are paid huge sums for services that are rarely used. Here again the chiefs are on outrageous incomes; once again being rewarded for failure. Zero hour contracts should go to executives that are rarely called upon to do anything other than rubber stamp decisions that are the same decisions that have been rubber stamped before as million times. Instead zero hour contracts are only used to reduce the cost of nursing care. Why is this?
The need for doctors and surgeons could be drastically cut with the introduction of a biometric chip for every person. For not much more than the cost of a credit card, every person could have their health monitored by computer 24/7. By this means the health of every person in the NHS system would be known by a central databank, so saving the country a small fortune.
Should MPs be paid for occupying a privileged position? Hardly. It's more the other way around. Or, if an MP has business interests that may conflict with public service, that MP should either not receive a salary, or not allowed to be an MP. MPs that have no other form of income would qualify for remuneration. Second house claims should not be allowed. Affordable overnight accommodation should be provided in London for MPs, which would have the effect of quartering expense claims.
The life blood of economic survival is change. Change comes when something is done better or cheaper. That kind of change requires innovation. UK citizens are among the most resourceful in the world. Innovation should be encouraged - especially where that change may lead to exports or sustainable living.
The experts predict a national debt of 99% of GDP within four years if we continue to allow complacent officials to live off the fat of the land and not do the job they were elected to perform. Please note that several websites give different GDP and debt figures, but that they generally appear to be in the right ballpark. Nobody should trust the spin of Government as to so-called recovery. We need real leadership. Men and women with ideas. We need policies that will eliminate borrowings and that are carried into effect as parliament intended.
The national debt began a rapid increase in the aftermath of the worldwide financial crisis of 2008 when the banks that should have been allowed to go under for irresponsible lending, where instead bailed out with public money that of course had to come from increased borrowing.