Friday 19 December 2014

£3 billion of savings, right there

From the BBC:

A £2.7bn fund to improve public health in England is not always being spent where most needed, a watchdog says.

'Public health' budgets are, by definition, not being spent where they are most needed. The money would be better spent on education, medical treatment, rubbish collection, libraries, pothole repairs—almost anything other than a left-wing social engineering movement; a movement that would cost, not save, the treasury money if it did what it claimed to do.

Funding for public health went up by 5.5% in 2013/14...

When will this lunacy end? Virtually every area of government is seeing real term cuts or freezes and yet these pointless parasites enjoy a real term increase in their already inexplicably large budget.

Of course the money isn't being spent properly. Local councils couldn't spend it properly if they wanted to. There are hardly any genuine public health problems to the deal with and the few which exist are dealt with by the NHS (eg. with vaccinations). In the absence of any epidemics, it should not be surprising that the money is squandered on front groups, expensive political advertising and tickets to see fat socialists talk about Twitter (you don't think a member of the public would pay £250 for that, do you?) Not to mention the untold millions that go into the pockets of academics to produce the usual 'evidence' for the usual illiberal policies, and the thousands of seat-filling, expense-claiming, pencil-pushing bureaucrats who could disappear from the face of the earth without anybody noticing.

Meanwhile, Public Health England itself gets through tens of millions of pounds holding lavish conferences, deceiving the public, issuing stupefyingly inane advice and lobbying the government (oh, and being chastised by Labour politicians for not lobbying them hard enough). 

For a Conservative-led government, supposedly committed to cutting the deficit, to pour taxpayers' money on these ineffective, ball-juggling, authoritarian, anti-Tory leeches defies belief. Having rejected minimum pricing, soda taxes and many other pet projects of the 'public health' establishment, how can the government possibly justify funding organisations and individuals who will spend every waking hour working towards them?

Even from the perspective of the Conservative party's narrow political self-interest, how can they justify supporting the overwhelmingly left-wing 'public health' movement ("Public health doctors have unanimously hated Thatcher and her legacy," according to former BMJ editor Richard Smith)? It is political and economic insanity.

There are £3 billion of savings right there for the taking. Even if you set aside money for the handful of worthwhile projects that fall under the public health umbrella (alcohol and drug treatment, condoms, immunisation etc.—all of which should be provided by the NHS directly and usually are), you would still be able to save a ten figure sum and make some of the worst people in the land redundant at the same time.

Politicians are fond of saying that cutting the deficit requires tough decisions. This is not one of them. It is a no-brainer.

1 comment:

Christopher Snowdon said...

I had asked several people on the net about the cost of tobacco control, and nobody seemed to know. One of the persons I asked was a German MEP, and she was involved in the revision of the tobacco products directive.

3 Billion Pounds would be really a lot, given that the WHO's budget is "just" 4 Billion Dollars. You Brits really think big.